I loved listeing to this interview with Sallie Krawcheck so much. I have been following Sallie’s career for years, and I had no idea I was going to see her in person until I showed up for the Forbes Executive Women’s Forum for a speaking engagement, and there she was, speaking right before I did. She was mesmerizing: Funny, authentic, quick on her toes and gorgeous.

But I most love her for her honesty. Everyone does. Even the Citigroup board of directors. It’s how she got her job. The short history of Sallie is that she was an analyst on Wall Street and when the analysts started compromising ethics during the dotcom boom she was one of the most high-profile analysts who didn’t, so her career went into super-high gear during the dotcom fallout. Now she is CEO of Citigroup’s Global Wealth Management. She’s the highest ranking woman in finance.

[Editorial note: I didn’t conduct this interview – questions came from Forbes editor Elizabeth MacDonald and an audience of about sixty people. I edited the interview below, and changed questions. I was the audience member who asked the question about stay-at-home dads.]

What is a good first job for someone who wants to run their own company?
I tell all young people to become an analyst after school. You pull out bits of information and put together a picture. Sometimes it looks like a dog or sometimes a cake. Then you make decisions with imperfect information. And when you get another piece, you say oh it’s not a cake. So its practice making decision with imperfect information. This is what you do as a CEO every day.

Why aren’t women at the top of companies?
There is something about women getting tired. They get to be thirty and they get tired. Add up all the time that you are not with the kids and not working but you are doing hair and makeup while your husband sleeps. It’s two-and-a-half hours a week. It drags you down. Also, women are not able to express anger at work because it reflects negatively on women. This makes women tired, too.

I have a stay-at-home husband and it’s a train wreck. How do you work that out in your house?
I had a stay-at-home husband and he went back to work. My first husband could not get over it and I had to choose another husband. I would come home from a meeting and I’d say sorry I’m late and he’d roll his eyes. As soon as you get the eye roll you have a problem And in fact, he was having an affair. That was a waste of four good years, and I was cute then, too; I should have dated a lot more men than I did. I got a much better husband the second time around because I had had practice making decisions with imperfect information.

How do you handle leaving the kids when you travel?
The thing with the kids is to show no fear. If you show fear, they can smell it. Say, “I love you and I can’t wait to see you, but I love my work.” I cry when I close the door. I went to China for two weeks. The kids were okay; I bribed them. I waited to tell my daughter until I took her to the American Idol concert.

What’s your approach to work/life balance?
When women get up there and talk to you about work life balance, they are lying to you. I work all the time. I sent 220 emails last weekend. The last time I went out for drinks on a weekday like Sex in the City was when I was twenty-two. This is not a bitter comment. It’s a choice.

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  1. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    What a great no-nonsense view of the world! Thanks, P, for sharing this.

    "Add up all the time that you are not with the kids and not working but you are doing hair and makeup while your husband sleeps."

    This, of course, gets her my ovation.

    My first post-MBA job in brand marketing in a cosmetics firm last just 3 months. I could not flog what I did not believe in..

    I have never really understood the need to put on a "face", when one has a perfectly good one to start with. I do not see men wearing lipstick or touching up their mascara on their loo trips! Why do women have to do this and also in the process spend 1000s of pounds over their lifetime buying, replacing, exchanging products, and all the time one could sleep, read, run or do other stuff?

    At any rate, makeup only hides the truth about our faces, it does not change it and make us all into Meryl Streep, does it? Why lie to yourself all day and then additionally, have to cleanse before bed??

    * * * * * *

    Women put on makeup to go to work becuase you need to do that to succeed in corporate life. There are studies that show that people do not think women are serious about work unless they have a bit of makeup on. What is the point of fighting this? We have many fights in the world, this is no one worth the time, if you are also spending your time climbing the corproate ladder.

    Here’s some research on this topic:
    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2006/07/25/the-art-of-playing-the-sex-kitten-card-at-work/

    -Penelope

  2. Recruiting Animal
    Recruiting Animal says:

    Great short interview. Sallie said that she “was” cute but in fact from the pictures I’ve seen she is still very good looking and I have to admit that this was the first thing I noticed about her.

    The complaints about her husband rolling his eyes did bug me a bit. Because that’s what stay at home women do too with their hard working husbands. And in that case most women seen to take sides against the husband. And you can’t play it both ways.

    The recommendation to become an analyst was interesting. The ability to quickly organize the facts you have supports the the ability to make decisions based on incomplete information. (And I would have liked to hear her expand on the increase in her decision-making skills).

    I also liked the part about parents showing no fear. I remember when I was about 3 or 4 I was afraid of a spider beside the front stairs. My mother just came out and stuck her finger in the web and moved it away. I don’t think that she was afraid of the spider but if she was, that was still the right thing to do.

  3. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    As a journalist, I too am intrigued by the recommendation to become an analyst. Analysis and journalism are different jobs but her description of being an analyst is very similar to how I would describe being a journalist, except that journalists also need a good writing style.

  4. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    @ Recruiting Animal:

    Hi. I have not followed your link but I guess from your handle you are a headhunter or a recruiter.

    Would you not say that most men, who are tremendously successful, actually manage to work hard at it because they do NOT have wives at home who roll their eyes at late hours, weekend working, and missing the ‘parenting’ shifts?

    This is my observation and experience anyway – no married man can deliver at his work place, if he has a wife like The Devil Incarnate. A stable, peaceful and supportive home life – usually enabled in case of Alpha-male execs by their stay-at-home or part-time-working wives – is essential to most regular human beings for them to be ace performers at work, is it not?

  5. tim
    tim says:

    When I read about stay-at-home husbands screwing up marriages, I just don't get it. I mean, I would love to be a stay-at-home dad/husband.

    I mean, if you're not comfortable not being the "bread-winning" person, then you shouldn't get into a setup like that in the first place.

    For me, what I'm interested in is primarily open source web development and nurturing my writing abilities, both of which work just fine out of a home. They're also things you can think on throughout the day while taking care of the house/kids/etc, then sitting down for two hours and getting have some real productive time.

    Not being the main "bread-winner" doesn't mean you aren't an equal member in the relationship..

    I don't know, I just don't get these guys. They're messing up a good thing.

    * * * * * * *

    Hi, Tim. Being a stay-at-home dad is a very complicated, difficult role in our society, even for people who love it. I write about this topic a lot, and do a lot of reaerch on it, and I have found that people who think it’s a no-brainer are the people who are not involved in a family who is doing it.

    Here are a couple of posts I”ve written about the complicated decisions being a stay-at-home dad requires:

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2006/08/29/the-new-stay-at-home-dad-paves-new-paths-for-moms/

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2007/07/20/my-own-marriage-and-the-myth-of-the-stay-at-home-dad/

    –Penelope

  6. tim
    tim says:

    @Penelope

    Thanks for the links. Looking at my comment, I can see how I made it sound like a no-brainer, which I know it’s not. I have a buddy who does it, and it is definitely no walk in the park.

    What I was doing a poor job of articulating is that it’s a shame you don’t here more of the success stories, that’s all. Maybe I’m not subscribed to the correct news feeds for that though. :)

  7. Tim
    Tim says:

    Good dose of Reality:
    "When women get up there and talk to you about work life balance, they are lying to you. I work all the time"

    It goes for men as well.

    As a parent, this line chilled me to the bone:
    "I love you and I can't wait to see you, but I love my work." Gives a mixed message on priorities. Well, as she said, and she's right on this: "It's a choice."

    * * * * * * *

    Yep, such a good point that it applies to men as well.

    –Penelope

  8. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    “What is the point of fighting this?”

    Penelope, I suppose there is no point fighting anything.

    I remember your interview from Guy Kawasaki’s blog where you said if there is sexual harassment at the workplace, remember laws do not exist to protect you; they exist to protect the employer. So do not fight it; move on.

    I agree with that. Fortunately I have never had to test this!

    I will read the sex kitten advice a bit later; but frankly what is the point of anything in life really, if all we need to do to get ahead is to flaunt ourselves as sexual beings?

    What is the point of our education, if we win by wearing makeup as it is apparently critical?

    I know your views on this differ from mine. But I think this is every bit a part of one’s personality.

    An advantage of working with mostly-male teams and clients is that they do not notice this as much as other women do;

    What is really the point of anything in life?

  9. Caitlin Weaver
    Caitlin Weaver says:

    This is such a great interview, thanks Penelope! I think Sallie Krawcheck is one of the few women who is honest about the work/life balance issue. When I started my job at an investment bank Sallie was the CFO and she to spoke to our training class. She told us about all the times she missed parent-teacher conferences and dinner dates with her husband. She said that she was forced to choose between being a great CFO and being a great wife and mother. She chose her job and she doesn't apologize for it.

    It’s a myth that women can have it all. I’m glad to see Sallie telling the truth and glad to see you giving her props for telling the truth. I think a lot of women have a rude awakening, especially after going to graduate school. I wrote about this in my blog, too. http://caitlinweaver.blog.com/2067797/

  10. Matt Bingham
    Matt Bingham says:

    @Shefaly,

    What an existential post – and not that I want to turn this into a “why are we here” post but I must comment. Life is what you make it – period. You get screwed at work you can either live with it, leave or try and fix it. Also, life is choices – choices are driven by personal needs, wants and desires. Look at Sallie’s comment about Work/Life balance. It’s a choice of hers to work the way she does. Maybe her goal in life is to give her kids opportunities that she didn’t. Maybe it’s not – the point is that this interview gives us a good look into the reality of it all.

  11. Recruiting Animal
    Recruiting Animal says:

    @Shefaly

    You asked if I agree that “tremendously successful” owe their success to a wife who handles the homefront without complaint.

    It sounds reasonable. And then some of these guys marry the secretary. Isn’t that what happened with Jack Welch?

    But I know woman who worked in a major law firm who was downtown at around 7.30 every morning and came home around 8pm ever night and complained about her “three kids” moaning about it (but she only had two sons and no daughters).

  12. Fati Erdogan
    Fati Erdogan says:

    Great questions and answers!

    I had never thought about women “feeling tired” after 30ies. I think she is right. Most female friends in mid 30ies that I know of are all complaining about being tired at the end of the day…and that they plan on quitting either after getting married or at age 40.

  13. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    Oh my God, yes. The whole hair and make-up business is so much “wasted” time. And you don’t get any sympathy from men about it. Not even if you have horrible facial scarring (Never mind the fact that I’m treated like a different person when I wear make-up. “No, of course I only wear make-up because I think men like pretty colors. Thank you so much for enlightening me; now it all makes sense why there’s no detectable change in how the world treats me when I make the effort.”

    When I “get all prettied up”, I get better service in stores, more respect for my opinions, friendlier treatment from my peers, and compliments from my boyfriend. All that is worth it. What’s a waste is the complete failure of any man to recognize what a huge difference a little face-paint makes in my life.

    As for the women who would disagree with me, try going two weeks with lightly done, realistic make-up. Then go without. I’d be shocked if you didn’t experience a palpable difference.

  14. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    “She said that she was forced to choose between being a great CFO and being a great wife and mother. She chose her job and she doesn't apologize for it.”

    She should–first to her children and secondly to her mate at that time.

    No one needs a career. But children need their mother and spouses need their mates. She made some very selfish decisions.

    • ACC
      ACC says:

      “No one needs a career” may be the most presumptuous and ludicrous statement ever posted. Some people need a career more than they need anything else. Unfortunately, far too many people don’t realize that until after they have kids and are expected to give it up. Often those who do end up making everyone around them so miserable that the kids wish mom would return to work just to give them a break.

  15. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    @ Matt Bingham

    “Life is what you make it – period”

    Thanks. Exactly my point too. But when collectively my entire gender makes a choice to don war-paint, then of course I live with the consequences.

    In my case there have not been many negative ones, which is what I pointed out is a great advantage of working with mostly men and it helps to be one of the ‘blokes’ rather than the distracting sex kitten of sorts… The spouses do not feel threatened either! Out-of-work networking is not hindered but in fact enhanced, because once they see you as a human, not just as a gender, they take it on board some of your likes and dislikes too.

    So there *is* another way, but if the collective chooses otherwise, then life is a tad harder for being different. But no regrets.

    @ Recruiting Animal:

    “And then some of these guys marry the secretary. Isn't that what happened with Jack Welch?”

    I think Jack Welch’s first wife left him due to his workalohism; the second gave up a career in law and then of course took him to the cleaners in the divorce proceedings. He married an HBR hack.

    I cannot comment on their specific case of course, but I can see how some may mistakenly equate being at home with letting oneself go. I believe that is where trouble can start to brew…

    At the golf club, I have watched many stay-at-home wives of hedge funds and private equity guys, who manage their portfolios (always lots of children!) of children but are fiercely independent women with full lives of their own and interesting personalities. They I think carve their territories and both husband and wife excel at their own chosen ones..

    For the lady lawyer, I would say Matt and Penelope and Sallie are right; it is the choices we make.

    I do however think that it is when others start to intervene and judge us for them, that one could start being confused depending on how thick one’s skin is. But isn’t that thick skin also a necessary evil for success?

    Thanks for your note.

  16. Caitlin Weaver
    Caitlin Weaver says:

    In response to Kathryn, Sallie doesn’t owe anyone an apology. People do need careers. The irony, of course, is that we need them to be able to financially care of our families, but then they take us away from our families. And we also need them to feel valued in a society that places so much emphasis on “What do you do?”. Or do you mean that women don’t need careers…?

  17. Brian Johnson
    Brian Johnson says:

    It’s really disappointing that we now praise people for their candor even when that honesty reveals a negligent parent or other poor decisions. So who’s heling the kids w/their homework or taking them to the zoo or playing w/them while she’s sending 220 emails on the weekend? If your going to criticize Jeff Immelt as a parent for working 100 hour weeks then a spade is a spade. And for what – banking?? At least make a meaningful contribution to society and help others if you’re going to put your kids on the backburner.

    I know admittedly little about this woman but I hope there’s more to her than bragging about blowing off her kids on the weekend.
    * * * * * * *

    Yeah, good point, Brian.

    The post Brian is referring to is the one where I rant about CEOs who don’t spend time with their kids. Here is that post:
    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2007/06/20/hold-ceos-accountable-for-their-bad-parenting/

    What I like about this interview is that before we can have an honest discussion about what is okay to do with kids and what isn’t, we have to have high-level executives admitting that they give up parenting.

    Instead, we have conference after conference of women talking on panels about how they achieve balance between their kids and their high-powered job. I think that most of that is a load of BS, mostly because I have never worked with a woman who I thought was doing it, and I have never been able to do it myself. So that Sallie will stand up in front of 60 high-powered women and say their work/life balance delusions are crap really makes me happy. It’s a starting point.

    I don’t have great answers for this problem. But I have great questions, and Sallie answers questions honestly. I like that.

    -Penelope

  18. Jane
    Jane says:

    I certainly respect her achievements. And love that she traded up husbands. I mean, I’m not happy when a marriage fails, but so often you hear about the man trading in the old for a newer model. How refreshing to see the shoe on the other foot.

    That said, WTF??? What do cosmopolitans with the girls at happy hour have to do with work/life balance. Way to trivialize a serious issue.

  19. Dave
    Dave says:

    Interesting…but my gut reaction is that her advice is not really very useful to anyone but herself. Her responses are very traditional and masculine sounding. She has a life and she considers it a success, but many wouldn’t chose to live the way she does.

  20. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    “People do need careers. The irony, of course, is that we need them to be able to financially care of our families”

    Not true of course. What one needs is a -job-. Children are flexible when it comes to material possessions, but what they’re not flexible on is the need for parental attention — and most often on their own terms.

    Bully for her in accomplishing a tough goal. But she made some selfish decisions along the way.

  21. Joy
    Joy says:

    Her comments about being an analyst are short-sighted and a bit self-congratulatory. “I was an analyst so everyone else should start that way too!”

    I had no idea that being an analyst was the only way to learn to make good decisions with limited information. Social workers, teachers, and farmers are experts at this skill, to name a few. No need to sell your soul (and your kids) on Wall Street to be a good decision maker.

  22. andrew
    andrew says:

    when Sallie is dead and gone will it really matter that she was CFO of Citigroup? who will care? if it were not her it would have been someone else, and in that level of performance the difference in results might be negligible.

    however, no one is going to step in and raise her children and people will care very much what kind of parent she was. she should not have to choose between children and career, but the way she flippantly describes her choices in this interview is reckless.

  23. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    Kathryn, prepared to be shocked! I don’t notice much difference between the way people treat me when I wear lightly done, realistic makeup and no makeup at all. Some days I wear no makeup to work, while other days I wear a little eyeliner and some lipstick and that’s all. There’s no discernable difference with the way people treat me, it’s more about what I see in the mirror.

    If my hair is clean and neat and I am wearing smart clothes, then people take me seriously as a professional, regardless of the makeup. Or at least there’s no noticeable difference to me.

    I generally only go the whole hog with foundation etc if I want to look really good – either for special occasions in my personal life, or for job interviews or other occasions where the first impression really counts.

  24. MarilynJean
    MarilynJean says:

    Oh my. It never fails. You highlight a powerful woman and people come out of the woodwork crying, “What about the kids????” And we’re having discussions about hair and makeup. Even Penelope managed to make a comment about Sallie’s appearance. We never talk about men’s appearance in the same way. Ever. (And the whole thing about wearing makeup is a load of BS. Regardless of your eyeshadow if you are fat, old, wearing a hijab, in a wheelchair, a person of color or any other easily identified minority, you are still going to be subject to the biased treatment that stems from prejudice and stereotypes. And yes, I wear makeup practically everyday but certainly not for preferential treatment.)

    I never ceased to be amazed and amused at the way women are critcized for doing exactly what men are celebrated for achieving. I agree with Penelope, Sallie’s honesty is to be applauded. She decided (for whatever reasons) to be get married and have children. Men constantly “obtain” wives and children as if they are mere status symbols all the time. If her husband is the primary caretaker, then so be it. Women should not be the only people responsible for nurturing and raising children.

    I would not call her selfish and people DO need careers. Jobs are what people do to earn a paycheck. If you believe people don’t need careers, then I don’t see why bother reading the Brazen Careerist.

    I would not begin to question her ability as a parent because for all the missed PTA meetings I’m sure her children also enjoy the privileges that come with have a mother is who the most powerful woman in finance. Not that money is everything…

    (Oh and kudos to Brian Johnson for pointing out the parallels between Sallie and Jeff Immelt. Spade indeed.)

  25. Joselle
    Joselle says:

    This statement by Sallie Krawcheck is what made the biggest impression on me: “Also, women are not able to express anger at work because it reflects negatively on women. This makes women tired, too.”

    Anger and work is so crucial but rarely talked about, especially regarding women. Suppressing anger and other negative emotions and not having a visceral outlet for it through exercise or sports is the real cause of fatigue and–what I hear underlying Krawcheck’s statement– depression. Because this woman is too busy working, raising kids, being a wife, putting on makeup, and only going to the gym so she doesn’t get fat (as opposed to just for letting off steam).

    Krawcheck’s work life doesn’t suit my temperament and desires but I find her comments really refreshing and ultimately more healthy than that old superwoman myth. I also like the whole bribery angle. A little bribery with kids is a good thing! My mother worked full-time my whole life and still does. As a nurse, she often had erratic hours and wasn’t always there for holidays and birthdays. But I don’t feel damaged by that whatsoever. Many kids are resilient and are really more damaged by other things (perhaps by an overprotective or smothering parent or an unreliable one). They understand that work is work, just like school is school. And they deal.

  26. Alan
    Alan says:

    Sallie doesn’t impress me at all. I’ve been reading this blog for about 9 months or so, and I’m surprised that Penelope would place such an interview on her blog. It goes against everything Penelope has been advocating. All the stuff Sallie blabs about is the same standard nonsense we’ve been hearing for years from the media.

    * * * * * * *

    Oh, I love this coment, Alan. First, I love that you know it goes against what I advocate. It’s true. I admit to being fascinated by her candor, though. I know a lot of people who ignore their kids in favor of work. I don’t know a lot who admit to it so candidly.

    Also, I think it’s good for my blog if I can present another point of view that is interesting. I think she is interesting becuase she is so straightforward about having no life. It’s a good lesson for people who think maybe they can have everything.

    Sometimes I wonder myself if I should work more hours, spend less time with kids. I confess to worrying all the time that I am better suited to run companies than run households.

    I think I ran this interview with Sallie because I struggle so much to not get sucked into corporate life. It’s so much easier than being home with kids. But seeing Sallie makes it clear to me that I don’t want to be her. I need that as a reference point. A reminder.

    So, Alan. Thanks for challenging me on why I ran this in the first place. I like that you make me think harder about it all.

    –Penelope

  27. Steve
    Steve says:

    The struggle of work vs. family and the sacrafices necessary to get to the top aren’t breaking news to the men. Being very sucessful in any endeavor is seldom a 40 hour or less per week commitment. Many times success requires a 40 hour or more week, plus ongoing career education, plus career related socializing. Just earning a living wage these days typically requires one to work very hard, with some overtime. The top earners don’t just have careers, they have lifestyles. As Sallie pointed out, she pretty much works all the time she isn’t sleeping, and sleep itself probably gets short shrift. Especially now, business no longer cares if you’re male, female, black, white, or even live in the US. Traditional gender roles dictate women be the primary caregivers, but the rules of sucess in business are the same for girls.

  28. Dave Atkins
    Dave Atkins says:

    This is an odd post for Penelope. The values Sallie seems to espouse go against the GenX and GenY balance/blend ethos that I’ve been reading about here for a year. But people reading this seem to have widely divergent opinions and perspectives. That’s why I commented earlier that I don’t think her advice and quick little one liners are any value to most of us who have to figure out how to live our lives. I want to avoid passing judgment on her because really, we have no idea what her life is like and with busy people like that, you can’t expect them to justify their lives at a public Q&A. If it works for her and she is truly happy, great.

    But sending 220 emails over the weekend? There’s something wrong with that!

  29. Steve
    Steve says:

    There will always be ambitious people to fill top positions. I think the key is to not just accept the society’s definition of success. You have to define what success means for yourself. Once you figure out what you really want, and what sacrafices you are willing to make, every other decision after that becomes much easier. Its the people who are keeping up with the Joneses but don’t remember why that end up miserable.

  30. Marsha
    Marsha says:

    I’d really love to hear the first husband’s version of events. It’s not difficult to understand the eye-rolling when one is allegedly “partnered” to someone who is quite open about the fact that the relationship isn’t among the priorities that actually get tended to. Who knows? My guess that Sallie’s take buries an awful lot of denial about the role her choices make in any dissatisfactory relationships in which she’s involved.

    As for the getting tired bit. Yeah. I’m 38 and I’m exhausted. But I think this is just part of life, getting older physically (despite being in good shape and quite healthy), and the dawning realization that the things I was sure were worth an awful lot – big deal career, respect of “peers”, and so on – really aren’t worth all that much at all. Undoing the ties I’ve spent the last 20 years winding up takes time and, yes, is tiring. It’s not men, makeup, hair or whatever – it’s that the choices I made even up to 2 years ago are no long the choices I want to carry me through the remainder of my life. That’s humbling and tiring, not to mention the kind of thing that if you say it in your Women in Leadership group they act as if you’ve said you’re about to move in with the Duggers. So it’s not just expression of anger that can derail women in the workplace – expressing ambivilance among other women is similarly damaging. Or do we just have to show know fear in that regard, as well?

    Color me unimpressed. Ms. Krawchuck strikes me as someone who tells herself a lot of tales about choices so that she can live with the life she’s built. I’m glad it works for her and hope it continues to do so. For my part, I’ll take an actual authentic life, thanks.

  31. David
    David says:

    So, Sallie’s first husband was a bust because he rolled his eyes, women aren’t at the top because they get too tired putting makeup on. Penelope actually slams her own husband in one of her questions.
    Boy, I would hate to work under or with either of them. They seem to have it out for us.

  32. Jayson Charpied
    Jayson Charpied says:

    I am 23 years old and I work a 9 to 5 in a warehouse. My day consist of heavy lifting, unloading trucks, rolling up engraving rubber which weighs up to 200 lbs. and I'm basically on my feet all day. I have a pulled groin for 9 months now from all the heavy work which I am responsible for. I make $10 an hour, $312 per week which in a year comes out to under $17,000. If being a housewife deserves over $134,000 what should I be making?
    There is no way that housewives and "stay at home moms" work harder than me and I think it's an insult to not only men, but to working women as well to say that you deserve such a substantial amount of money for much less straining workloads.
    My mother has always worked a fulltime job and still manages to cook for three of us, clean the house, feed the animals and do the laundry and I respect her for that.
    Just think if she didn't have to work her 9 to 5 how much easier her life would be?
    A "stay at home mom or dad" is someone who has contributed nothing to society other than his or her own family. If a man is a stay at home dad he is considered a bum and a lazy man that should be out providing for his family. So why is a stay at home mom any different? Women make such a big deal out of relatively easy work, making dinner, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, getting the kids ready for school, feeding animals and so on.
    You make it sound like a lot of work, but let's really brake it down for a second. Let's start off with making dinner. Making dinner takes nom longer than an hour to make and most of that hour it's cooking in the over or broiler, depending on what you are making. If you're making a steak, you season it and you throw it in the broiler. If you're making chicken, pretty much the same thing. Any pasta dishes all you have to do is boil water and cook it for 6 or 7 minutes. Most meals take under an hour. You can go to a restaurant and order pretty much whatever you want and it will be on your table within a half hour, that's how easy it is. Feeding the animals takes no more than 20 minutes and even that's pushing it. Doing the laundry in most households is a once a week chore which consist of throwing cloths into a washing machine and pressing a button, it's not rocket science. When the bell rings you take the cloths out and throw them in a dryer which also includes the strenuous task of button pushing. After that's done, you fold the cloths up and put them away. All together it takes no longer than a half hour considering machines are doing all the work.
    Ok now on to the real responsibilities, the children. Yes those children who women complain about all day long, the ones that makes them think that they deserve $134,000 a year.
    First of all, taking care of kids should not be considered an occupation, it's disgusting to think of them that way. It is supposed to be a luxury to have children, not an occupation where you receive a salary from, that's just wrong in so many ways to think of it like that.
    You get the kids ready for school in the morning which takes about 45 minutes and then the kids are off to school from 9 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. so you really don't have to deal with them all day like women say they do.
    So all together you have cooking which is a light chore which takes no longer than an hour. You have cleaning which is less than an hour daily, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt and say an hour cleaning a day, the kids are off to school by 9 so that's 45 minutes getting them ready. We have 2 hours and 45 minutes of work so far. Laundry is done once a week and it's mostly machines doing the work. What else is there? You work for less than 3 hours a day. Why do you think they show woman shows on television during the day? Because the broadcasters know that stay at home moms have a lot of free time during the day and get to watch a lot of television. That's why they have soap operas on and talk shows and all woman related programs on because the TV stations know that woman have the free time to watch these things. Men are too hard at work earning money to support not only the children but the wife as well.
    So if being a housewife is worth $134,000 dollars a year, than a working man should get paid a quarter million easy.

    —Jayson Charpied

  33. CL
    CL says:

    I found this post and some of the comments incredibly disturbing. It's stayed with me all day, so I just had to come back and comment.

    1.) I graduated from college in the 80s. (Sounds so long ago, but trust me kids, it was only yesterday.) Sallie Krawcheck's comments takes me back in time to those floppy bow-tied days when we were all trying to be one of the guys. Has nothing changed?

    2.) Sorry, but I don't want to take advice or emulate anyone, male or female, whose title includes the words "wealth management." Look at most high powered CEOs. How many have been divorced multiple times and/or don't get a long with their children? Can anybody say Sumner Redstone? Larry Ellison?

    3.) As far as Sallie Krawcheck's success, according the wiki link included above, she attended an exclusive prep school. So already she came from money and got a head start in life.

    4.) Yes, she sounds honest in this interview. She honestly sounds like a hard, soul-less bitch, actually. If a man made those same comments about an ex or current wife, most female readers would be all over him.

    5.) About becoming an analyst if you want to learn how to run your own company: oh yeah, that's terrific advice. [rolling my eyes] If only she could have advised Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, David Geffen, Oprah Winfrey, Liz Claiborne, Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield, Russell Simons, John Mackey and Howard Schultz when they were young, maybe they could have made something of themselves!

    6.) On why women aren't at the top of companies: It's because we're TIRED! [slapping my forehead] Oh that's some insight! It's also the reason why women get cut out of professorships, why a woman hasn't been elected president of the United States, etc. It's because were TIRED. You know, all that IRON DEFICIENCY from being on our PERIODS. Seriously, makes me just want to kick Krawcheck in the shins.

    7.) Bribing your kids with American Idol concerts. Man, there's something seriously wrong with this picture, doesn't anybody see that? If it's true that Krawcheck said she missed parent-teacher conferences and dinner dates with her husband and she was forced to choose between being a great CFO and being a great wife and mother and she chose her job, then she truly is pathetic. Nobody forced her to be a wife or a mother. Sure her second husband is an adult and knew what he was getting into, but her kids? C'mon. Ignoring your spouse and kids is not an admirable trait in anybody, male or female.

    8.) What is this shit about sinking to the level of chauvinistic 1950s style male model of what a CEO should be? This is the best life Krawcheck can come up with? Is this how we build a better corporate culture? A better society?

    9.) Wow, she sent out hundreds of emails in one weekend. Goody for her!

    10.) About makeup, go ahead and wear it if you want. Elle McPherson and Rosie O'Donnell are both businesswomen, but whether or not they wear makeup doesn't change the fact that one is thin and beautiful and the other has average looks and is overweight. Rosie can go on TV wearing makeup every day and will still be called an ugly, fat slob. Elle could show up to work with bed head there would be no complaints. Most women look better if they wear LESS makeup, not more. And it doesn't have to take hours to get ready in the morning. Slick your hair back into a low ponytail, slap on some moisturizer, a little mascara and lip gloss and you're ready to go in less time than it takes most guys to shave.

    11.) Oh, and let's get one thing clear: women wear makeup for other women. Men could care less about makeup. (They just care about your T&A.)

    12.) As far as getting better treatment: you could also flash your tits. Try it some time. Wear turtlenecks for two weeks, then try wearing an unbuttoned blouse for two weeks. You'll see what better treatment you get.

    13.) To the person who said people need careers. They don't. Humans have very few real needs and a "career" is definitely not one of them. Europeans seem to get along just fine without them. You need a JOB to pay for FOOD and SHELTER. Those are true needs. Humans are social animals. They need RELATIONSHIPS.

  34. Jayson Charpied
    Jayson Charpied says:

    To the last poster on September 25, 2007

    Saying Women are "Tired" and that's the reason you haven't been successful in higher positions or been elected president yet is just a copout. What about us men who bust our ass all day doing ridiculously physical labor like building houses or paving the roads, you don't think we're a little tired too? I do believe that there are women who are not quite as lazy as others and those are the ones who become successful and those are the ones who are independent. Women need to stop making excuses all the time about why they're not successful in life as much as men are. It's not because you're tired, it's because you're lazy.

    —Jayson Charpied—

    • Ana, Computer Science Student
      Ana, Computer Science Student says:

      See? That is where I would have to disagree. Despite typical notion that physical labor is harder than mental labor, it really isn’t. Physical you get used to, mental is always draining. And lets also make a point. When you come home from your “demanding job”, you, or at least, the majority of men, sit down in front of a tv and enjoy yourself. I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t come home from work and doesn’t get down to housework or cooking. Also, you cannot try and tell me that the reason that 99% of the secretaries are women and not men is because women are lazy. As you can see, women who are successful in their careers get strongly criticized for being bad parents. To be successful in your career, its an uphill battle for most women, and a lot of capable women don’t get selected for top jobs just because of sexism. Unless you would like to try and tell me that  a very large majority of women are lazy and men are the hard workers of the nation.

  35. finance girl
    finance girl says:

    Wow, Miss P, you got a good one here ;-)

    People likely will be talking about these issues (gender roles, family/work balance, the aesthetic value of wearing makeup or not)for as long as humans are around.

    For me, the key factor in being able to determine if one of us gets to stay home is our partnership (w/my husband) in managing our balance sheet and working as a team.

    Our home life is much more enjoyable now that one of us gets to (and wants to) take care of all the home life related tasks (which include managing the assets on our balance sheet).

    It really comes down to both people in the partnership working together (w/love and respect for each other) as a team wrt family, careers, and dreams of the future.

    Managing their assets in a way that underlines, not undermines, these facets of their partnership is a key to their happiness and success.

  36. dk
    dk says:

    After reading the post, I was prepared to write a comment, but after all the comments written, my comment changed. Especially finance girls one brought a new tangent. Actually as women and men today, we are less bound by musts. I live in Europe, but I think even if corporate US seems to be a little bit more rigid, it is the same in essence. You can make a career as woman, even without makeup or all the game play. If you are good and go your way you have a chance to make it. The same as man have. But deep in us is this streak to want to be “normal”, to conform. Even my bf who is as emancipated as they come, cannot shake this notion that he has to make a career. It will need more than a generation to overcome such an ingrained behavior. A lot of woman have this with makeup and kids. Men feel uncomfortable if they do not seem to make the effort to earn enough money for their family, it boost their self respect. A lot of woman are uncomfortable to seem not to have made the effort to look good and for many not to have made the effort to be the optimal mom. We have to accept that these tendencies exist. And that these are not fundamental truths anymore. We can break them, if we want and need to. Some women are not good moms, they just aren’t, but there are men who are fantastical dads. We can live this, we are one of the first generations of people were stuff like gender or race does not matter this much anymore. Yes boundaries are still there, but they are mostly in our own mind. We just have to find out, how to live with this freedom, without getting lost in possibilities and guilt not to have made the other choice. And no, you cannot have it all. At some point you have to make your choice, but it is yours and not societies anymore.

  37. SacHickey
    SacHickey says:

    My sister is a top lawyer in a major metro, PhD from a top school, blah blah. Her husband also has a high-profile career. Her husband is the primary parent – it’s easier for men to take time off for the kids and shift their schedules without being labeled as “parents” and having their careers downgraded. And they have a nanny.

    I think it’s worked extremely well for the kids; mom and dad give the kids more focused attention than the non-career parents I know, and the nanny (earning more than many professionals in the area, because sis and BIL think *that* salary must be poverty level) gives the kids tons of love and very focused attention. The kids get 3 parents, and the nanny, honestly, is warmer and more loving than her employers.

    I shudder to think how the kids would have turned out if they had been raised by their not-very-demonstrative parents without the nanny. I’m not saying this is true for every parent, but I always looked at their arrangement and said (half-jokingly) “I’ll have kids when I can afford for someone else to raise them.” I’m just not up to spending hours a day being delighted and fascinated by scribbles and Barney and the rest of the dreck. I can muster 15 minutes on a busy (intellectually stimulating) day, maybe 45 minutes on a slow day. I don’t have kids, and I have a lot of respect for parents who can find a workable arrangement for having kids AND finding a way to be happy with it.

  38. Tim
    Tim says:

    SacHickey,

    “Focused attention” is not parenting. Being there for your kids is.
    Scheduling your parenting time is such a ridiculous concept–It’s truly funny, but in a very sad way.

    “Quality Time” is a line with no substance and most use it to relieve them from their feelings of guilt. And, no, the nanny is not a parent.

    Let’s say it again: You can’t have it all. You can’t. You have to sacrifice something. It’s a choice. What does one value more?

  39. dk
    dk says:

    When I wrote you cannot have it all, I actually did not mean you cannot have a career and kids. More like you cannot be Supermom and SuperCEO. When I was a small child my mom worked. I can still remember, very fondly, my daycare centers. It was so much fun. I am an only child. And there were people to play. We did crafty stuff, I could never have done at home. There was tons of colored paper, pens, games and so on. And in the evening I would tell my mother about my “work day”. And I was happy. Later my mom stopped working and this was not a good idea. Frustrated, bored moms are much worse than happy working ones, even if my mom gave her best. And all this mom must stay home stuff is something we developed in the last 200 years. My grandfather saw his mother maybe 5 minutes every other day and his dad when he did something bad. He and his brothers were cared for by a nanny.He was happy never the less. My other grandfather probably never saw his parents either, because they were working on the fields all day and from an early age he had to help.
    Children don’t need biological parents. They need security and the feeling to be loved and cherished by someone. I was loved by my mother, I knew that, she did not need to demonstrate that to me 24h. I was loved by my father too, even if he is this hazy presence in my childhood, because he worked long hours, but still I was daddy’s little girl. When he was there, he was there. This was enough. Kids get raised by grandparents, adoptive parents and new parents, because of divorce, this is not the end of civilization. I pity all the children, who are the sole attention of their mother, on a guilt trip to do everything right and suffocate the child’s independence with 24h care. The best parent is a happy parent.

  40. Tim
    Tim says:

    I don’t think good parenting is when a parent smothers a child with attention. That’s silly.

    I think it’s very healthy for children to see happy parents. And if they’re working full-time and happy in their careers, even better.

    However, when parents demonstrate–I mean, come on, children aren’t stupid–that careers are more important than parenting, it is an issue. You raise your children, you don’t outsource the job.
    Outsourcing parenting, what will we think of next?

    Of course the parents don’t have to be related biologically–that’s obvious.

    However, you can’t tell me a child would be fine with the love and attention of their nanny over their mom and dad.

    Seriously, all things being equal, kids do better with a mom and dad. That’s all I’m saying.

  41. Marg
    Marg says:

    I am facing work and home as a single unit. My adult children (son lives away) and my support group has dwindled. When the company is in OT(not a ‘green frienldy employee company who understands the need for family and self time), there’s comflict. You bite the bullet, keep yourself looking petty, relaxed, cuddle with your boy friend/husband/other when you find the time. Exercise, rest, and eating good healthy food helps and a blog or sound off board. nothing wrong with a little blush or lip color to make you feel beter, especially if you have good skin and take care. Nothing wrong with smelling good either!

    Some people are just lucky finding and succeeding in a job that is a ‘right fit’. I work and often the company is not satisfied–they want more.

  42. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    Jayson, the poster above you was not actually saying that women didn’t succeed because they were tired. It was Sallie Krawcheck who said that and the poster was actually mocking that statement.

    No one is denying that you work hard but if the housework is so easy, why aren’t you doing half of it on top of your full time work? Your mother did all of it on top of her full time work so it should be a cinch for you to do half of it! ;-)

    But really, every job and every couple and every family is different. It’s a matter of works for the individuals. In some families it might be appropriate for one person to do all of the housework, in other families not.

    But no, I don’t believe that stay-at-home parents do the equivalent work of a $134,000 job either. But then there are plenty of million dollar executives who don’t deserve their remuneration either. It’s not always about how hard you work, unfortunately.

  43. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Sallie told my entire class of Associates (200+) at Citi that she was a terrible wife and mother but very good at her job. She said to stay at Citi, we had to recognize that we were making a sacrifice and the sacrifice could not be work. Honest, but not someone I admire.

  44. hugh Shull
    hugh Shull says:

    I actually knew Sallie’s first husband, John Binnie. He was another investment banker. I am sure he worked his ass off too. Good guy. And she was a lovely girl back in college. This is all more complicated than a few quick replies to interview questions. She isn’t an abnormally hard working person for that business, nor is she an ogre for “ignoring” her kids. I respected her candor about the tradeoffs.

  45. Daniel
    Daniel says:

    For a somewhat less flattering account of Ms. Krawchek’s rise to prominence, see the following insider comment at http://robbieallen.com/blog/mit-sdm/2005/03/sallie-krawcheck-chief-financial.html:

    “Yes, Sallie’s a capable and interesting girl. Married for the first time in 1990 to John Binnie, then VP at Salomon Brothers and her boss. After treating her husband quite badly while she was at Columbia Business School she divorced him in 1994 or thereabouts to marry Gary Appell, her boss from Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette. Joined Sanfodr Bernstein, had an affair with another senior professional there and, once he had been useful to her promotion at the firm, she then dumped him — after he had left his wife for her — and stayed with her current husband. Of note: shortly after Sallie became CEO and Chairman of Smith Barney, her first husband John Binnie, who had risen to head the CIticorp FIG group, left that firm for MOrgan Stanley. A very capable woman — but not a happy woman. One who uses sex as one of her big weapons.”

  46. Emily Sonnenblick
    Emily Sonnenblick says:

    I admire Sallie’s candor as she articulates the difficulty of balancing it all. Money does help. An important ingredient for successful balance of working long hours with home is good hired help. Fortunately, I, as a professional woman (and SalIie Krawcheck certainly has this advantage) could afford to have wonderful in home nannies and home managers. I took advice from my mother in law when I had small kids as a young physician- pay for all the help at home that you can afford.

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