"Female bankers should work according to their menstrual cycles"
I am a young woman and I have done my time in banking. After a decade in the industry, I’m off to do something else instead. My preference is to work in technology, particularly in femtech.
I’ve spent a lot of time studying hormones. Women are fundamentally different to men and that workplaces should reflect this. Women need holistic services that cater to their wellbeing, particularly in an investment banking job in a demanding corporate environment.
Women’s monthly cycles drive their creativity and attention to detail. When you’re ovulating, for example, you’re super energetic and social; if you’re in sales it’s very easy to do cold calls. During the luteal time between ovulation and your period, you’re better able to focus and to work on demanding tasks. And when you’re menstruating, it’s easier to rest and to work from home.
I understand that any request to align your work in a bank to your menstrual cycle will be met with derision – you have to be available at all times to do whatever task is required. But you do have some autonomy at the margins. Even women in banking can work on some appropriate tasks at the right time.
Personally, I found it much easier to navigate my cycle when I worked from home. There, I could honor my body and have an extra hour in bed when I needed it. I could cook a healthy meal and eat it in silence. I had more time to catch up on household matters, and it all helped to reduce my stress levels.
By comparison, office life can be exhausting and over-stimulating. Pretty much all the banks now want markets professionals in the office four or five days a week. In my job, I was juggling hundreds of Bloomberg chats, a constant Bloomberg feed with headlines, and endless posts from the economic team. It was very distracting, particularly when I was already exhausted. This contributed to my decision to leave. It's also why women enjoy homeworking more than men.
Olinda Lieto is a pseudonym
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