The Everyday Practices of Global Finance: Gender and Regulatory Politics of ‘Diversity’ – International Affairs – article

The Everyday Practices of Global Finance: Gender and Regulatory Politics of ‘Diversity’

Penny Griffin | International Affairs

2019-11-19

This article argues that practices of global finance provide a rich opportunity to consider gender’s embodiment in everyday, but highly regulatory, financial life. Tracing a pathway through the rise of the ‘diversity agenda’ in global finance in the wake of the global financial crisis, the article asks how ‘diversity’ has shaped the global financial services industry, and whether it has challenged the reproduction of gendered power in global finance. Recent, innovative feminist political economy work has laid out a clear challenge to researchers of the global political economy to explore how everyday practices have become significant sites of gendered, regulatory power, and this article takes up this challenge, analysing how the rise of ‘diversity’ in financial services reveals the crucial intersections of gendered power and everyday economic practices. Using a conceptual framework drawn explicitly from Marysia Zalewski’s work, this article advances critical inquiry into how gender has become an often unacknowledged way of writing the world of global finance, in ongoing, and problematic, ways. It proposes that the practices and futures of the diversity agenda in global finance provide a window into the persistent failure of global finance to reconfigure its foundational masculinism, and asks that financial actors begin to take seriously the foundational, gendered myths on which global finance has been built.

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