Sallie Krawcheck opens up about being sexually harassed on Wall Street

Former Wall Street executive Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO of women-led investment platform Ellevest, told Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous that we’re reaching a “tipping point” in addressing sexual misconduct and harassment in the workplace.

From Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Wall Street to Capitol Hill, stories of sexual harassment have come to light thanks to social media and the proliferation of media.

“Today what’s happening is it’s all going through social media, and women and men … are amplifying her voice, the voices of these women, supporting these women,” Krawcheck said. “And that’s a real difference from a few years ago where a woman who would make an accusation [and] the guy could be rehabilitated. The woman would be a pariah, and her career was over.”

Krawcheck opened up about her own experience with sexual harassment while working as a junior analyst at an investment bank.

Ellevest CEO and Wall Street legend Sallie Krawcheck at Yahoo Finance’s annual All Markets Summit on Wednesday.

“There were the — early in my career — the days I would come into the workplace, and there would be Xeroxed copies of genitalia — male genitalia — on my desk,” she said. “There would be times I’d be leaning over my desk and working on a problem and realize a man was pretending to perform a sex act on me.”

In another instance, a powerful man made a pass at Krawcheck.

“Wall Street, just as with Silicon Valley, just as with Hollywood, men in senior roles, lots of men in power, they sexualize that power and take out their anger on women,” Krawcheck said.

That same man who made a pass at her was offered a job at Citigroup when Krawcheck was the bank’s chief financial officer.

“I took my boss aside and said, ‘This guy is a creep, at least, and a predator, at best. And I don’t want to hire him.’ And the boss said, ‘Well, come on, come on.’ And I said, ‘You know what. Let me make this clear: If you hire him, I’m going to quit, and I’m going to tell everybody why,'” Krawcheck said. “This guy, who I’m sure doesn’t remember making the pass on me, I cost him tens of millions of dollars.”


Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo FinanceFollow her on Twitter.

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