Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The More Things Change

I've had a nice morning. The sun is shining, it's 75 degrees on the way to 90 (relax, Midwesterners, 90 here feels like your 80 when there's no humidity), the cloud of smoggy, gray debris hanging over the Strip from the implosion early this morning of the Stardust is dissipating and my glorious view is reappearing, our taxes are off my desk and winging their way to the accountant, I got a glowing and thoughtful review of A Merger of Equals from a young investment banker who just finished reading it, and the only things on my calendar for the rest of today are swimming and a call with the best of friends.

Still, I'm feeling twinges of dissatisfaction and frustration - the same ones I used to feel when I was working and I ran up against some business world "truth" that made no sense. The young investment banker who enjoyed my book included the following paragraph in her email:

It continually amazes me how much of an "old boys’ club" Wall Street is. After 2 years as an investment banking analyst at a large bank, I now work for a private equity firm, and was shocked when I began my interview process that there were certain firms that actually told my (male) friends during interviews that they would never hire a woman. I could not believe that people are still that strongly opposed to women in the workplace – it was more veiled, albeit thinly, at a large bank. I went to a management presentation recently for a company we were considering acquiring, and at the dinner afterward the CEO actually said, and I quote him directly, "You know…. Take no offense to this, but the one thing that can really bring a company down is women." Nobody from my firm knew what to say!

How on earth can this kind of crap still be going on? It was like this 25 years ago when I started my career! You'd think political correctness alone would stop comments like the interviewers' and the CEO's in their tracks, but, in any event, how can the huge influx of women over the last 25 years - many of us extremely smart, capable and successful - have somehow managed to change the overall feel of the whole gig so minimally?

No comments: