Although the financial industry remains overwhelmingly dominated by men—especially in high-ranking positions—the New York Times reports that Wall Street has seen a near tenfold increase in the number of female employees with stay-at-home spouses since 1980. The article suggests that among these, an increasing percentage of successful women working in finance are relying on a reversal of traditional domestic roles, with many husbands shouldering the brunt of household duties and childcare responsibilities. In fact, some experts are claiming that the amount of domestic burden men are willing to take on is directly tied to their wives’ potential for career advancement.
Such cases seem to reveal that new opportunities are opening up for women at major banks and financial institutions. However, they also indicate that the industry’s hypercompetitive and inflexible culture remains strong. “It is not clear,” states the Times, “if these couples are leaders in the march toward gender equality or examples of how little is shifting on Wall Street.”