7 Lessons We Can Take From Wall Street Women

Taken from here.

This week the Women On Wall Street Conference, hosted annually by Deutsche Bank since 1995, featured top executives from finance speaking on a range of issues including the state of finance, leadership, networking and the career climb. Notable speakers included Sharon Allen, the recently-retired chairman of the board of Deloitte, who said she was passed over for a promotion early in her career. When she went to her boss to find out why and listed all of her accomplishments, he told her, “I didn’t know you had done all those things.” Echoing a line often used by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Carolyn Buck-Luce, the moderator of the panel and the global life sciences sector leader at Ernst &Young, said women shouldn’t “leave before they leave.” That is, women shouldn’t take themselves out of the running for top assignments or opportunities even if they plan to leave to have kids or take time off to raise them.”

It was refreshing to hear so many prominent female leaders in the financial industry come forth as this has been a tough year for them in some ways. Sallie Krawcheck, arguably the most powerful woman on Wall Street in her role as head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch global wealth, stepped down in early September. Her departure has now made women on Wall Street in leadership positions an even rarer breed. In the U.S., women account for only 2.7% of the chief executives in the financial industry, and 16.8% of the executive officers, according to a study by Catalyst. Since the financial crisis in 2008, women at the top have been departing at a faster rate. The loss of women in leadership positions does make an impact on younger women in the industry. Wall Street has already experienced a profound loss of women from the industry in general in the last few years because of the environment being so male-dominated and the personal life sacrifices the job requires for less compensation than in previous years. But another reason is why a woman would stay when she has no role model at the top to look up to.

However, the women at this conference proved there are still plenty of good women on Wall Street. Katherine Garrett-Cox, a panelist and CEO of U.K.-based investment trust Alliance Trust, said: “There’s chatter that if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, perhaps it wouldn’t have unfolded.” Right on. Let’s take a look at some of the lessons we can learn from them courtesy of DealBook’s coverage of the conference.

Photo: Songquan Deng/Shutterstock.com

Slideshow here.

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