Barbara Young discusses how she came into her career in private banking during the real estate boom of the 1980s and how she overcame the challenges that she faced as a woman in a heavily male-dominated field. This video is excerpted from a piece published on Real Vision on March 7, 2019.
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Opportune Start in Private Banking (w/ Barbara Young) | How I Got My Start in Finance
For the full transcript: https://rvtv.io/2UwXod9
On today’s “How I got My Start in Finance,” Barbara Young sits down with Real Vision’s Grant Williams to discuss the beginning of her career in the 1980s. Known as the golden girl of West Coast private banking, she talks about the challenges she overcame on her road to success.
Barbara, thank you for taking the time to come and chat with me.
Absolutely. It’s a pleasure.
It’s very, very kind of you. I know it’s a busy conference here at the TIGER 21 event in Boca, but I though it was a great chance for you and I to sit and talk and walk through your career because it’s an interesting story, and you’re one of a one of a minority in the finance industry. You know, women–
Unfortunately that’s true.
–are underrepresented. Yeah, exactly right. I’d love to, as I love to do with people, take you back to the beginning and talk about how you got into finance, whether it was an itch that you wanted to scratch when you were a kid or you just kind of found your way into it.
Oh, it was very definitely something I fell into. I came out of college being what was deemed to be overeducated and couldn’t type. So I had a difficult time finding a job, and banking looked appealing because I thought they worked 10:00 to 3:00 since that was banking hours back in the day. And I got a job working at a bank thinking that I really wanted to work with autistic children. So it was a really far cry from what I thought I would be doing.
But once you got on a path of actually being employed, it was very difficult to give up a paycheck and go back and do something else. And then I realized I really wanted to be a lawyer, but back in that time it was not common for women to be going to law school. So I really wanted my husband to go to law school, and he was not so thrilled about the thought of going to law school.
So I stayed working in banking, but I did get a masters in law, thinking that I would somehow migrate into that. I progressed so rapidly in the banking situation that it became even harder to leave and start something else. So then I decided I’d get an MBA, and that propelled me even further. And I happened to be deemed a golden girl and just progressed very rapidly and started actually the private bank at the institution I was with, which was unknown at the time, especially on the West Coast– very different from the East Coast. And that just propelled me. I just kind of got into that groove and never came out of it.
So back then, what was– now what are we talking here? What time frame are we talking here?
I started in the ’70s, so decades ago.
Yeah, but banking was– I guess you got into the private banking in the late ’70s.
So what was it like back then? Because obviously we all kind of a sense of it today, but it was very different.