We here at Registered Rep. publish various lists, too, including Top 100 RIAs, Top 100 Indepednent Financial Advisors, and Top 100 Wireshouse Advisors. But we do not—we have resisted the temptation—to break out advisors by gender—or by any other criteria other than their affiliation.
We just don’t see the point. A financial advisor is a financial advisor in our view. Yes, you can make the argument that finance is a man’s world, that Wall Street is a traditionally male-dominated workforce. The argument for the list is that women who have risen to the top of their profession—despite of the unique hurdles they may (may) have over come to be successful—should be singled out therefore. We've all heard about the "boom boom" room and other boorish behavior by male Wall Streeters over the years. And there have beens scores of lawsuits over the years. Wall Street is an amped up place, but tradtional brokerages have scored highly in thier "inclusiveness" when it comes to domestic partner insurance coverage, gay and lesbian and transgendered insurance benefits. This is a comment from a story I wrote four years ago: “Financial services firms and banks historically have been leaders for equal treatment of gay and lesbian employees,” says Daryl Herrschaft, director of the workplace project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “I don’t have any proof, but I think it’s because a premium is placed on performance. It’s really capitalism at its best.”
But I agree with the comments on Barrron’s online. This is a typical criticism on the site (subscription required). “What is the point of this? When money managed by a woman buys more ‘stuff’ than money managed by a man, I'll be happy to consider the gender of a money manager. Until then, a single list is much more appropriate.”
I agree. What do you think? Do women at financial institutions face real sexism and other obstacles? Or has the playing field been leveled?