Perils of brotherhood

Sam Polk, a former hedge fund trader, founder and the chief executive of Everytable and the author of the forthcoming memoir “For the Love of Money” writes a powerful piece in the New York Times titled “How Wall Street Bro Talk Keeps Women Down.” He muses on how, “From the moment I began working on the Street, the crucial importance of fitting in was communicated to me. During my summer internship at Credit Suisse, the human resources representative told me that whether I received a job offer would not be based on my intelligence, but whether the traders liked me. It was a social test, not an intellectual one. The trading desk I worked on that summer consisted of 15 male traders, and one very junior female trader. To get a job, I needed to become one of the guys.” To stand aside, to be “ethical,” to be “Christian,” means that one is excluded, one is rendered powerless. To get power to be able to affect change one has to become part of the brotherhood but in so doing one is exposed to all the perils of belonging.

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