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​Women Who Lead: The Power of Diversity in Business, with Sallie Krawcheck

​Women Who Lead: The Power of Diversity in Business, with Sallie Krawcheck

By Christine Condon

“The power of diversity is diversity,” states Sallie Krawcheck, Chair of Ellevate Network. The global professional women’s network recently launched their new “Women Who Lead” web series in partnership with the 92nd Street Y. Krawcheck, who is among eight women to be spotlighted, kicks off the series by bringing the importance of diversity to the forefront.

“Diversity in leadership leads to so many great things,” Krawcheck states. “It tends to lead to higher returns on capital, lower risk, greater innovation, greater client focus, greater long-term focus. The power of diversity is so great that diverse teams outperform smarter and more capable teams."

The key is to celebrate diversity, because that’s what makes companies more effective, efficient, and ultimately more profitable. “We spend so much time telling women what to do, and telling people of difference to change themselves. What we’re not going for here is for everybody to act the same, for everyone to have the same stance towards business….but instead to allow diverse individuals to be diverse and to have the companies for which they work meet them where they are--not bring them over to perhaps some aged view of how to do business,” says Krawcheck. As former CEO of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Smith Barney and other high-profile financial institutions--and with more than 25 years of experience in business--she knows the importance of this issue.

“Business is changing,” Krawcheck states. Command and control is over. Everyone has the information now. Gone are the days where one person, for example, controls a survey and says: I know what the customer wants, therefore I will tell everyone what to do. Today anyone can leverage social media and find out what they need to know about their customers--just by asking a question. "You can go onto Survey Monkey and get almost the whole way there by asking a question. So the strength today is not in saying ‘I can control the masses.'” Krawcheck stresses, “Instead I can take this enormous amount of information, I can consolidate it and think through it, and then I can coordinate and communicate a response.”

Krawcheck states, “We women are great at relationships, we’re great at communicating, we’re great at understand the nuances. Let’s not cut that off. Let’s understand that that’s of real value in the workplace and let’s also understand the workplace is coming to us.” 

Toss the old diversity and inclusion playbook — there's a new set of rules. Download the e-book from Sallie Krawcheck here.