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Female VPs and up: Do you feel that the more senior you get, the harder it is to get ahead? There is so much stigma against powerful women, especially in finance, so I'd love to get your feedback.

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GS1: it is important to see another side, on that point you are correct. I got my start in this field by men. I've been coached, mentored, and developed by my male colleagues. I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to understand how they communicate and how they work. I've learned to appreciate the many sacrifices and challenges many of them experience as a result of working in this field. I've learned to understand that some of their mannerisms is more a function of how they interact rather than sexism. I've learned to advocate for myself so that I'm seen and heard. Finance has come a long way towards integrating women than other fields. That is a credit to both the men and women who try to work across gender lines towards a common goal.

Associate2: thank you. You are right, I have invested a lot of work. I don't have an Ivy League educational pedigree and I'm not a New Englander. I didn't leverage a family legacy network to get into this business. I paid for and completed my graduate degrees on my own. By all accounts, I didn't possess many of the privileges afforded to many other finance sisters. That said, I've chosen over the course of my career to appreciate those with success, learn from them, and try to adopt and adapt best practices. As a result, I don't view my efforts as work but rather investing in my potential.

Do women have more to overcome, yes. Do women have more power and resources that they are unaware of and underutilize? I believe so. Is there stigma? No. I try to maintain a growth mindset as much as possible and when I can, I always reach back to lift another woman and man into this career path should she/he have the right attitude and work ethic.

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^false

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I have personally found it harder as I have gotten more senior: both externally building the same depth of relationships with clients that my male colleagues do (my clients are ALL men and 10-25 years older than me) and internally as, despite what the supposed goals my firm has about increasing diversity (incl. gender) at the senior ranks, it is still such an old (white) boys club and they're not inclusive at all to women. For what it's worth, I'm a 4th year D and until last year (when I didn't work a full year as I had a baby) I was top ranked. Honestly it is so depressing in 2017 that women are so under represented at senior levels across the board in finance and I hope so much that in 10 years when a lot of you are senior, it'll be a different story!

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lol so many people in here incapable of putting themselves in other people's shoes. If you are a man, how could you possibly understand the very subtle forms of sexism that exist in the workplace? Lets look at it this way - we hear so many cases of women having a hard time in the work force because they are underrepresented, and all their bosses are males. What is more likely - that all these women are wrong and lying, or that you lack understanding of what their experience is like.

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Yes. There are fewer of us at the top and it is challenging in an industry that depends so much on the strength of social relationships. It is challenging to develop meaningful and intimate yet non-sexual (or non-perceived-sexual) relationships with the men in your cohort or higher. But I do think it is getting easier as more women stick it out and there is such a robust conversation of the issues being publicly aired...

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(And any man who tells you otherwise or you're just weaker than the others if you "play that card" is full of horse shit)

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@VP2 - when a man resorts to using that phrase of "playing that card" its proof that the stigma still exists. If it didn't then there would be no "card" to play

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"If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman" -Margaret Thatcher

When a woman resorts to using the gender card, she demonstrates she doesn't have the tools to get shit done. Ex. HRC

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If we're going to debate definitions....then let's address the real heart of the question posed. OP asked for the personal experiences and advice of women who have made it to the mid level or higher. Unless you can AS A WOMAN address the question asked, then you are missing the point.

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I'm glad you've found a way to rise above whatever gender-related obstacles most females seem to face. Hope this continues for you. But wow talk about angry and bitter...read your last 2 posts. This thread is about stigmas against women...don't think I need my lean in circle. Again, I hope you continue to not need other women to lean on or commiserate. How lucky are you.

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There is no stigma - it's just in your head. I would focus on doing a great job and building solid relationships and the rest will happen naturally.

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And to add to that, I'm not necessarily a very reserved individual in the sense that I'm more of a girly girl so nowadays I find myself trying to "tone it down" *rolls eyes*

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I don't think anyone was questioning the definition of "stigma"...I think there are very real obstacles and anyone that thinks otherwise is lacking perspective.

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Associate2: gaining clarity on the definition of stigma as used is necessary to avoid conflating the terms as VP3 has done. Anyone who can't appreciate or see this distinct, necessary critical thinking tool lacks understanding and perspective. It also fails to bridge differences and see another perspective.

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VP3: reread my first post again. It was in reference to my experience and some of my best practices. What have you shared to help advance the debate besides complain?

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Identifying challenges is not the same as complaining. If VP2 you are a woman then I apologise for misreading your subtext but, regardless, I find it ironic that you promote EQ and being able to bridge the divide between men and women when all of your posts are self righteous and alienating. Hardly inspiring. You cannot make a blanket claim that there is no stigma...that is like denying the possibility of climate change....not everyone perceives it but doesn't mean it's not happening.

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We have all worked incredibly hard to be here. It's irrelevant where you went to college or who you family is at this point. That's an entirely different discussion. I'm honestly stunned how self centered your discussion is as this thread is about females (generally speaking) in banking. What it should be is an encouraging forum where women can take some comfort in the fact that many people are going through it and it's not just them. Your self righteousness isn't doing your or anyone else any favors.

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This whole thread is full of the exact shit that makes my sister and many other women I know absolutely HATE working for female managers.

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Scratch what I said up there ^ I made no sense. I meant I'm not exactly a masculine / tough-looking female. We'll see how long I last haha

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