Assess Risk Like a Woman!
Kay Steiger on the problem with why women should do x “like a man” articles:
Women are frequently told to ask for a raise like a man, Date Like a Man, and even pee like a man. But the problem here is that “like a man” is often synonymous with “do it better.” When women are given advice on asking for raises “like a man” it’s because women are often paid less than men, and it’s often thought that the solution is to simply mimic men’s behaviors to receive the best results. Same goes for dating and peeing — the idea is that men somehow do it better. The way to fix that seems to be to tell women how to be more like men.
There’s a reason there isn’t a genre of “like a woman” articles for men. (Except for this Daily Fail Mail article on a man who spent a week “living like a woman.”) See, the idea is that men would never want to be “like a woman” because women are generally considered inferior, even though if you replace “like a woman” with “better,” you could write articles on how men should drive like a woman, how to multitask like a woman, or how to fly a fighter jet like a woman.
This reminds me, naturally, of the pathological nature of finance in the United States. If you look at the fields of endeavor where doing it “like a man” is better, they’re basically areas (like negotiating a salary) where a more aggressive approach is rewarded. Usually because the downside risks are smaller than they may seem, but sometimes (soldiering, firefighting) it’s because you’re specifically looking for someone who’s willing to endanger himself. Now by contrast if the concern is that people may be irrationally underweighting small probability events with disastrous consequences—driving, for example—women tend to perform better.
Banking, on any reasonable account, is much more like driving in this regard than it is like soldiering. So in a well-functioning system, you’d expect to see more women bankers than male bankers. You might even expect “statistical discrimination” that causes women to be more overrepresented than the underlying difference in behavior would warrant.