Lucy Williams realised something was awry when she noticed that her male colleague was supporting both a stay-at-home-wife and three children. "On my salary at the time, I would never have been able to do that," she says. "It became increasingly apparent that we were on vastly different pay and benefits packages."
They were. Although Williams and her male colleague were reportedly doing the 'exact same job,' working in IT at Natwest Markets, it transpired that her male colleague was earning £32k ($42k) more than she was.
"You realise something is wrong when you learn that your male colleague is the sole breadwinner in his family," says Williams, who claims that Natwest Markets has a sexist culture in which, "if you want to succeed as a woman, you have to either give up or to cover up the traditional responsibilities of a woman." You can't be seen to have childcare responsibilities, says Williams. And you need to be "ruthless" to succeed.
It's unusual for women to be outspoken about the culture at specific banks - most settle out of court and agree to say no more. However, Williams secured a deal that didn't buy her silence. After she took legal action against Natwest (which sacked her five months after she raised a grievance) the bank agreed to pay her £150k. When she refused to sign a gagging clause, Williams was left free to vocalize her resentment.
Williams' case seems to disprove the notion that the gender pay gap in banks is because men and women are doing different jobs. - In this case, Williams and her colleague were doing the same job but he was still paid more. Even so, Natwest maintains that the discrepancy had nothing to do with Williams' gender - and by settling out of court Williams has foregone any legal confirmation that she was discriminated against.
This isn't the first time that women in banking have complained that men are paid on the presumption that they'll be supporting families and that women are paid on the presumption that theirs is the second income. Even female bankers who have househusbands tells us they're unwilling to divugle their domestic arrangements in the office for fear that a man in the home will be something their alpha colleagues will be unable to relate to.
Williams says female bankers are partly to blame: they "collude in this unhealthy culture of discrimination."
Natwest maintains that it doesn't pay men and women differently for the same job. "We don't agree that any difference in pay was due to Ms Williams' gender, we don't think we got things right in certain areas and therefore have agreed a settlement to resolve the matter."
Separately, just because you're working for Goldman Sachs, don't presume there's a glistening future ahead of you. Junta Nakai spent 13 years at Goldman Sachs - latterly as head of Asia Pacific sales, and in a speech last week at Hopkins School he discussed his revelation that he was on the wrong track.
"When I joined Goldman Sachs out of college in 2004, trading was the most coveted job on Wall Street. It was fast-paced, exciting and had the potential for super-star bonuses. I had to go through 44 interviews to get that job," Nakai told the students. "At the peak there were 600 traders in the Equities Division at Goldman Sachs where I worked. When I left the firm in 2017, there were two."
Nakai implies the Goldmanites were like frogs in boiling water - unable to process or react to the change even while it was obviously taking place. "My bosses and mentors at Goldman kept telling me, 'Just keep your head down, just keep eyeing that promotion,'" he said. "That’s what they did to get ahead."
But Nakai decided to act. He studied data science in his spare time and started networking with technologists. In 2017, he resigned from Goldman and left finance even though he'd just earned more money than ever before. He took a 75% pay cut and joined a small AI firm. His Goldman colleagues were astounded.
Nakai says it's necessary to take risks to succeed. "Humans are creatures of habit that take comfort in extrapolating the past. But without discomfort, there can be no growth. Without risk, there is no success." Even though he had no tech skills, he learned them and reinvented himself.
After writing about his experience for Business Insider in December 2018, Nakai says he was deluged with messages from people in finance saying, "My job is dying, and I don't know if any of my skills are transferable." Finance jobs aren't dying and people do have transferable skills, says Nakai. - But you need to prepare for the opportunities ahead - which may be very different from those behind you.
Equities traders at Goldman Sachs in London are complaining that they'll have less light than fixed income traders on trading floor in Goldman's new London office. "We'll be packed in like battery hens." (Business Insider)
Monica Hsiao set up the capital structure arbitrage team at Nomura as the mother of two young children. Today she runs Triada Capital, a credit-focused hedge fund which generated returns of 10% in the first quarter. (Bloomberg)
One in six London households earns more than £100,000. (Financial Times)
Ex-Deutsche Bank head of commodities trading Kerim Derhalli is suing his ex-wife £500k for trespass after she refused to stop living in their £6m former London home. (The Times)
Guy Hands lent £4.5m to Andrew Géczy when he became the chief executive of Terra Firma. Géczy was supposed to pay it back in installments. He hasn't. (The Times)
Kenan Altunis, the former head of the institutional clients group at Deutsche Bank, has resurfaced as chief executive of Malta-based Founders Bank, which plans to offer financial services to crypto companies. (Bloomberg)
Inside the life of the tech entrepreneur who retired aged 33. - Watching as many basket ball games as possible; reading the Harry Potter series for the first time; spending more than 100 hours completing “Dragon Quest,” a role-playing video game; working out a lot, teaching himself a coding language to create his own games. (New York Times)
SoftBank's Vision Fund is up 45% on paper. (Techcrunch)
Penis extensions don’t work. (Guardian)
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