Book Review – Confessions of a City Girl

Angel in the office I read Confessions of a City Girl over a weekend in London after working with my clients -professional female women in financial services, all week. This book was a highly entertaining and easy read that confirmed many of the issues experienced by my clients …and issues I have long suspected keep equality out of reach. For example, as she points out “There appeared to be an entirely different pay scale for women and men’s bonuses…which are entirely discretionary and can be easily explained away by ‘he added value here’. It’s a dilemma for women and endemic through our industry… and City Girls know all too well that the women who collect cheques in court rarely collect them again in the city ever again.” The author Suzana S, wrote her “City Girl” column for thelondonpaper and detailed her daily work, and the motivations of her and her colleagues. It is amazing to see how quickly a city approach of “take no prisoners” can become part of one’s ethos –and there were times when you could imagine the author couldn’t recognise herself in the mirror. Sure, she talks about the ubiquitous lap dancing clubs, “entertaining” clients, the egos on the trading floor. But she also delves deeper to try and understand what led to the crash and comes up with some pretty good ideas – the disconnect between front office and back office workers, a culture that encourages people to think only from one bonus year to the next, and widespread ignoring of the people who tried to warn the traders that something was not right – right before the crash. City Girl has been unmasked as Barbara Stcherbatcheff and you can read more about her here.

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