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Ep. 40: Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest and Chair of Ellevate, Inspires Women to "Own It"

“[Investing] is about feminism, because we still accept these old 1950s perspectives as truth and because money is power, and because this keeps us from being fully equal with men. If you don’t have that financial equality, you don’t have equality.” ​

As a woman who ascended to the highest ranks of Wall Street as CEO of Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch and Citi Private, Sallie Krawcheck has a tremendous amount of wisdom to impart. She shares life lessons in her new book Own It: The Power of Women at Work and explains why we have reason to be optimistic for the future. Sallie also talks about Ellevest, a platform she has developed to close the gender investment gap, as well as her global professional women's network, Ellevate. Listen for learnings on overcoming failure, seizing the power women already have, and "the most important career advice women aren't getting."

"I don't think we as women tend to recognize how much power we have. We don't have to act like men to be successful...we make companies better but somehow all of the advice is telling us to act like men.”

"We tend to think of success and failure as black and white, and we tend to think of them as endpoints. What has taken me a long time to recognize is that success is not an endpoint and failure is not fatal. These happen all day and I have had public success and super public failures. You can survive it...even being in the arena to fight is such a privilege."

What you'll learn:

  • Sallie is the author of Own It: The Power of Women At Work, which is out on January 17th.
  • She is the co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women.
  • She is chair of Ellevate Network and chair of the Packs Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund.
  • Sallie also led Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney and Citi Private as CEO.
  • Sallie's life mission is to help women reach their financial and professional goals.
  • Sallie wrote her book for two reasons: to help women not make the same mistakes she made, and because there are so many changes happening in business that are going to benefit women’s careers.
  • Women have the resources and skills to accelerate these changes.
  • An example of this change in technology is new sites where you can compare income and see how much money you should be asking for.
  • Another example is new websites where you can compare companies based on their maternity policy.
  • Women in the US control $5 trillion of investable assets and jointly control a further $6 trillion with partners.
  • Women are set to inherit 70% of the $40 trillion of assets over the next decades and already control 80% of all consumer spending.
  • Women are over half of the workforce and half of the population.
  • Ellevest was created to fill the gender investment gap.
  • Men tend to invest to a greater degree than women do, which can cost us millions of dollars over a lifetime.
  • The average age of an investment advisor is 50+ and they are nearly all male.
  • Sallie built an algorithm that took into account that women live longer, they reach their earning peak earlier, that they want tailored portfolios and about reaching goals.
  • Ellevest has no minimum investment amount.
  • Women are not more risk adverse than men, they are just more risk aware.
  • Investment is all about feminism because the things women accept within the investment world would not be excepted elsewhere; it’s a very 1970’s outlook.


  • Women have to be courageous and have the conversations at work about business culture.  For example, will this company allow me to be myself or do I have to act like a guy?
  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  • We tend to think of success and failures as a black and white decision and an end point.
  • Success isn’t an end point and failure isn’t fatal.
  • You can survive failure by realizing how fortunate we all are and how far we’ve come since our grandmothers.

Learn more:​