Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

"My experience in prop trading: awkwardness, shaming & inappropriate flirting"

A number of years ago I used to work for a proprietary trading firm. Overall, I had a negative experience.

I was not a trader, but I interacted with them on a daily basis. They were all very polite, interesting people. The firm had hired a lot of math PhDs, people with lots of education who weren't very outgoing. For many of the people there, English was not their first language which I think contributed to, what I perceived as, social awkwardness. 

I have nothing against the traders, my issue was with one of the directors. He was an old buddy of the founding partners, and his wife also worked there. He would frequently make inappropriate remarks to his wife in my presence, and there was nobody I could complain to about this, as she was really the only person there working in HR. There were implications of sexual acts, and innuendo. It didn't happen too often, and the wife was really embarassed when he did it; I get the sense that he was immature and oblivious, rather than malicious or anything like that.

There was also one woman there who was very two-faced. In one-on-one meetings she would ask me about my progress on certain projects and accept my answers, but in larger meetings she would ask me again and grill me on the answers. She would bully me, suggesting I hadn't done my job right when privately, she did not take issue with how things were going. 

This was a long time ago now, I've since gotten much more comfortable sticking up for myself and I haven't spoken to anyone at the firm in a long time. I still think about it though and wonder if this is normal for the sector?

Kim McGill is a pseudonym.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: +44 7537 182250 (SMS, Whatsapp or voicemail). Telegram: @SarahButcher. Click here to fill in our anonymous form, or email editortips@efinancialcareers.com. Signal also available.

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

author-card-avatar
AUTHORKim McGill Insider Comment
  • Un
    UncleBob
    22 March 2024

    Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.


    Grow up lady, if you dont like your working environment, leave.


    Humans trash talk, women and men, if you dont like it, go teach pre-school.

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Recommended Articles
Recommended Jobs
Paritas Recruitment - Data & Tech
Quantitative Researcher (Systematic Fund)
Paritas Recruitment - Data & Tech
London, United Kingdom
Morgan Stanley
Equity Trader
Morgan Stanley
Singapore
DTG Capital Markets
Proprietary Trader (US, remote)
DTG Capital Markets
New York, United States
Hunter Bond
Technical Business Analyst - Leading Trading Firm
Hunter Bond
London, United Kingdom

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.