GUEST COMMENT: Sorry, but women can't trade

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As it's International Women's Day and everyone's bemoaning the fact that women don't have a better deal in life, I'd like to make a brief point: I have tried to employ women as traders; it doesn't work.

Much as it pains me to say so, the reality seems to be that women can't trade prop. Show me a woman who's a competent prop trader. I'll show you a man in disguise.

I have tried very hard to disprove this theory.

I have hired plenty of women. None of them have ever stuck at it. They all started off in a very conscientious and analytical manner and were very keen, but after two or three months it was all over.

Why?

I blame two things: emotion and boredom.

When a woman trades, it doesn't take long before she becomes emotionally involved in what she's doing. She loses the discipline that's needed to make money consistently. She fails to maximise profits and fails to minimise losses.

She also becomes bored. Staring at a screen all day doesn't seem to offer the mental stimulation that a woman requires. Women need interactivity. In my experience, they're better at relationship-based trading. When it's just them and the screen, it doesn't work.

I wish this wasn't the case. I wish I didn't have to be the one to point it out. But someone needs to. This isn't a qualitative judgement. In this industry, performance is measured very simply in terms of P&L. I have given a lot of female traders a chance. None of them have taken it.

The author is an anonymous (male) prop trader.

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