As one of the leading trading educators in the world, our voice can have an impact. The way we talk about forex trading and who we talk about it to, has a huge influence on the type of people that end up walking through our doors, and even the doors of our competitors. This International Women’s day we’re asking ourselves one very important question. How can we help to balance gender disparity in the trading industry?
Since we opened our doors 16 years ago we’ve helped train over 300,000 people how to trade on the foreign exchange market. Now we can’t give you the exact statistic, but if you asked us how many of those people were women, we’d have to say around 30%. And that’s being generous.
We know this isn’t because women are not interested, or not capable. So, to find out more about how we can balance the scales, we sat down with one of our newest trader students Julie Davies, to discuss her introduction to trading and how she thinks we can make the trading industry more inclusive.
Why do you think men dominate the trading industry?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately since I enrolled on the course.
Although I’ve only recently become interested in the currency market, I studied economics at A Level and enjoyed finance as part of my Business Degree and MA. But as soon as I dismissed the idea of being an accountant, I never explored any other options. I guess because the stereotype of the City as a place ‘run by men for men’ put me off. I didn’t want to enter such a male and often misogynistic industry.
We don’t see that image of the city going away any time soon, so how can women start to make changes?
For me, I found a way back into finance that suited me. There are different ways to get involved in the industry and luckily forex trading is something you can do without even stepping foot in the City. You can trade from home and trade very successfully at that! Of course, that doesn’t solve the overall issue. But every step is worth it, no matter how small. Who’s to say that my daughter won’t be inspired by me trading from home and take on the industry by storm when she’s older?
Women have a proven track record of being some of the best traders and finance professionals, we certainly see that on our trading floor. How do you think we can help to champion this notion?
I think the time has come to eliminate the idea that trading is a man’s game and build the confidence in women to learn, understand and feel empowered enough to buck the trend. I’m definitely on that journey now and keen to spread the word. Sometimes it’s nothing major, it’s just talking about female success in the same way you would male. Highlight our wins, bring us into the conversation.
How can we support more women wanting to get involved in finance or learn to trade themselves?
Encouraging more women to enter the finance profession generally and ultimately take up positions of leadership will help improve visibility and promote a more positive gender balance. The more organisations do to promote and support women from graduate hires right through to succession planning to board level the better.
I also think that understanding how money works is an essential part of being empowered and something to start as young as possible in schools.
What is it that attracted you to forex trading?
I Ieft my permanent job a year ago and set up a coaching business so I’m moving into the entrepreneurial space. This was a way for me to hopefully have some extra income to grow my business.
Probably the best thing about it, is the flexibility. The beauty of this if that I don’t have to leave my house. Trading from home works flexibly around family life so I’m not making compromises for home vs. work.
What are you looking forward to as you start your trading journey?
Personally, I’m looking forward to creating wealth, financial freedom and choice for myself and my family over the coming years. I also know this is a skill that I can pass on to my children and share with my family. My daughter will have exposure to forex trading from age 11 and I could not be happier!
So, consider this a call to arms for anyone interested. Come and help us balance the scales. We want the women founding their own businesses or supporting new initiatives. Women refusing to make compromises or sacrifices in any one area of their lives. Brilliant and trail blazing women not content to live with the status quo. Our doors are open.