Wall Street Rule for the #MeToo Era: Avoid Women at All Cost

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by bone, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. bone

    bone ET Sponsor


    "No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings.

    In fact, as a wealth adviser put it, just hiring a woman these days is “an unknown risk.” What if she took something he said the wrong way?

    Across Wall Street, men are adopting controversial strategies for the #MeToo era and, in the process, making life even harder for women.

    Call it the Pence Effect, after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who has said he avoids dining alone with any woman other than his wife. In finance, the overarching impact can be, in essence, gender segregation.

    Interviews with more than 30 senior executives suggest many are spooked by #MeToo and struggling to cope. “It’s creating a sense of walking on eggshells,” said David Bahnsen, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley who’s now an independent adviser overseeing more than $1.5 billion.

    This is hardly a single-industry phenomenon, as men across the country check their behavior at work, to protect themselves in the face of what they consider unreasonable political correctness -- or to simply do the right thing. The upshot is forceful on Wall Street, where women are scarce in the upper ranks. The industry has also long nurtured a culture that keeps harassment complaints out of the courts and public eye, and has so far avoided a mega-scandal like the one that has engulfed Harvey Weinstein.

    ‘Real Loss’

    Now, more than a year into the #MeToo movement -- with its devastating revelations of harassment and abuse in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and beyond -- Wall Street risks becoming more of a boy’s club, rather than less of one.

    “Women are grasping for ideas on how to deal with it, because it is affecting our careers,” said Karen Elinski, president of the Financial Women’s Association and a senior vice president at Wells Fargo & Co. “It’s a real loss.”

    There’s a danger, too, for companies that fail to squash the isolating backlash and don’t take steps to have top managers be open about the issue and make it safe for everyone to discuss it, said Stephen Zweig, an employment attorney with FordHarrison.

    “If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment,” he said, “those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint.”

    Channeling Pence

    While the new personal codes for dealing with #MeToo have only just begun to ripple, the shift is already palpable, according to the people interviewed, who declined to be named. They work for hedge funds, law firms, banks, private equity firms and investment-management firms.

    For obvious reasons, few will talk openly about the issue. Privately, though, many of the men interviewed acknowledged they’re channeling Pence, saying how uneasy they are about being alone with female colleagues, particularly youthful or attractive ones, fearful of the rumor mill or of, as one put it, the potential liability.

    A manager in infrastructure investing said he won’t meet with female employees in rooms without windows anymore; he also keeps his distance in elevators. A late-40-something in private equity said he has a new rule, established on the advice of his wife, an attorney: no business dinner with a woman 35 or younger.

    The changes can be subtle but insidious, with a woman, say, excluded from casual after-work drinks, leaving male colleagues to bond, or having what should be a private meeting with a boss with the door left wide open.

    ‘Not That Hard’

    On Wall Street as elsewhere, reactions to #MeToo can smack of paranoia, particularly given the industry’s history of protecting its biggest revenue generators.
    “Some men have voiced concerns to me that a false accusation is what they fear,” said Zweig, the lawyer. “These men fear what they cannot control.”

    There are as many or more men who are responding in quite different ways. One, an investment adviser who manages about 100 employees, said he briefly reconsidered having one-on-one meetings with junior women. He thought about leaving his office door open, or inviting a third person into the room.

    Finally, he landed on the solution: “Just try not to be an asshole.”

    That’s pretty much the bottom line, said Ron Biscardi, chief executive officer of Context Capital Partners. “It’s really not that hard.”

    In January, as #MeToo was gathering momentum, Biscardi did away with the late-night, open-bar gathering he’d hosted for years in his penthouse suite during Context Capital’s annual conference at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. “Given the fact that women are in the minority at our events, we want to make sure that the environment is always welcoming and comfortable. We felt that eliminating the after-party was necessary to remain consistent with that goal.”

    In this charged environment, the question is how the response to #MeToo might actually end up hurting women’s progress. Given the male dominance in Wall Street’s top jobs, one of the most pressing consequences for women is the loss of male mentors who can help them climb the ladder.

    “There aren’t enough women in senior positions to bring along the next generation all by themselves,” said Lisa Kaufman, chief executive officer of LaSalle Securities. “Advancement typically requires that someone at a senior level knows your work, gives you opportunities and is willing to champion you within the firm. It’s hard for a relationship like that to develop if the senior person is unwilling to spend one-on-one time with a more junior person.”

    Men have to step up, she said, and “not let fear be a barrier.”
    VPhantom, d08 and dealmaker like this.
  2. Overnight


    To that final line, I say "SCREW YOU, BITCH!".

    Women did this to themselves. They did not plan their attack properly. And this is the result. Who could not see this shit coming?

    Women who have become so sensitive to any comment, that they decide to use as a crutch as a way to take power over men and get them in trouble, is now backfiring in the womens' faces.

    If a man offhandedly says to you, in a closed-door office, "You are pretty, would you like to go out on a date with me", you can reply with a simple denial, not attempt to file criminal charges against the guy with "sexual assault."

    WTF is that, anyway? People have lost their bloody minds.

    In the 19 forevers, the 20th century, it was considered flattering by most. Now in the 21st century it is considered a felony criminal act.

    So much for "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me."

    The world is doomed.
  3. zdreg


    article doesn't apply to ET traders who mostly trade from the comfort of their basements.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    beginner66, quant1, VPhantom and 3 others like this.
  4. @Overnight calm down man. Women are never happy.

    Generally, good looking women don't behave this #metoo way unless you are unattractive. I usually let the tension build so much that they have to make the first move, at least in professional situations. The most innocent thing in the world is watching a woman hit on a man when she has never done it before in her 20-something years. Deer-in-headlights. Unless she a ho. But truly attractive women are rarely hos.

    I miss being attractive sometimes.
    beginner66 likes this.
  5. JSOP


    their home office, not necessarily basements.
  6. In modern times, ugly fat pigs have an edge over gorgeous babes in the workplace. Male bosses feel safer with ugly fat pigs and will be more willing to spend time with them.

    I foresee businesses making money from cosmetics and looking good to report poorer earnings going forward.
    schweiz likes this.
  7. Overnight


    There is a huge difference between ..."to protect themselves in the face of what they consider unreasonable political correctness..."

    and men being charged with a crime that could label them a sex offender for life.

    Do you not understand the severity and gravity of what is going down, man?

    ANY woman can now take down any man with a false charge of sexual assault, defined as, well, what is it defined as? A WINK FROM ACROSS THE STREET, because it makes them feel uncomfortable and open to attack.

    And if convicted, you are a felonious sex offender. Your life is ruined. All for winking at a woman.
    Jones75 likes this.
  8. themickey


    I work down in my coal cellar. Cool & dark, easier to read charts on my 12" CRT monitor.
    luisHK likes this.
  9. Dude, I completely get it. I have been divorced and was accused of the most heinous stuff primarily because she wouldn't get the D anymore. Rape, physical assault, sexual assault. You would have thought she was describing our sex life. And when the boys in blue (i.e., fucking retards) get involved, they have/had no intelligence with which to process such accusations. It takes a very strong man to withstand these circumstances. Neil Tyson handled his recent accusation well, even if he was guilty.

    This is the first time in history where we are treating women, who are our mothers and for whom we generally have more affection for than our fathers, as equals. But we love them more. So how can they be equal?

    Don't forget, lynchings were sanctioned in some areas and executed largely by men but also by women. The rest of society hasn't quite understood that men and women are equally vicious.

    It'll happen in time, and although I told you to calm down, it's only because an angry man is seen as weak, especially when compared to a woman. Male anger = weak, female anger = righteous/patriarchy/whatever.

    So the best way to deal with these circumstances if they ever become legal is to calmly seek to destroy everyone involved without making it obvious. The DA, the police officers, the accuser, etc. You have to have extreme calm to be able to achieve this though. Once their ass is on the line, they'll think twice. They'll play dirty, so should you.

    One easy trick is to make light of the accusations with the accuser and get him/her to "have fun" with you again. Good luck explaining to a judge about the long term psychological impact with someone who just took your load in her face. I had to do this and record it. I have about 30 sex videos with her after her false claims. Showed everyone, including her sisters, mother and father. That was a nice email. Haven't heard from them again but poor ex-wife has gone bankrupt twice trying to divorce me in "her favour". It's hard to recover from that kind of embarassment (spoiler: she keeps losing).

    As for the DA, you just have to find a little bit of dirt on them and let it slip. Did they lie and you have proof? What about the police officers? Can you prove they lied? Recorders are your friends. Play dumb, always.

    So trust me, I understand. I was very young but I was present enough to know that this is a war, just like every war that has existed between men. Only now, it's between you, other men, and women.

    In any case, you will not win this war with women with outright fighting like men do. You have to fight like them. Quietly.
    Overnight likes this.
  10. Here is an example of the type of stuff you need to do (not related to false accusations by women, but false convictions nonetheless) :

    The guy eventually got off, but look at that bullshit.
    #10     Dec 4, 2018