Sallie Krawcheck is the current CEO of Ellevest (a digital investment platform for women), is a former CFO and CEO at Citigroup and Merrill Lynch respectively, and is a self-described “financial feminist”. She speaks here to women, but this advice can be applied across the board to anyone who is marginalized in the workplace or wants to jumpstart their personal wealth. For Krawcheck, the best career advice no one is talking about is actually financial advice: invest. Make your money work while you do, so that you have more financial freedom to make confident decisions in your career: ask for a promotion, quit the job that doesn’t treat you well, or test your own business ideas. If you have money in the bank, you are free to play looser with your decisions. Men do it, and women should too. Remember this: “Ladies, we will not be equal with men until we are financially equal with men,” Krawcheck says. Her second piece of advice is to ask for more money from your very first job, and to plant the seeds of a 12-pronged pay-rise request far in advance. Twelve prongs? Yep. It will all makes sense once you hear out her incredible guide to negotiating a salary increase and closing the gender pay gap. Sallie Krawcheck is the author of Own It: The Power of Women at Work.
Own It: The Power of Women at Work. - Sallie Krawcheck
Sallie Krawcheck: So there is so much career advice for women. The best career advice that you are not getting is to invest.
“What? What? That has absolutely nothing to do with my performance on the job!” Yes, but it does have to do with having more money. And if you are investing to the same extent that the guys are, that will on average—and has historically—added to your wealth hundreds of thousands of dollars, for some women millions of dollars, over the course of their lives.
What happens when you’ve got more money? You can play looser, right? You can, with more confidence, go in, ask for that promotion, for that overseas assignment, quit that job you cannot stand because that boss is such a jerk. Start your own business, test your own business. The degrees of freedom when we’ve got more money are substantial. And I’ll even take it all the way to: it will also help us get to equality with men. That confidence in the workforce, that equality. Ladies, we will not be equal with men until we are financially equal with men. So the best career advice you’re not getting is to invest.
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A Wall Street Journal and Washington Post Bestseller, Own It is a new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism, offering women a new set of rules for professional success: one that plays to their strengths and builds on the power they already have.
Weren’t women supposed to have “arrived”? Perhaps with the nation’s first female President, equal pay on the horizon, true diversity in the workplace to come thereafter? Or, at least the end of “fat-shaming” and “locker room talk”?
Well, we aren’t quite there yet. But does that mean that progress for women in business has come to a screeching halt? It’s true that the old rules didn’t get us as far as we hoped. But we can go the distance, and we can close the gaps that still exist. We just need a new way.
In fact, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, says former Wall Street powerhouse-turned-entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck. That’s because the business world is changing fast –driven largely by technology - and it’s changing in ways that give us more power and opportunities than ever…and even more than we yet realize.
Success for professional women will no longer be about trying to compete at the men’s version of the game, she says. And it will no longer be about contorting ourselves to men’s expectations of how powerful people behave. Instead, it’s about embracing and investing in our innate strengths as women - and bringing them proudly and unapologetically, to work.
When we do, she says, we gain the power to advance in our careers in more natural ways. We gain the power to initiate courageous conversations in the workplace. We gain the power to forge non-traditional career paths; to leave companies that don’t respect our worth, and instead, go start our own. And we gain the power to invest our economic muscle in making our lives, and the world, better.
Here Krawcheck draws on her experiences at the highest levels of business, both as one of the few women at the top rungs of the biggest boy’s club in the world, and as an entrepreneur, to show women how to seize this seismic shift in power to take their careers to the next level.
This change is real, and it’s coming fast. It’s time to own it.