☰ Menu eFinancialCareers

Should women stick to sales?

A new study confirms women still aren’t exactly storming to the top of investment banks. Anecdotally, they might be best off in sales.

The study by Financial News found women account for only 10% of board-level directors at banks in Europe in the US. And only 4% of the paper’s 100 most influential people in the financial markets are women.

Rumour has it that women abound in sales roles, where their persuasive skills can be put to best use. Kate Grussing, an ex-JPMorgan MD turned managing director of Sapphire Partners – an organisation that helps women work flexibly – says there are a lot more women in sales than in trading: “Women are fantastic in sales. They have very good people skills and are great at multi-tasking. Unlike deal-driven roles like corporate finance, it’s also an area where there can be some work/life balance.”

Let us know what you think. Should women focus on sales as the area of banking with the best opportunities for them to get ahead?

Comments (10)

  1. It doesn’t make a huge difference if you go into sales. The main issue is that women leave the city to have babies, and someone picks up all your clients while you’re away. You come back to a load of rubbish accounts and have shorter tenure than men. No surprise that there are a lot of talented women at the bottom, none at the top.

    Smouldering saleswoman Reply
  2. Great article, strange follow up comment ! Women utilise superior relationship and nurturing skills and can be dominant in a sales environment.

    James Hartshorn – Business Banking Technology Sales. Reply
  3. I totally agree. I’ve been working with quite a few women in Sales and they are usually the best!!
    Especially in when closing deals!!

    Now I am sure they could do a great job in board-level directors positions in investment banks.

    Olivier – Sales Director Reply
  4. I have been in sales for 5+ years and to me, it’s all about transparency and flexibility. If you are good, it does not matter if you are a man or a woman, and it will all show up on the P&L. The hours are great compared to the corporate finance jobs and the job can be rewarding in a ‘moral’ sense. And if you are really good, the old clients will still want to talk to you even if your boss has been playing tricks on you (moving with you to your next employer). You can always complain but all in all – the job is not about the long hours giving women an opportunity to shine.

  5. Most women are clearly more psychologically suited to particular roles in IB than many if not most men. Client facing roles, where attention to the client’s personal details can be relevant, are clearly more suitable to women as they have a natural interest in the minutiae of ‘man’ that most men ignore as trivia. The priority women place on matters not related to the ego (primarily pay and title) such as the quality of the work life allow them to temper their personal needs for the good of the team and the client. Men tend to put their needs first (alongside their egos) and everything else comes later. Women by the genetic ruling of nature tend to veer towards the nurturing element of their work and thus client facing roles become their metier. None of this I hope is too contraversial. But why do they not reach the top in greater numbers? Well there are many reasons. One perhaps is that those who keep women out of the boardroom are the often the only women already in there. Women have egos too of course and being the City equivalent of ‘the only gay in the village’ tends to be how it is manifested.

    A bloke with 25 yrs experience in the City Reply
  6. These reports are useless. Only people looking for easy lives aim for the board of directors!

  7. Women are less “able” in trading… there was a day where women were less “able” at reading, at school, at sport, “out of the house”….
    till some one showed the way by getting out of the house, into sports, into schools, …
    go on girls: let’s get into trading.

    I simply can not believe this type of stereotype! Reply
  8. women are less able at sports. period. I still can’t understand why they get the same prize money in tennis when their it is less entertaining and they only play three sets.

  9. That’s correct women are more in sales then any other area of IB and almost not present in Top IB position and that’s also the case in corporate. Men put women in front lines like soldiers thinking that their power of persuasiveness, “seduction”, will win them more deals and I believe that’s the only reasons why women are more present in IB sales role because men give them the opportunity and rightly think they will do better, but I personally believe that women could do better in any other top role, it is just that they don’t get the opportunity to do it because of predominance of men in key roles.

  10. women are better in sales…and curiously good looking women are the best..how many models are hired to sell every kind of products on financial markets?…this article is ridiculous…you can find women better than men statistically in all areas and not only in areas where your appearance is essential as they are equal to men in terms of intellectual capacities…but at some point their lack of professional ambition (they may have other ambitions in life than working 18h a day) and their lack of credibility in this mainly men world prevent them to reach the top…

The comment is under moderation. It will appear shortly.


Screen Name


Consult our community guidelines here