Women in financial services: fiction and more fiction
At the peak of the "new economy", the Swedish newspapers were reporting an interesting fact: women were entering financial services, joining not the old-fashioned occupational groups such as bank clerks, but the avant-garde: traders and analysts. This is accompanied by a growing interest of popular culture media in the phenomenon of women in finances. This paper analyzes their approach, beginning with a Swedish detective story "Star Crash", whose theme is a crash of the stock exchange and its impact on Stockholm world of finances. One of the main characters in the novel is a young woman analyst. A genre of detective story has its rules, and a dramatization of events and a demonization of characters belong to most prominent. Nevertheless the character thus created deserves attention, as its construction makes (often unintentional) use of the accessible cultural material. "The construction of the character" can be seen as highly significant as it reflects the received image of today's finances (inside and outside the finance circles). While there is no doubt of the fictitiousness of this character, the message (perhaps subliminal) is heavy: the world of finances is no place for women. Those who made it there, are "unnatural" – twice everything else the men are, especially the vice. While the novel contains many reflexive men, acutely aware of traps and dangers connected to this world, women, it seems, can only be the victims – and the perpetrators – in it. This view is further confirmed by ethnographic studies of women in finances and mass media reporting.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law