Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Jane Fraser, who was named CEO of Citigroup on Thursday. REUTERS/Erin Scott

The first female big-bank CEO in U.S. history is a Scot who has triumphed in the world's most competitive arenas — Goldman Sachs, Harvard Business School, McKinsey, and now Citigroup, where she will become CEO in February.

The job that Jane Fraser says challenged her the most is among the most common in the world: Mom.

In her own words: "Being a mother of young children and having a career is the toughest thing I have ever had to do," she told an internal McKinsey interviewer after she left the consulting firm. 

  • Fraser talked of being "exhausted" and "guilty" despite being "blessed with a great partner in my husband who shares the responsibilities fully" — even though she officially worked only part-time while raising small children.
  • Fraser's husband, Alberto Piedra, quit his job as head of global banking at European bank Dresdner Kleinwort in order to support her career.

Driving the news: Fraser, currently CEO of global consumer banking at Citi, will succeed Michael Corbat as CEO of Citigroup in February.

  • She will be the first female CEO of a U.S. megabank.
  • Given that being on the "mommy track" used to disqualify women from such high office, her ascent and accomplishments are particularly noteworthy.

Between the lines: Fraser's mentor, Lowell Bryan, explained to the Financial Times what "part time" meant at McKinsey: When staying with Fraser and her husband, he would find her working on her computer in the kitchen at 3 a.m.

  • Working part-time at McKinsey was "tough," Fraser told CNN. ""You're seeing people who you've managed and you’ve brought into the firm then progressing faster than you."

The big picture: Fraser epitomizes a work-life balance problem that's present at the top levels of any industry — and one that has only been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Working mothers routinely juggle responsibilities and are — either directly or indirectly — punished for it at work.

The bottom line: "You cannot have it all," said Fraser in 2012. "Many things have had to give, personally and professionally."

Go deeper: Citi's Jane Fraser to become first female CEO of major bank

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 29, 2020 - World

Bushfire threatens Sydney homes as record heat wave hits Australia

A helicopter water-bombing a bushfire at Northmead in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday morning local time. Photo: Jenny Evans/Getty Images

Scores of bushfires are threatening parts of Australia during a record heat wave — including an out-of-control blaze that prompted evacuations in Sydney Sunday and another fire ravaging the popular Queensland tourist destination of Fraser Island.

Why it matters: New South Wales' fire chief Shane Fitzsimmons told Channel 9 Sunday it's the "worst day" for fires since last season's deadly "Black Summer" bushfires, when temperature records were broken across Australia — including in Sydney, which reported its hottest November night this weekend.

14 mins ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.