Mar 12, 2019

Masters of Scale: Sallie Krawcheck on how the economy impacts employee diversity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sallie Krawcheck was one of the most senior women in the male-dominated world of Wall Street.

  • In today's Masters of Scale podcast Krawcheck, who now runs a digital investment platform for women called Ellevest, talks about how business embraces employee diversity in boom times and rejects it when things go south:
Did you know that for a long time after the financial crisis, diversity went backwards on Wall Street? And it's actually not unusual for industries that go through a period of crisis, where you circle the wagons. And what I saw was, “We'd love to promote this woman or this person of color, but we can't take the risk.” And so everybody reverts to their comfort, and uses that excuse, the fact that we're in the midst of this battle.

Why it matters: We're in the midst of a lengthy economic expansion, low unemployment and a record run for stocks. But there are plenty of economic storm clouds on the horizon and, if Krawcheck is correct, then Corporate America's push for greater employee diversity could already have peaked.

  • The same goes for Silicon Valley, where even the most socially-progressive companies are still overwhelmingly male and white.

Go deeper: Hear the episode.

Editor's note: Details of this podcast available exclusively to Axios readers first through a partnership with Masters of Scale.

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