Periodically, I get around to clearing off my desk and flattening out crumpled magazine clippings and saying, “Huh. Look at that.” Today: Marie Claire‘s Carrick Mollenkamp interviews Sallie Krawcheck, “[o]ne of Wall Street’s most powerful women” who “was ousted from her job running Bank of America’s wealth management division last fall.”
“Taking the Fall–Again: Sallie Krawcheck,” Marie Claire, May 2012
MC: Your career has been marked by early-morning starts and constant travel. Do you have regrets about how you raised your two children, now 18 and 15?
SK: Not really. I try not to spend too much time obsessing over what I can’t change. Long ago I came to the view that kids have two parents for a reason. When they were toddlers and screamed, “Mommy!” they meant a parent of either sex. My son was never disappointed when my husband [financier Gary Appel] entered the room. There was always someone there for the medium-important to very-important range of things–just not always for the not-important stuff. But when my daughter played Annie in Annie Jr. and there were four performances, I was there for four performances.
MC: Why do so few women make it to the top in finance?
SK: That’s a loaded question. The facts are that women are half the workforce. We have about 15 percent of the senior roles in corporate America–as CEOs, on executive committees, on boards. On Wall Street, that’s a low single digit. We are significantly underrepresented there. But if you look around Wall Street and corporate America, we’re putting women on diversity councils; we’re putting them in mentoring programs; we’re giving them special leadership training, telling them how to ask for promotions–but we are not promoting them. My goodness, we’re just making women busier. There needs to be a rethink about how to make them successful in these organizations.
MC: What should a woman working on Wall Street wear?
SK: You’re kidding me! I’ve never been asked that question before. Let me put it this way: I’ve thought a lot about the issue of stereotypes, particularly on Wall Street. I can’t count the number of times I have seen men slam something on a table, even throw something. You sort of do a mental eye roll and move on. I can count on one hand–on one finger–the number of tantrums I’ve seen a woman have. As she was having it, I remember thinking to myself, Bitch. So if I’m having that view, it’s hard to imagine that someone else isn’t having the same view. Women need to operate in narrower emotional channels than men. But it doesn’t mean you need to be an emotional soldier. Now to your question, what does one wear? Look to what your boss is wearing. If he or she dresses conservatively, do the same.