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Why aren't there a lot of girls pursuing a MFE degree?


Quant Headhunter
@Amanda, thanks for taking the time to read my post.

I suspect a reason it might have come across as sexist is that so much is written that is 'supportive' of women rather than identifying things that they can and should do better.

I have an issue with 'male dominated' as a view...
Yes, most people in this line of work are male, but that does not tell us very much that is useful. A more useful level of granularity is found by starting at the position that the industry is dominated by other people. Men are not an homogenous group, they have diverse objectives, strengths and weaknesses, just like women.

Also, I'm glad you've identified "normal working behaviour", much of what some people see as "male" behaviour is in fact an adaptation to a set of social contexts, and banking is an interesting mix of competitive and team behaviours, due to the way that banks are not really pyramids, but more like medieval fiefs who compete and cooperate with each other.

"Uninvited advances" is one of those things women say that is collectively partly their own fault.
Fact is that we are in a society where men are normally expected to make the first move because most women would not do that. We are supposed to work things out from the way they flick their hair or laugh at our jokes. My first approach to my wife was uninvited, and as I later learned wholly unexpected, and was in a work environment with a far higher ratio of men to women than any bank.

As a headhunter, it is necessary for me to approach strangers at conferences, seminars etc, and I've made sure my speech patterns drop her existence into the conversation when speaking to some random woman.

I agree that trading is moving to ever-increasing automation, a modern trader will be doing a mix of project management as well as technology, maths and market adaption.

As for tips...
The grotesquely overdue 3rd version of my quant careers guide has some, but not enough and I'd like some more.

One strong element that is most fixable is that women don't network enough, and also seem more reluctant to speak at conferences, both of which have ill-defined but useful leverage in your career.
Well, perhaps the most successful female quant is Leda Braga, who has a Ph.D. in engineering from Imperial College London and is president of multi-billion dollar hedge fund BlueCrest.


It would certainly be interesting to gain her perspective, if anyone could get her to discuss the issues raised above...

Good you mentioned her. I have read her biography and it is very interesting career path. Really a good read for female (especially but not only) quants.