Sallie Krawcheck: Going To An All-Girls School Was Tougher Than Working On Wall Street
3:30 pm, February 27th | by Meredith Lepore
In a new post for LinkedIn, Sallie Krawcheck, the former “Most Powerful Woman on Wall Street” said “Wall Street was never as tough as attending an all-girls middle school in the south.” Does anyone else sense a movie in the works? It could be Mean Girls meets Tales from the Boom Boom Room.
“One day, after some petty humiliation, I came home in tears. My mother sat me down and told me, in a voice that I thought of as her “telephone voice” (meaning, reserved for grown-ups), that I should ignore the girls; the only reason they were treating me poorly was because they were jealous of me. Therefore I should ignore the chattering crowds and set my own course.
In hindsight, of course, she wasn’t being fully truthful with me (ok, or at all truthful); looking back at my cringe-worthy school pictures, it’s hard to imagine that anyone was remotely jealous. But that message – along with the family mantra that “you can do anything you put your mind to” – made all the difference.”
Krawcheck said she took this advice to heart when she became an analyst on The Street and had to publish not-exactly-glowing recommendations for companies she covered. She wrote:
“I drew on it when senior executives of a couple of the companies I covered tried to have my boss fire me because they didn’t like the research. I drew on it when I was named Director of Research and we decided to take ourselves out of the investment banking business because we believed the client conflicts were too meaningful. And I drew on it in the recent market downturn, when my then-company and I disagreed on how to treat individual investors who had suffered investment losses from our products.”
As someone who also attended an all-girls school, I will say it does do a good job of preparing you for life, and middle school girls can be scarier than the angriest Wall Street banker (it’s all the mind games). Krawcheck had to learn how to speak up and stand up for herself, even if her words weren’t well-received. It’s a good lesson for everyone — not just girls’ school grads.