For your weekend reading pleasure, a heartening, insightful article from the New York Times about how in India, women in finance are “not only some of the top deal makers, they are often running the show.”
It’s so good, you should read the whole thing. But here’s a sample:
This “isn’t a golf-playing, beer-drinking homogeneous culture,” said Naina Lal Kidwai, group managing director and country head of HSBC in India and a former head of Morgan Stanley’s investment bank in India. Women “could join the workplace on their own terms,” Ms. Kidwai said. “You still have to network, you still have to work hard, but that made it easier.”
That means India is without an old Wall Street staple: Women who feel they must act like the stereotypical male banker to advance. There are no swaggering “masters of the universe” in this group. Top female managers regularly wear saris and talk openly about their children and husbands.
These women handle many of India’s biggest deals — raising $9.7 billion for the power company NTPC or negotiating Vodafone Group’s purchase of an $11.1 billion stake in Hutchison Essar. Almost all of them are in their 40s and 50s, are from wealthy backgrounds, went to excellent schools in India and abroad, and graduated at the top of their classes before excelling at the bank they joined. So they often enjoy the same status as the men who were their competition and their banking clients.
Banking may be more of a meritocracy than other professions, women in the business say, because there is an easy way to keep score: Look at the bottom line.
“You got your next big challenge based on your performance and your potential, not whether you were male or female,” said Chanda Kochhar, chief executive of Icici Bank, where women make up 40 percent of the senior management.
Women “excel when they are subject to an open competition,” said Shyamala Gopinath, one of the Reserve Bank of India’s two female deputy governors.
No shit. How come no one on Wall Street or in the City has figured that out?