Sallie Krawcheck received a warm reception on Friday at the Raymond James Women’s Symposium (RJF) and kept her cool discussing Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s recent comment that women shouldn’t ask for a raise and instead should rely on “karma”.
“I’m beside myself,” she said, reflecting on Nadella’s statement, which he later retracted. “That’s what got us where we are, earning 78 cents on the dollar [earned by a man]. There’s the karma.”
Before she spoke to the crowd of 500-plus advisors and other guests, the former head of Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney’s brokerage groups said on Twitter, “[Asking for a raise is] the highest return investment she can make.”
This is because, when it comes to “the net present value of your future earnings, your best asset is yourself,” Krawcheck explained in her speech.
Many women retire with just two-thirds the wealth of men, and this means advisors should “talk to them about asking for a raise,” she added. “Advise [them] on finances, not just stocks and bonds … [and get them to] ask, to ask for the money.”
In addition, advisors—both male and female—can best work with female clients by “getting rid of complexity and letting them ask the questions they want to ask,” Krawcheck said.
According to Ellevate Network and Pax Ellevate, which she now chairs, women control about $20 trillion in investment dollars and represent some 9% of the world’s billionaires. They also are expected to inherit 70% of $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth globally over the next 40 years.
“Give clients the opportunity to ask questions, focus on risk management, or downside risk,” Krawcheck said. “Men see money as a river, while women see it as a pond. They think this is all they have, and most fear they could become a bag lady. Be more holistic, a concept I came to accept super late in my career.”
Some 90% of women, studies show, are interested in investing that has a social impact. “If you had talked to me about this at Merrill Lynch, I would have said, ‘Get out of my office,’” she joked. “Women say they are goals-based and invest in their values. They don’t just want to make money now and give it away later.”