Kevin, good to see that you are still around! There are a lot of misconceptions around ‘numerical aptitude’, but I would argue that it is not mathematical or financial subjects/topics that put off some women: rather, it is the cultural and almost tribal way in which men have historically built their identity around STEM areas of knowledge. In reverse, ballet and hairdressing are traditionally unattractive subjects for men, by and large,because they have been overwhelmingly populated by women; equally, women feel less inclined to go into all-male, or prevalently male environments. Finance per se is not unattractive to women, just like ‘numbers’ or ‘science’, or ‘tech’: it often starts with personal introductions from school friends and university graduates or family members. We often hear of fathers in financial jobs introducing their offspring to a finance pathway: if more fathers of mixed-gender offspring introduced both sons and daughters to their so-called ‘male’ interests it would do a lot to normalise certain cultural spheres to women, rather than leaving it up to them to discover them on their own, later in life. A lot of teachers and parents still feel that boys and girls are to be steered in different directions, which then leaves employers or colleges and universities in a pickle,because by then those children have already become conditioned into thinking that some topics/areas of study are unappealing to them. Humans are highly social beings: if you socialise a child in a way that normalises their exposure to an area considered ‘beyond’ their gendered abilities, they will be much more likely to want to engage with that area of knowledge later in life in a theoretical way, because intellectual curiosity toward something is usually born not in a vacuum but through an individual’s engagement with another human being who opens their eyes to the beauty of, and fascination with, that something.
What would you say about it?