The Talent

April 19, 2012 3:45 PM

The Careerist: Women's Initiatives Are Big Distractions

Posted by Vivia Chen

You remember Sallie Krawcheck, right? She was a perennial on those list of "most powerful women on Wall Street"—until she wasn't. Last fall she was fired from her post as the president of global wealth and investment management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, adding to the stockpile of high-profile female executives who have gotten axed in recent years.

In an upcoming issue of Marie Claire (yes, a fashion magazine, not a business journal!), Krawcheck talks about being one of the few top women on Wall Street. To me, she's refreshingly frank.

On the subject of regrets, for instance, Krawcheck says: "There are always things you would do differently. I'm a female—it's a very female characteristic to think through issues again and again." And on work/life balance, she says: "Choose your husband carefully."

But it's her response about the dearth of women in high finance that's bound to get some people upset:

If you look around Wall Street and corporate America, we're putting women on diversity councils; we're putting them in mentoring programs; we're giving them special leadership training, telling them how to ask for promotions—but we are not promoting them. My goodness, we're just making women busier.

Just when women thought they've finally found the elixir to success, Krawcheck is telling us we've been sold snake oil!

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