Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Women of the Pits

Regardless of how politically incorrect it is, trading floors have always been a male dominated environment although a significant amount of women have not just simply worked in the trading pits but became the dominant traders in certain cases.  Because it's (in general opinion, including my own) an unconventional environment for women to seek to work in, I've always been a little intrigued at the back stories of the women who did end up trading on the floor. 

The 1998 book Women of the Pits by Mara Koppel is based upon interviews with 15 women in the trading industry, with about 2/3rds of the subjects having worked in the trading pits.  Most prominently included are interviews w/the first female members at the CBOT and CME who broke the gender barrier in 1969 and the early 70s respectively. 

While providing an often overlooked perspective, I didn't find the book to provide deep details and was written too over-flattering towards the subjects.  It seems to be have directed towards an audience of younger women with thoughts of pursuing financial careers and in that regard it's great.  For those who maintain just a slight interest in trading pit history, I'm not sure if it's to be fully recommended but it doesn't require a big time investment to read or skim.
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