As one of the highest ranked women ever to have worked on Wall Street (she’s been CEO of Smith Barney, CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and CFO of Citigroup, to name a few), it’s safe to say Sallie Krawcheck knows more than a thing or two about being a woman in the business world. She’s battled the boy’s club of the banking world and now the entrepreneur is committed to helping other women succeed in their professional lives. In the second half of her career, Krawcheck, the Co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, a digital investment platform designed to help women reach their financial goals, has often noted that “investing in women is simply smart business.” We agree. And Krawcheck puts her money where her mouth is as Chair of Ellevate Network, a professional networking community whose mission is to advance women in business.
In her new book, Own It: The Power of Women at Work (out on January 17), Krawcheck maps out a new career playbook for women, defining new rules for professional success that play to their strengths and build on the power they already have. It’s clear that playing by the old rules hasn’t gotten a woman into the White House, ended “locker room talk,” or banished the pay gap. So, what’s a working girl to do?
Sallie Krawcheck’s message in Own It (this year’s Lean In, we’re calling it right now) is optimistic. She reveals that it’s no longer about competing at the man’s version of the game or adhering to past notions of what it means to be a powerful leader. She teaches women how to invest in their inner strengths and bring them to the conference room table. When they do, she argues, they open doors to courageous conversations about self-worth, as well as create opportunities for non-traditional career paths.
We asked Sallie Krawcheck to give us a peek into her New York City home and tell us the books on her bookshelf that have shaped her in some way. Click on the white dots on each spine below to read her thoughts on each title, then pre-order a copy of Own It for your own office bookshelf.
The Downing Street Years by Margaret Thatcher
Long before the term “badass” became a compliment, Margaret Thatcher was a badass. And as I made my way up the corporate ladder on Wall Street, she was a real inspiration to me. Talk about being successful in a man’s world.
Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection by Debora L. Spar
I count Debora as a friend, and I’m a fan of this book. She points out that we women thought feminism would get us equality and instead we got a quest for endless perfection. It’s an eye-opener.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
The title says it all. This book explained a lot to me about why some of my peers were successful and some of the smarter ones…not so much. And I think it’s an important read as a mother.
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case
If anyone can give us a read on the future, it’s Steve Case, one of our country’s great entrepreneurs. The next wave of innovation will transform our lives.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
Ok, I’m a sucker for anything Malcolm Gladwell writes. Such great, digestible insights into human nature and, thus, into business.
Featured image: Courtesy of Sallie Krawcheck