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A Logic Puzzle

There’s an old logic puzzle about a doctor who gets killed in a car crash. The doctor’s son, also in the car, is badly injured. He is taken to hospital. The doctor who walks into the room to examine him exclaims “Oh no! My son!”. How come?

I was recently talking to a young adviser. The conversation turned to the fact that they are looking for a change of job, and I offered to help. I put out a tweet asking if anyone might be interested in investing in this talented young adviser.

I received a number of replies. “Get him to call me.” “Where does this chap live?” “”Does he have any clients.” I found this hugely disappointing.

You see, the answer to the logic puzzle is quite simple, and also rather revealing. The doctor who examines the boy in the hospital is his mother.

The fact that this can even be a logic puzzle says so much about our world today. It reveals that even the most open minded, forward thinking people – a category in which I put all those who responded – still assumed that this adviser was male.

Given how few female advisers there are in the profession, it is easy to fall into the assumption that when one describes an ‘adviser’ one is automatically thinking of a man. But if this is the case, how are we ever going to encourage more women to become advisers? How are we going to break the cycle?

I’m not professing to have the answer to how we achieve this. It’s been an issue for as long as I can remember, and yet nothing has changed. Maybe, rather than just talking about it, we should start actually doing something. The question is, what?

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