The FT has announced the six books that have made this year’s shortlist. You can read an excerpt from each book here.
In an office dominated by women, we were particular taken by The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk-taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust by John Coates who asks why there are so few women traders, actually less than 5%. He asks whether it is because women have a different appetite to risk and they don’t like the macho environment. He rejects both of these explanations and goes on to point out that women often outperform men. Coates goes on to suggest a simple formula to help bring greater stability to the market;
“I like this policy of altering the biology of the market by increasing the number of women and older men in it. It strikes me as eminently sensible, and my hunch is that it would work. To argue for it one need not claim that women and older men are better risk takers than young men, just different. Difference in the markets means greater stability. There is, however, one point about which I have much more than a hunch, about which I am as certain as certain can be—that a financial community with a more even balance between men and women, young and old, could not possibly do any worse than the system we have now. For the one we have now created the credit crisis of 2007–8 and its ongoing aftershocks, and there is quite simply no worse outcome for a financial system.”
I wonder how reflects across other business sectors?