"I just hope it's easier by the time I want children"
I'm a vice president (VP) at a boutique investment bank. This is an industry that I love and is one in which I've spent all my career.
It sounds like a truism, but the good thing for women about banking jobs is that they are all about money. If you can generate the revenues and you are doing a good job, no one cares about your gender here. That can be liberating.
The bad thing is that this is still a male-dominated industry. When it comes to my year-end appraisal, everyone appraising me is a white male in his 40s or 50s. That's a real shame.
Things are changing though. We're starting to get more female clients and when I work with them there's a natural bond. My male MD encourages me to work on those deals because he can see that the female clients respond better to me.
I also have plenty of young female friends in banking. We talk among ourselves about experiences and share information about our pay so that we know what we should be aiming for. Information is power! I think we have a slightly different attitude to money than the men in the industry, though - for us, it's about what we can buy with the money we earn. When I speak to my male friends in banking, it's much more about earning more than the rest.
None of my female friends in finance have children. By the time I want a family, I hope this job will be a little bit easier. I've spoken to a couple of senior women who have 20+ years in the industry, and they said you can make it work if you want to. It helps to have a supportive partner, both inside and outside of work (pun intended).
I think it gets easier as you become more senior. Right now I work 55–60 hours a week, which is definitely a lot less than in the past. When I was younger, I didn't have much freedom and was working all the time. Already, I have the flexibility to schedule my work life around my personal life a bit more than before.
Amalia Byrne is a pseudonym
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