Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding

“As soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it," says hedge fund executive Paul Tudor Jones

Published May 23, 2013 9:06PM (EDT)

Paul Tudor Jones
Paul Tudor Jones

Billionaire hedge fund executive Paul Tudor Jones believes mothers don't make good traders because having babies and breast-feeding are focus and ambition "killers."

“Every single investment idea ... every desire to understand what is going to make this go up or go down is going to be overwhelmed by the most beautiful experience ... which a man will never share, about a mode of connection between that mother and that baby,” Jones told an audience at the University of Virginia, according to a video obtained by the Washington Post. “And I’ve just seen it happen over and over.”

Jones' analysis, naturally, makes no mention of how the demands of childcare and household management disproportionately fall to women, making the life-work balance a tightrope walk for many working mothers. Nor does he address how his field is a notorious boys club in which male executives overwhelmingly choose young male protégés to mentor and help advance through the ranks of global finance in place of their female colleagues, among other implicit and institutional barriers.

Instead, he blames it on lady brains. Because they're just different, you know?

Jones defended his remarks in a statement to the Washington Post, saying that he was speaking “off the cuff” and "only" in regards to global macro traders.

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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