Billionaire Female Financier Why Your Daughters Should Play Poker
Jenny Just, co-founder of Peak6 Investments, made a fortune in the high-risk world of options trading and did so against the odds in a male-dominated industry. Not much has changed.
It just says that in the early 90s she was on the Options Exchange floor of the Chicago Board, she was one of the few women. “It’s not much different today,” he said at the recent CNBC Disruptor 50 Summit.
Women are still very few in finance and fintech, she says, but adds: “There’s no reason why women shouldn’t be equal when it comes to giving money.”
But that’s not what she conquered the bottom of the CBOE, which she’s just looking at now as she wonders how to prepare girls for the professional world, where the chips are still stacked against them. It’s poker. And she accidentally came to card games as a form of education for girls.
Just’s daughter was losing a tennis match in 2019, during which it became clear that she was not strategizing on the court, learning how to perform based on analyzing the flow of the game and what would happen next. This led to trying to play poker with his daughter, her daughter’s friends and their mothers.
“From class 1 to class 4, the heavens opened,” he said. “It was magical.”
Just had his epiphany when the girls learn to play cards. “I’ve played poker my whole career, I just didn’t know it,” he said.
Capital distribution, for example, is a skill that poker can help improve, as chip allocation in a poker game is a form of capital distribution. Peak6 Investments’ internal program to empower women in finance has resulted in 36% of capital allocators being women, “an extraordinary number,” Just said, in a world of finance where even the biggest banks have A small portion of 4 to 5. Percentage of women in final monetary decision-making roles.
Some important lessons that poker can teach.
1. Practice taking risks
2. Having a top-down strategy approach
3. Having a seat at the table and becoming confident in it.
“In any industry, not just finance, the money on the table is incredibly important,” Just said. “Even in the smallest ways, coming to the table … the first lesson is about the courage to know how much it takes for a woman to sit at that table,” she said.
Table imbalance is where the world of poker echoes the world of business.
Just quoted there are about 100 million people in the world playing poker today and less than 10% of those players are women. “That poker table has a force field around it,” he said, and “this is a lot like a meeting room. … Learn to go to the table to overcome one obstacle to get to the next,” he said. .
After all, poker is about more than making money; each class focuses on a higher level mission. For Just, that mission is creating a safe environment for women to understand what it means to have a seat at the table and how that relates to conversations in conference meeting rooms and up to the boardroom.
Watch the full interview with Jenny Just from the Disruptor 50 Summit below.
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