Why Bankers Are Jumping Ship For The Technology Industry - And What It Means For Women In Tech
As the tech industry gains traction, the talent in banking is going with it.
3 min read
Across the board, bankers are pulling away from the financial industry and instead setting their sights on the growing tech world. This conversation gained traction in 2014 when three bankers from Goldman Sachs quit, to join the wildly growing unicorn tech company Uber. But this isn’t the only case of high profile banking firms losing their employees in favor of startups. It hasn’t been more than a few years since Stu Taylor, the global head of matched principal trader, left his job at UBS Group AG to start from scratch in the tech industry. And we all remember when Twitter announced their new CTO, Anthony Nato, who had also left Goldman Sachs to enter tech.
The reason behind this abrupt career transition amongst bankers seems to be the unanimous: the tech industry provides a flexibility and a creative outlet that banking does not. It seems that the six-figure salary does not cut it anymore, and the freedom bankers are offered in tech far outway the pay cut.
This growing rise in bankers transiting in tech will also hopefully mean more women also deciding to jump into STEM. But before we jump for joy, we need to make sure that when female bankers make the career flip into tech, they are not entering a field trying to push them out. There is always uncertainty when making a life change as drastic as taking on a new career path, but women should at least feel a guarantee that they will be respected and free from discrimination & sexual harassment. When we encourage women to enter tech, they are putting their trust in us that they will enter positions in tech where they will be safe, successful, and happy.
Perhaps the first step is making sure that the “cool chillax” environment that draws so many to tech is also one that is also inclusive of women. Recently, Google has been under fire for its gender pay discrimination and there is a disturbing amount of sexual harassment occurring within startups. Many women still do not have the same level of comfort in the ‘boys club’ that continues to embody the tech industry; Only 14% of tech CIOs working the UK are women and Women in IT are 45% more likely to leave their jobs within the first year of working.
By calling out discriminate companies, and connecting women to jobs in tech that don’t hold a gender bias, we will work towards not only more women seeking jobs in tech, but more women staying in those jobs. We need to work to correct the industry that those both in and out of Wall Street are beginning to run towards. Women both in and out of Wall Street will follow and stay in tech, if only with the help and guidance of all of us.
What do you think about bankers making the leap into tech? Will it have a positive effect lessening the gender gap that exists in STEM? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Adriana Chavez is a student and writer based in New York. She currently works as part of the Day of the Girl-US action team where she runs the Girls in STEM blog series. She is passionate about coding and intersectional feminism. When not hidden behind her computer or a great book, she can be found walking the streets of New York with her rescue dog.