NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Women in senior, mid-level, board roles at companies make them better, not a little bit, but a lot, says Sallie Krawcheck. She believes we bring terrific qualities to work, and have a ton of economic and financial power.
That's also the message of her new, and first book Own It. Don't know who Krawcheck is? You should.
She's widely considered one of the most successful women ever to work on Wall Street, holding C-level positions at Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.
When she first started on Wall Street, Krawcheck says, they were trying to run her out because she was a woman. Male co-workers actually left photocopies of their nether regions on her desk. It took her a minute to realize what the photocopies were, but that's where it started.
Today, Krawcheck is helping other women find their inner investor, coming back to the business world with her own startup, after being let go at Merrill Lynch five years ago.
Krawcheck is now the CEO & Co-Founder of Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women. In this country, she says, where we women control massive amounts of capital and direct so much consumer spending, we still don't have as much money individually as men do.
According to Krawcheck, we still retire with just 2/3 of the assets of men. That's particularly a problem because we live longer.
Ellevest is backed by nearly 20 million dollars in funding from investors including tennis great Venus Williams. It lets women put money in the markets with no minimums, setting target goals that make sense for them.
If you want to buy a house, they'll tell you how much you can afford. Want to have a baby? When? Want to retire? At what age?
Krawcheck says they ask women those kinds questions and then use an algorithm to figure out what they can afford, setting up a 'risk budget.'
Krawcheck says those types of investments are key to gender equality in our country. She strongly believes women won't be equal with men until we're financially equal.
Just look at our last election.
Krawcheck says 2016 made it clear that women have not made as much progress as we thought we were going to.
We thought we were going to have a woman in the White House and we don't.
We thought with all of the discussion around the advancement of women in business that we would actually have the advancement of women in business, but in fact, gender pay parity is 100, 150, 180 years off, Krawcheck says. It's even longer for women of color or women with disabilities.
That's a long way off.