Former First Lady of Wall Street: ‘Unspoken secret’ to female success in a male-dominated industry is networking

Former First Lady of Wall Street: ‘Unspoken secret’ to female success in a male-dominated industry is networking

After spending most of her career not drawing attention to her gender, one of the highest-ranking women to have worked on Wall Street is heading up a networking platform ‘for women to invest in other women’.

Sallie Krawcheck, 48, tells New York Magazine that she bought 85 Broads, her global network of 30,000 ‘trailblazing women’ named after the former address of Goldman’s headquarters, because ‘networking is the unspoken key to success on Wall Street’.

‘For whatever reason,’ she claims, ‘people are more comfortable networking within their own gender.’

Ms Krawcheck, who lives with her husband and two children in a Park Avenue apartment, made her name as CEO of research firm Sanford C. Berstein, starring on the cover of Fortune in 2002 where she was described as Wall Street’s ‘last honest analyst’.

During a stellar career spanning more than two decades, she was thrown into a male-dominated cutthroat culture that, she says, had bank managers using a Marine Corps questionnaire as a guide to hiring and firing.

She admits to the magazine that, during this time, drawing attention to her gender was ‘not something I felt would be particularly helpful to me or the other women at the organization’. 

It wasn’t until she was pushed out of her job at Citi Bank in 2008, making a rare comeback when Bank of America hired her to run Merrill Lynch’s wealth-­management group, that she started to rethink this strategy.

She says that the ‘women’s issue kept popping up’ even more after the financial meltdown, when the already low number of women working in finance dropped even further.

Ms Krawcheck doesn’t believe that the men on Wall Street are purposely sexist, but explains that in times of fear they tend to stick to what is familiar.

She thinks that this type of insular worldview helped lead to the financial crisis, saying ‘I think the answer gets down to group-think with people who grew up together, with the same information, having the same conversations again and again and again.

After realizing that, ‘for whatever reason, people are more comfortable networking with their own gender’, Ms Krawcheck hopes that 85 Broads, a networking group for females ‘who passionately believe in using their intellect and ambition to change the game for all women globally’ will offer women a more level playing field. Read more…

Read the original article on New York Magazine

© Daily Mail/Catherine Townsend – © AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

 

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