Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II says children are a “killer” to a woman’s focus which explains why there are only a few women in the world of macro trading. The Greenwich-based hedge fund manager issued his controversial statement in a symposium held April 26 at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce when asked why the panel only consisted of “rich, white, middle-aged men and what it takes for someone different to have a seat at the table and finally share their voices from a powerful place.”
Jones said that while women are very capable investors, there will never be as many of them in macro trading because having children will make them lose their laser focus—a necessary trait for those in this industry. “As soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it,” he says. “Every single investment idea … every desire to understand what is going to make this go up or go down is going to be overwhelmed by the most beautiful experience … which a man will never share, about a mode of connection between that mother and that baby.”
He cited two women who had worked with him in the seventies at E.F. Hutton: “They both got married,” he said, “and then they both had — which in my mind is as big of a killer as divorce is — they both had children.” Jones apparently thought that his statements were not going to be made public as Dean Carl P. Zeithaml of the McIntire School of Commerce had earlier directed everyone not to record, quote, or describe the event in order to facilitate an “open and candid discussion.” The Washington Post, however, obtained a link of the video of the event which the school of commerce recorded through a Freedom of Information Act Request.
The billionaire’s remarks drew the ire of some of The Post’s readers. Florentine wrote: “Welcome to this millennium Paul. Some of the best minds in the business are mothers. And female traders tend to [be] less emotional and more disciplined as they tend to be more risk averse.” Another reader, cococo observed: “He’s simply working out of his own narrow focus: because there aren’t too many women in macro trading, he hasn’t seen them and therefore is coming up with dumb ideas as to why they aren’t there. Wait a few years, Paul. Remember when there were hardly any women doctors?”
KJ Dell’ Antonia, lead blogger for Motherlode in The New York Times, meanwhile, acknowledged that “that what Mr. Jones was willing to put into words is a prejudice that lurks unspoken in many hiring decisions (and isn’t limited to men).” Instead of criticizing, she exhorts: “What we really need to do is think harder about why this particular prejudice about women and work still holds such sway.”