Sallie Krawcheck, CEO & Co-Founder, Ellevest, gave a keynote focused on diversity – particularly gender diversity. One stat that stood out to me was that women-run companies perform 63% better than companies that are run by those with no diversity. Sallie shared her experience as a senior leader in one of the largest financial institutions where she was faced with gender discrimination and unconscious bias. This led her to start her own company, Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women.
Here are some experiences and advice Sallie shared:
- Sponsor and advocate for each other. Help promote women within the company, this will show the commitment as well as the diversity to the company culture. Sponsoring other women is a way in which to help mentor and advocate for their professional growth and development.
- Have hard conversations. If we want to have progress, we need to have those hard conversations and be the wedge.
- Bring a different perspective. Within a team of five, I’m the only female and I think that helped bring a different perspective on certain business strategies. I have learned a lot from my male colleagues and they have helped me get through the sea of suits.
- Be a devil’s advocate. Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you have an idea, bring it to the table, or challenge a person’s idea. Don’t be afraid to be a devil’s advocate because it very well could lead to better ideas.
- Look for mentors either within your company or outside your company. I have a couple of CREW Boston members that I seek advice from as well as my current boss. I also remember how my two previous managers (both female) at my former company helped me get through certain difficult times and how they presented themselves in large executive and board meetings.
I’ll end this post with some quotes from Sallie that were inspirational – especially for the advancement of women in the workplace.
- “Get more money for women by closing the gender investment gap”
- “If you invest in women, women invest in others, and the economy grows”
- “Innovation occurs when you have a clash of different ideas”
This post is part three in a four-part series by Melissa Desingco, business development manager in Neoscape’s Boston studio.
Image credit: CREW Network