How to Improve Gender Equality

Accepting the Challenge to go 50:50

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

I have been challenged by a senior woman in the derivatives industry to promote gender equality in my newsletter. For as much as I do to support women in the industry and in general, evidently I need to do more. Life is like that, you can always do more.

A story yesterday in the Washington Post about the media world featured a television anchor from the BBC who realized there were too many men, or men exclusively, on programs and not enough women. So this anchor decided to make it 50:50 for men and women appearing on his shows and this has turned into a global phenomenon.

“Hundreds of programs across the BBC and at other media organizations worldwide are replicating its success.”

I endorse this gender equality movement and pledge that JLN will try to live up to its 50:50 standards.

The first action I am taking is adding a session to the MarketsWiki Education series this summer so we can include more women and get to 50:50.

So far, four out of 15 people who have accepted invitations to speak are women. I have one outstanding invitation to another woman yet. But 5 of 16 is 31%, not 50%.

Suggestions for women to speak at our MarketsWiki Education event in Chicago are welcome. Email me at

Secondly, I am pledging not to participate on a panel discussion either as a participant or moderator unless it is 50:50 men to women.

Thirdly, John Lothian News is going to seek out women experts more and more as sources and interview subjects. The goal is 50:50. It will take a lot of work, but it is a worthy goal.

I know there is a lot more I can do, but these are my first steps.

When we look at the industry, and see mostly or only men at the top positions, we are under-performing. There is plenty of evidence that shows having women on boards improves company performance. There is evidence, including today in JLN, that women traders outperform men.

What would the performance of the CFTC look like if all the top staff positions were not held by men? What would the CME Group board, or Cboe or ICE board, look like if they were 50:50 women? What would the NFA board look like if it was 50:50 women? Those are places where we can start to make a difference too.

I challenge the industry to accept the goal of going 50:50.

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