Sallie Krawcheck generated headlines shortly after the financial crisis hit because she asked her boss at Citigroup to pay some of their customers back the money they had lost. It didn’t go well and she was fired. After that, she ran Merrill Lynch for Bank of America, making her one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street. But then the CEO who hired her retired and she was let go soon after. At the time, she didn’t think her dismissal had anything to do with her gender.
But since then, she’s launched Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women where she is CEO, and written a new book, “Own It: The Power of Women at Work.” One of her conclusions is that yes, her gender did have something to do with the reason she was fired from Wall Street, even though her division was exceeding expectations. And the lack of gender diversity is one of the reasons why the financial crisis in 2008 happened in the first place. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Krawcheck about her book. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Kai Ryssdal: I’m going to repeat you, about yourself, from the book, about the about the middle of it or so: “I was an investment banker in my 20s, a research analyst in my 30s, a manager of complex wealth management businesses in my 40s, and now am an entrepreneur in my 50s.”
Sallie Krawcheck: Ooo, you had to say that last age, did you?
Ryssdal: Well, OK, so sorry. I do apologize. But that’s quite a track record in serious heavy-duty capitalism.
Krawcheck: Yeah, and I’ve loved every minute of it. And I believe that is the type of career path we’re going to see more of going forward. It will not be the “I started at X Y Z Co. at 22 and then I retired with the gold watch at 65.” I think it’s going to be much more “I did this, then I did this, then I did this.” Both because it’s interesting and fun, and our interests change over time, but really also because business is changing so swiftly that to have one type of a career for decades is not going to happen going forward.