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"Banks are full of beautiful successful women with dating issues"

It's Valentine's Day and if you haven't spent the equivalent of at least $175 on your chosen one, you're falling behind. But if you're a woman in investment banking, buying lavish gifts can be problematic. 

"Men will say they want a powerful woman who earns more than them, but the feedback that I hear from a lot of my female clients is that when they're in a dating situation, this isn't the case," says Lucy Puttergill, the former JPMorgan VP in delta one sales who left banking to travel the world and become a coach in 2020. Research has shown that men don't like women who earn more than them. "There's a big issue around women in banking and dating," Puttergill observes, "It's really difficult for them."

Puttergill, who is currently in Cape Town, works with a lot of female bankers. She says dating is their number one issue. "I cannot tell you how many beautiful, hugely successful women there are in banking who feel like they've been sold a lie," she says. While many of her female clients are high achieving, high earners at work, they struggle to find partners who match them intellectually. "They feel that the only thing going right in their lives is their careers. They're in their mid-30s to 40s, they have a great job and a huge house and some want to have children, but their job takes up all of their time and there’s a sense of failure. 

 

Younger women in banking don't necessarily share this prognosis. One 20-something female analyst in NYC says young men in hedge funds find it "hot" when a woman is powerful and independent. "For a lot of men these days, this is the type they go for," she claims. However, she acknowledges that she recently split with a guy who was too demanding of her time: "They were in asset management and their hours were on the softer side."

Puttergill says older women in banking are often tempted to double down on their careers because of relationship problems. Single women put more and more energy into work and when they do date, they approach it with the same mentality and treat finding a partner as something to be "achieved." The work persona leaches into personal relationships: "When they meet someone, they end up pitching themselves." 

To overcome this, Puttergill helps her clients to feel comfortable acknowledging and presenting a fuller version of who they are. "A lot of people in banking have very low self-esteem," she says. "The achievement and validation that come from banking careers can hide a sense of personal inadequacy. A lot of people in banking have perfect lives and perfect personas, but underneath they feel very vulnerable. I work with people to help them take off the work mask and to see what's beneath."  

It's not simply about doing this in pursuit of a relationship, says Puttergill. "You need to reconnect with who you are beneath the high achiever identity. Make your life so full and expansive and enjoyable that meeting someone becomes the cherry on the cake rather than an achievement." 

This is the considered way of approaching dating issues. However, the female analyst in NYC is less apologetic about her approach. "I want someone accepting of my priorities" she says. "I need someone who will understand the person that I want to become, who can see that I have expertise that will allow me to be valued in the finance industry. To me that's happiness. I don't want to be at home with the kids."

This article was first posted in February 2023. We're reposting it during the festive break 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • mi
    middleman
    5 January 2024

    The reality is that both men and women need to invest time into building personal relationships, starting in their 20s ideally. They also need to figure out whether they want children.


    If this isn't done, they may be left single, or unable to have children when they're older, despite belatedly realising they want them. This impacts men as well as women, because their partners get older too.


    Of course this doesn't apply to everyone - some people don't ever want to have children - but regrets amongst men and women are more common than you might imagine.


    I suspect that's what has happened here. It has little to do with being a banker. It's more about prioritising career over personal life.

  • Si
    Sid Pernicious
    27 December 2023

    Any potential male suitor for this type of woman needs to be aware that a study conducted by the University of Chicago revealed that marriages deviating from the conventional norm of the husband being the primary earner face a 50% higher risk of divorce.

  • Ry
    Ryder
    26 December 2023

    These women think they have a relationship problem. No they don't. They have two.

    The first is finding the virtually nonexistent dream man who matches their extensive checklist. But the second problem is "And why would he want you?".

  • Ne
    Neo72
    18 September 2023

    "I want someone accepting of my priorities" she says. "I need someone who will understand the person that I want to become, who can see that I have expertise that will allow me to be valued in the finance industry. To me that's happiness. I don't want to be at home with the kids."


    In this world of free choice with live in today, nothing wrong with this view, set of preferences. I wouldn't be wrong to say that men tend to want a (young) partner to have children with, and relationships need 'melding' of priorities (or one could call that compromise), at least sometimes and to a certain degree. Being valued in the finance industry is fantastic, as a partner/wife/mother, however, the skills/experience set that comes from knowledge of spreadsheets, company valuations, charts and wearing expensive suits and shoes isn't worth anything at all.

    Whomever this misguided relationship councillor is quoting is too young to understand that money, title and career can be gratifying, certainly when starting out, but doesn't create happiness in the long run.

    Without wanting to be ageist, this 'me' centric view of the young millennial generation also seems to feed through in the above. The amount of times the world 'I' is mentioned in these four sentences is baffling.

    All of the above seems to sum up why one would struggle with such a mindset. This is applicable most definitely to young men too, not just women. 'I' needs to become 'We' in a real relationship, 'Mine' needs to become 'Our' and so forth, not always but sometimes. Otherwise what hope is there other than for the occasional situationship ?

  • Bo
    Bolverk
    6 April 2023

    "Men will say they want a powerful woman who earns more than them" Says who?

    There are no men out here who would say that, could it just be in the authors imagination?

    To be quite frank these 'powerful women' have nothing that men want, because they act like men, and that is the one thing men do not want to date, and give these women have a list of wants the length of a till roll that no man would be able to meet, why would any man ever want to try to meet that list?


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