Wall Street is famously full of dudes.
And movies about Wall Street are too. They tend to include hectic scenes on trading floors, charged dialogue about money and greed. In these movies, women—when they’re present at all—tend to be lower-ranking deputies or assistants, or, more often, wives, girlfriends, or love interests. According to statistics compiled by the financial-services firm PwC, women actually make up 60 percent of the employees in its industry worldwide—and yet only 19 percent make it to leadership roles and a mere 2 percent become CEOs.
That’s why Equity is so refreshing. The movie, which Rolling Stone dubbed “The She-Wolf of Wall Street,” is an exploration of successful, driven women in finance. It features Anna Gunn, Alysia Reiner, and Sarah Megan Thomas as powerful financiers who are upfront about their ambition and love of money. A female-driven Wall Street movie is a rarity, and Equity boasts an all-female creative team as well—from its director, Meera Menon, to its production company, Broad Street Pictures, which Reiner and Thomas co-founded.
At its core, Equity is a fictional corporate thriller in the vein of Margin Call. It follows Naomi Bishop, an ambitious and aggressive senior investment banker working on a series of Silicon Valley IPOs in hopes of becoming the head of her division. But the film also touches on the issues women face on Wall Street with bosses, clients, and each other. Below, Atlantic editors Gillian White and Bourree Lam talk about the film and its relevance to issues women face in the workplace, and working in the finance industry specifically.