A lot of people act like the reason so few women work on Wall Street is because Wall Street is not welcoming to women. That the nature of the industry is sexist, and women, who are perceived to have too many emotions and too few math and science skills, are shunned by the alpha-male culture. In fact this is merely a rumor, most likely spread by men who got hurt really badly by their high-school girlfriends. The reality, according to a group of women interviewed by the website Fins, is that it is women who have rejected Wall Street, not the other way around. Because once ladies, detail-oriented as they are, suss things out, they come to the irrefutable and obvious conclusion that actually, working on Wall Street sucks.
Women, who are thoughtful, actually care about doing the right thing.
And since the crisis, Wall Street has "looked more seamy, so to speak," according to Myra Strober, a labor economist and founding director of Stanford University's Institute for Research on Women and Gender. "Women may have more scruples about that than men."
They recognize that it does not feel good to be a jerk.
In fact, it sometimes makes you want to literally puke, says Valerie Corbett, who quit after two decades of investment banking because she wanted a less "gut-wrenching" career. "I just had certain priorities in life and at that point turning myself into some hard-bitten deal-doer just didn't appeal to me," she said.
They also tend to have other people in their lives that they care about and would like to spend time with.
"The whole work-life balance thing — for men, that's not always a big deal, but for women, it's always an issue," said former Goldman Sachs executive Monica Murphy.
And it's not the pervy old dudes they work with.
"I always was invited out, as were the other younger women, but oftentimes you didn't want to go," said Murphy. "It was a strange thing to be 24 and to be going to drinks with 45-year-old men."
Especially if there is nothing in it for them, i.e., a bonus or a spanking.
Meghan Muntean, formerly of Lehman Brothers, said that many of her female co-workers got smaller bonuses because they didn't golf or pal around with male managing directors. "There were a couple that tried to be buddy-buddy with the guys, but it never really worked," she said. "It wasn't like the '60s, getting slapped on the butt all the time."