Dr. Doug: Women & Wall Street

Video: Market Coach Doug Hirschhorn discusses his belief that women, if given a proper chance, may actually turn out to be better traders on Wall Street.

Do men or women make a better trader or investor? Recent lawsuits, like those against Goldman Sachs and Citi have raised questions about gender discrimination on Wall Street and what it means for the women who work there.

What I don't understand is why gender equity is so important to have on Wall Street. After all, the Street is all about one thing—making money. It shouldn't matter if it's a man or a woman in charge, because I’m 100 percent certain that the market doesn't care.

Now brace yourself for what I'm about to say: I truly believe women are hardwired to be better traders than men. As a trading psychology coach, my applied work has repeatedly shown that in order to get traders to perform at higher levels, I frequently have to deconstruct the ego and male-mindedness and teach more female-minded skills such as self-awareness, observation, and patience.

If you're convinced men are better traders than women, then my response is simply, "show me the data."

The problem is you can't, because it doesn't exist. For that reason alone, it's bad research to assume men are better traders just because that's the way it's always been.

The key takeaway for this trader coaching session is that it's time for a change in the financial markets. Not because of gender equity, but because those who could be some of the most talented people in this game are not even given a chance to play.

Think better, invest smarter.


Doug Hirschhorn is the chief executive officer of Edge Consulting, a firm specializing in “Peak Performance Coaching.” He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in sport psychology, and has offices in New York and South Florida. His client list includes elite athletes as well as many of the largest banks, hedge funds and financial institutions in the world. Doug's new book, 8 Ways to Great (Putnam, 2009) is currently available on Amazon.com for $19.95.

Have a question for Doug? You can reach him through his Web site, DrDoug.com

Disclaimer: Doug Hirschhorn's expertise is in the psychology of achieving peak performance. He is not a financial advisor and does not make trading or investment recommendations or provide trading or investment advice. He is an expert on the mental game. Although Doug Hirschhorn has a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in sport psychology, he is not a licensed psychologist and does not provide therapeutic, clinical or counseling services.