While other little girls were fantasising about becoming doctors or lawyers, Alex Garrett dreamed of conquering the high powered world of Wall Street. Now she’s grown and determined to make it big in bond sales at Cromwell Pierce, one of the Streets most esteemed brokerage firms. Though she’s prepared to fight her way into an elitist boys club, she starts out small, relegated to a kiddie-size folding chair with her new moniker ‘Girlie’ inscribed in Wite-Out across the back.
Always keeping her eyes on the prize (and ignoring her friends pleas for her to quit), Alex quickly learns how to roll with the punches, rising from lowly analyst to slightly-less-than-lowly associate in no time. Suddenly she’s being addressed by her real name, and the boys club has transformed into forty older brothers... and one possible boyfriend. But then the apocalypse hits, and Alex is faced with the most difficult choice of her life: stick with Cromwell Pierce as it teeters on the brink of disaster... or to kick off her Jimmy Choos and go running for higher ground.
This book examines a woman’s place in the infamous boy’s club of Wall Street. Alex, the protagonist, is a feisty character who constantly challenges the sexist views of her colleagues, in particular her brusque (but loveable) boss Chick.
It takes Alex a while to establish her place on the team as she is only one of three women in total on the trading floor. She's treated like the office gofer: she fetches lunch orders for a team of over forty people, and does all of the jobs no one else can be bothered to do. The fact that she doesn’t have a desk, only a small metal chair with the name ‘Girlie’ written on the back, clearly highlights the sexist views of her male counterparts.
Alex works hard to prove her colleagues wrong and tries to become an integral part of the team. This is the part of the book where I really got involved. I had to admit that the first few chapters felt slightly like I was wading through treacle as I was waiting for the story to pick up the pace. And at this point it did.
Overall, even with the slow start, the book was highly enjoyable and managed a serious subject with humour and poise.