Women and Finance

I really like Nick Kristof’s column this week.  It opens, “Banks around the world desperately want bailouts of billions of dollars, but they also have another need they’re unaware of: women, women and women.”

Sometimes I find him incredibly condescending, but his points about (the lack of) women in the finance industry are spot-on.  He basically restates President Spar’s op-ed from the Washington Post last month, which argues that the stock market crash wouldn’t necessarily have happened if there were more women in the industry.  While Spar’s message was, I thought, dangerously essentialist (she asserts there is something inherent about femaleness that causes a different style of risk-taking, which may be true but there are also cultural factors), Kristof takes a slightly less gendered stance by simply arguing it makes sense to diversify the kinds of people who make crucial decisions.

What do you think about this hypothesis?  Do you think anyone would listen?  How would the world look if there were more women in control?

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