Not one for post-election posting here, but this LinkedIn piece by Sallie Krawcheck caught my eye. As a woman watching and weathering the campaign, and now the transition to a Trump presidency, I wanted to make sure as many women — and men — as possible saw it too.
Her premise that “Donald Trump as president of the United States could just be the best thing that has happened to professional women in a long time … huh? what?” is right in Krawcheck’s wheelhouse. She’s the CEO of Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women; chair of Ellevate Network, a global professional women’s network; and author of Own It: The Power of Women at Work, to be released in January. As she puts it,
“We’re awake now. That’s because it’s all out in the open: the Billy Bush conversation, the recent New York Times OpEd on “bro talk on Wall Street,” even the light sentence for Brock Turner. And while as a mother and an aunt, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it that we haven’t made more progress for younger women, this does represent an odd form of forward motion: We can’t really deal with an issue until we fully understand the issue.”
It’s a compelling piece and worth the read, whatever your gender or persuasion, political or otherwise. This new Trump era, ushered in by stepped-up conversations about the treatment of women, comes with “some proof that we can’t rely on others to fight this battle for us, and so we must redouble our efforts,” Krawcheck says. “… I’m hearing from more and more women that we must ‘put on our big-girl pants’ and do this ourselves..”
And it’s not like women don’t have the resources, she adds. “[W]e control $5 trillion of investable assets, we direct 80 percent of consumer spending, we’re more than half of the workforce. We’ve got a lot of power.”
Krawcheck’s list of what to do to claim and use that power is impressively detailed, and long. Just some of her many suggestions — some we’ve heard and written about, some we haven’t — include mentoring and sponsoring other women, amplifying what other women say in meetings, pointing out to others when they interrupt other women or ignore them in meetings, pointing out when the words they use to compliment men (“aggressive” or “go-getter”) are used to put down women and refusing to work at the company that doesn’t “get it” on making the work environment one in which you can be successful.
She also bangs the political drum some, post-election, suggesting women start donating to female candidates whose views line up with theirs, and start running for office and encourage other women to run for office.
And the financial-independence drum:
“[D]oing all that we can to be in financial control feels more important today than it did [before the election]. It’s important that we break the old gender norms of ‘the man manages the money; I manage the household.’ That leaves us retiring with two-thirds the money of men … but living five-plus years longer than they do. …
“[P]lease get yourself a financial plan and invest.”
All politics and election furor aside, Krawcheck gave me some serious things to think about. If any of this gets you thinking about new approaches to help the women in your organization claim their power and succeed, then all the better.