"Working from home is much better for black women in finance"
I'm a woman of color working for a long only fund in the U.S. I was ready to vote with my feet and leave this industry, until working from home became possible.
Home working has its challenges, particularly when you're educating your children too, but for me, it's been much better than working in the office.
Offices in the finance industry are places that are dominated by whites and by men. If you're a black woman, this is something you have to adapt to, and it's not easy. It's not just the portfolio managers that are predominantly white men - it's everyone.
Working from home has taken me out of this environment. It's placed the focus firmly upon productivity and reduced the importance of the outdated structures in the American investment management industry. I'm able to be myself.
When I'm at home, I also avoid the micro (and macro) aggressions and harassment I was previously subjected to in the office. White men in finance and their clients have no idea what the working environment can really be like, and marketing departments are never going to draw attention to it. People in the industry are conditioned not to be honest - the senior white men in my company, for example, will never admit to sleeping more than six hours a night, although they do seem to watch an awful lot of TV.
Personally, I'm now hopeful about my future in this industry. But I don't want to go back into the office, and I'm not the only woman of color who feels this way.
Cenisa Hart is a pseudonym
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