Women on Wall Street have 'gone backwards'

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Sallie Krawcheck, owner of 85 Broads and former Bank of America and Citigroup executive, spoke with Bloomberg Television's Stephanie Ruhle and Matt Miller earlier this week about women in executive roles and Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen's congressional testimony yesterday.

Here's some excerpts from the interview:

On women in banking, Krawcheck said: 'It's not that we have even gone sideways as we have in corporate America, we've gone backwards'.

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Sallie think about your meteoric rise on Wall Street and still we do not see a woman running a bank. We've got Janet Yellen running the Fed, we have Mary Barra running GM, Hillary Clinton could be the next president. What gives in banking ?

SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Well it's not that we have even gone sideways as we have in corporate America, we've gone backwards.

RUHLE: Why ?

KRAWCHECK: Why ? Because this is what happens during crises. And what I saw when I was on Wall Street is it's not, well let's get rid of people who are different from us because they've got cooties. It's more, yeah I know the numbers around diversity and the diversity adds to business results in theory, but we are in a crisis mode and I need that person who I can trust today.

RUHLE: But every bank, hold on -

MILLER: They'll have an African-American CEO, just hang on one second.

RUHLE: All right.

MILLER: They'll have an Indian-American; you know they understand the advantages of diversity it seems. Unless it comes to gender in which case it's off the table.

KRAWCHECK: Yeah. The numbers speak for themselves. And I don't know that it's off the table, but again, what I've seen a lot of is, I gotta have this person in this job because it's so important. And what we find and the research shows when we're under periods of stress, that person who you feel like, I see how that person can do the job, is typically someone who looks like you.

RUHLE: Well every bank out there has women on Wall Street, this diversity committee, this women's initiative. And all of them ask Sallie Krawcheck to be the keynote speaker at their million dollar conferences. Are they all a bunch of bull?

KRAWCHECK: I wouldn't go that far because I think there is a genuine understanding of the importance of diversity. Look when I think things are truly going to change is when we begin, when the industry begins to recognize the market opportunity in women. Women are, you know, responsible for 100% of the change in income over the past you know decade.

Women are going to college and graduating from college and graduate school at a greater rate than men. Women are starting businesses at a greater rate than men. And women are unhappy with the financial services industry.

You and I were talking earlier Stephanie; there is a stunning number which is that when women's husband's die and we women live longer than you gentleman I'm sorry to tell you.

RUHLE: Take that--

MILLER: I'm happy about that.

KRAWCHECK: There are a lot of reasons for it. But we women leave our financial advisors 70% of the time. 7-0.

MILLER: Because you're not happy with the job they're doing. And previously, I mean why wouldn't they have changed before their husband died ?

KRAWCHECK: Because the two of them have the financial advisor.

MILLER: Right.

KRAWCHECK: And what we've found when I've done a ton of research on this, is that she will feel like the two of them are talking to each other and she feels that she's outside that circle. So there's an enormous opportunity in financial services, speaking to and solving problems for women.

RUHLE: Let's talk about income parity. When you look at the challenges families face, Barbara Corcoran right on this set said to me, what's the issue women face, the fact that they have children. And I didn't want to accept that answer. But when I actually went home and thought about it, the older your kids get the more challenges they face. You and your spouse could look at one another and say, something's got to give here. Someone has to go home. And as long as women are making 70¢ to a man's dollar it's going to continue to be the woman. What do we do about that?

KRAWCHECK: Well you know you bring up an interesting point. And by the way, I did never get the memo that said it gets tougher as your kids get older. I sort of thought if I got through those infant and toddler years, here we go.

RUHLE: I'm going to give you some Spanish homework, it's hard.

KRAWCHECK: Oh my gosh it gets harder. But you know, it comes back to the same issue. When you have more women at the top, the gender pay disparity within companies compresses.

RUHLE: One more time ?

KRAWCHECK: When you have more women at the top of companies, the gender pay disparity within the company compresses.

MILLER: So it goes down from 30¢ to 20¢?

KRAWCHECK: To 20¢ to 15¢. So part of the way to solve it is to get more women to the top and help compress it.

MILLER: And Mary Barra by the way, at General Motors now getting about twice what her predecessor got. Of course she has been working in the industry for a lot longer than he ever was. She's a trained engineer and she's a total products fanatic, the way Dan Ackerson maybe wasn't. So it makes sense. Do you see that at the top, the same kind of disparity as you see in the ranks, with the foot soldiers?

KRAWCHECK: So look you're using an example. And one example is good.

MILLER: Yeah.

KRAWCHECK: And it's one example.

MILLER: No but I'm just saying, when you get to the C Suite, do you see the same kind of 70¢ on the dollar-

KRAWCHECK: You've got such a small sample.

MILLER: Right.

KRAWCHECK: Right ? So how do you compare this one to those five if there are not that many of them?

MILLER: Well people in the C Suite are comparing as much as they possibly can aren't they?

KRAWCHECK: Of course.

RUHLE: Can we talk about culture for a moment. Even if business-wise we are ready for women to lead and women to take charge are we actually ready for men to stay home? When I read the New York Times article about these women on Wall Street who now have stay-at-home husbands, I actually cringed for a moment.

I'm not proud that I cringed for a moment, but when I meet men at cocktail parties and they tell me they're stay-at-home husbands, I can watch their neck's tense up. Tense in a different way than women who say, guess what, I stay home and I have Soul Cycled 17 times this week. Are we ready for men to stay home ?

MILLER: Well when I tell women at parties that I want to be a stay-at-home husband, they tend to shy away.

(LAUGHTER)

MILLER: It doesn't, they're not coming in droves after they hear that.

RUHLE: When you date women, they want you to pay for everything ?

KRAWCHECK: Are you sure that's the reason ?

(LAUGHTER)

KRAWCHECK: I'm just asking. I don't know--

MILLER: I'll tell you what. No here's the truth and I'll be, I don't want to cause any -

RUHLE: We want the truth.

MILLER: When I date women they, even if they say they don't, of course, they expect me to buy dinner you know ? Of course on Valentine's Day I'm going to pay more money than a woman does.

RUHLE: You bring up a good point. I don't want my husband to buy me a gift with my money. I want it to be the money he made. I don't want to admit this out loud, but it's how I feel.

KRAWCHECK: Well and so in many ways, we continue to have these gender stereotypes. For us women we have in some cases for those who are fortunate, a number of choices. And a choice can be to go home and a choice can be to stay at work. But our society today is not yet as accepting of those choices for men.

And so you know look, if achieving the performance results that diversity indicate, the diversity research indicates exist were easy, it would be easy and we would do it.

MILLER: I wonder Sallie what the biological studies say about, look when I was in the hospital, my mom hung out with me. And guess what ? I wanted my mom to hang out with me. I love my dad too, but I needed my mother. And I wonder if children also need their moms.

RUHLE: There's a lot of a me Tarzan, you Jane. We grow up with men hunting, gathering and protecting. Are we ready as adults to say, I'm going to hunt, I'm going to gather. You watch my kids.

MILLER: As a species.

KRAWCHECK: OK but there are a couple of things. There's the day-to-day and then what we're talking about is the acute crisis. I had the same thing. When my son was in the hospital, you couldn't pull me out of that room. And my husband, anybody want a coffee ?

MILLER: Right.

KRAWCHECK: So I do think the acute though is different from the day-to-day. And we struggle to have that balance at home between couples.

MILLER: But you're programmed. A mother will kill for young right ?

To access the complete Bloomberg video hit the link immediately below:

Krawcheck: Women on Wall Street Have Gone Backwards 

Source: Bloomberg Television

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