Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck on women in power

- August 26 is Women's Equality Day celebrating the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. So how far have we come and how far do we still have to go?

You can say what you want about putting a woman in the White House, but we still have a lot of work to do getting women into the C-suite and in other positions of power at work. That is costing us big time.

Sallie Krawcheck, one of the most powerful women ever to work on Wall Street, says that money is power in a capitalist society. And today in America, men still have quite a bit more money than women.

Sallie says just look at the gender pay gap. You can adjust for anything you want to, but men still make more money than women.

She also points out the gender work achievement gap. Women don't become as senior as men do -- and that costs them.

Sallie says that women also take more career breaks than men, also costing us money.

The gender investing gap is what inspired Sallie to start Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women. She says women are losing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars over the course of their lives because they don't invest as much as men.

And while we may not have as much money as men, women still have plenty to invest. Sallie says we control $5 trillion in investable assets, we direct 80 percent of consumer spending, and we're more than half the workforce. That is a lot of spending power.

At the start of the summer, the Fortune 500 list had a record number of female CEOs. Don't get too excited. Just 32 women are on the list.

But with Yahoo's Marissa Mayer and Avon's Sheri McCoy stepping down, the business world seems to be moving backward.

Sallie says more people believe that we'll see time travel in our lives than we'll see an equal balance of male and female CEOs. And if this pattern continues, they might be right.

How about that Google employee who said that women were less suited to be engineers and called Google's diversity efforts counter-productive?

Sallie believes the opposite is true: that if Silicon Valley and Wall Street had more women, we'd all be better off. Studies show, she says, that diverse leadership drives better business results, better stock-market performance, better client engagement, and greater innovation.

Sallie was on Wall Street during the financial crisis. She says one of the few people she heard questioning the subprime products the banks were selling was a woman.

Sallie's advice for working women today? Keep questioning, keep fighting our way up the ranks where you work, and if your money is buried in a bank account you need to invest it.

Sallie was also a guest on my podcast. We talked more about her time on Wall Street. She had some mind-blowing stories.

Check out Morris on Money with Alison Morris, part of the Fox 5 Podcast Network.

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