She’s been called the “Queen of Wall Street” and the “Last Honest Analyst,” and if you talk to Sallie Krawcheck, it’s easy to see why.
Krawcheck was the Head of Global Wealth Management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch until she was pushed out in 2011. Before that, she was CFO at Citi Group, but had a fallout with its CEO over how to protect client money. She was eventually pushed out of Citi in 2008. Now Krawcheck runs Ellevate, a global women’s network.
But how did Sallie Krawcheck become one of the most powerful female executives in the country? Fusion’s Alicia Menendez sat down with Krawcheck to find out, and was shocked to learn about the work environment when Krawcheck first started on Wall Street in 1987.
“It was really awful for a while,” she told Menendez. “I was at my very first day of work and… a big fat guy comes by with a cigar and says, ‘What kind of f***ing discount maternity wear is that?'” Krawcheck said. She also recounted male colleagues putting Xeroxed copies of–as she puts it–their “parts” on her desk.
Despite the sexist working conditions, Krawcheck insisted she would succeed in the Wall Street boy’s club. She ultimately left investment banking to become a research analyst.
According to Krawcheck, Wall Street needs to look beyond the pipeline myth and take an active role in addressing its diversity problem. Krawcheck is taking the lead in this mission by investing in women’s leadership initiatives with her female-driven networking group, Ellevate.
Watch part 2 of our interview with Krawcheck:
CREDIT: Claudia Pou, Alicia Menendez, Cleo Stiller, Victoria Moreno