Another billionaire believes he has some wise words about women, but this time they’re probably not going to be as productive as Warren Buffett’s.
According to hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, women find it difficult to be successful macro traders because breastfeeding their child kills their focus and, as a result, means we will “never see as many great women investors or traders as men. Period”.
In a filmed panel session shared by The Washington Post, who obtained the footage through a Freedom of Information Act request, Jones’ comments came during an audience Q&A session at the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce last month.
His remarks were prompted by an audience member who asked why the panel only featured “rich white middle-aged men”.
“You will never see as many great women investors or traders as men — period, end of story,” Jones said. “And the reason why is not because they are not capable. They are very capable.”
But according to The Washington Post, he said that trading required a “very specific skill set” and that this focus is vulnerable to emotional events like divorce.
“The emotional distraction that comes from divorce is so overwhelming,” he said. “You can just automatically subtract 10 to 20% from any manager if he is going through a divorce.
To illustrate his point he referenced two female former colleagues who he said lost their sharp focus after having children.
“Then they both had, which in my mind is as big of a killer as divorce is, they both had children. As soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it,” he said.
“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 said. “And I’ve just seen it happen over and over.”
To encourage “open and candid discussion”, McIntire Dean Carl P. Zeithaml asked the audience not to record the event or quote panellists following the discussion.
“I’ve probably said too much and gotten myself in trouble,” Jones said during the discussion.
Unsurprisingly, his comments upset a number of people and the school’s dean told The Washington Post that he had received complaints from alumni and female faculty members following the forum.
In a statement delivered to The Washington Post on Thursday, Jones said his comments were “off the cuff remarks” and made “with regard to global macro traders who work in a small, intense field in which emotional highs and lows are obstacles to success.”
“As I’ve told my three daughters, all of whom I’ve at one time encouraged to go into macro trading, any man or woman can do anything to which they set their heart and mind,” Jones said in the statement. “I believe that great success is possible in any field — from music to mathematics to macro trading.”
Click here to watch the video at The Washington Post