Saturday, September 08, 2007

Kuwait Stock Exchange VS Women Traders

I was reading this article in the local daily Al Watan about some women traders opinions of the Women's section of the trading hall (actually, a separate second floor of the building) and what I read was a bit unnerving.

Apparently, of the many issues of concern, the women traders, like the decision to close down the women's section permanently, or according to the first interviewee in the article, are 'spoilt, inefficient and do not respect office hours or adherence to the work schedule.

Let's assume that this 'may' be true, and considering these "traderettes" are responsible for thousands and thousands of KD's worth of trades every trading minute, just like their male counterparts, i find it hard to believe that 'one person' can have these negative impressions from ALL the women traders on the floor.

For starters, allegedly, this interviewee has an opinion of all the women traders, and not a few or a particular trader. If that's true, why is she trading with all of them, and not a dedicated person? Past experience would suggest that she'd been turned away from a few, possibly do to some fault or accidental error, or simply a customer service issue.

Second, why has the reporter not interviewed the women traders and asked for their opinion? It's basic logic for any investigative report (as this article seems to me) to have both sides of the coin presented for the reader to surmise a conclusion.

Third, why is it that the only person criticizing the women traders in the article is presented first in the article's text, with no corroborating evidence from any other interviewee?

Fourth, with an increased emphasis on women's rights & equality within the job market, isn't it prudent for the reporter to highlight the importance of the role of women in a job that was predominantly-and globally-restricted to men, and how this is a very positive step for the Kuwaiti Government to take, and how to draw up plans to encourage and enhance this measure, instead of calling for the closure of the women's section of the KSE by another of the interviewees?

Fifth, and finally, based on who's who and some words on the grapevine, women traders are-in comparison-less prone to errors and mistakes, and are much more suited to serve customers on the trading floor than their male counterparts. I wonder if the same opinion presented by the first interviewee in the Al Watan article be the same if a male interviewee was asked to give his opinion.

I remember visiting the KSE a couple of times and seeing at a distance the women's section, compete with seating areas, a large ticker screen and around 11 or 12 women traders, all serving their clients. From what I gathered, they seemed to be working in a very quiet and professional atmosphere, efficiently and in an organized manner, supervised and properly monitored. I'm assuming that the Al Watan article was based on the opinion of a single disgruntled woman, with a grudge that won't go away and an over-inflated ego! I'm very interested in seeing any follow-up reports on this issue, hope to see some in the coming days.

One another note: Why is it that people always claim to be 'responsible' for what they say? Is it some sort of affirmation of their credibility? Why affirm your credibility if you're sure of what you're saying??


chikapappi said...

3ad women - shetsawee ba3ad :)

skunk said...

thats quite an interesting post.

firstly, theres a difference between a "trader" who is actively managing funds, either their own or someone elses,.... and a "stock broker" who simply takes the orders.

secondly, i've never dealt with a female broker but the system here is such that it really wouldnt make much difference if it was a man or woman taking my orders. all they do is give you the quotes on the market and click on buy or sell depending on what you say.

so mistakes only occur if the person is a complete imbecile, not if theyre male or female.

thirdly, a bad workman always blames their tools for their crappy performance. that single trader obviously blames the female brokers for her losses, and not herself. there is just as much complaining done by the men who lose money about male brokers.

my spoken arabic is worse than a 2 year olds, and alot of the male brokers dont speak much english, but in the 3 years i've been on the market i've never had a wrong order placed.

its good to see that its not only the arab times and kuwait times that suck at journalism :P