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The Handful Of Smart Things I Did As A Working Mom, With Sallie Krawcheck

Online • November 24, 2015

Join Ellevate Chair and CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest Sallie Krawcheck for a Jam Session with tips on how to succeed as an entrepreneur while being a working mom.

Summary

00:00 Sallie Krawcheck: Thank you, Maricela. Good afternoon, everybody, thank you for being here. I don't know how in the world it got to be that I'm doing this jam session today. Maricela asked me a handful of weeks ago if I would do a jam session and I said, "Sure, I'm thrilled to do a jam session." And then two things happened, one of which is it showed up on my calendar the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so somehow in that slide to Thanksgiving... I don't know about you all, but I'm already in my sweatpants. And the second thing, when the topic came up, it was about being a working mom and the handful... The title being A Handful of Smart Things I Did As A Working Mom. If my kids could hear that I am speaking on this topic, I cannot tell you how hard they would be laughing because the running joke in my home is that I am a good enough mom. And, in fact, a handful of weeks ago, I was at an event with some other professional moms and one... I promise you, one of the moms was talking about how she... In their family, they read the Wall Street Journal together and discuss the markets, so that was strike number one against me, and strike number two was she was talking about the healthy meals she tries to put together for the family and makes sure that it's all balanced through the... Whatever the nutritional triangle is. And I think implicitly I do that, but I just thought, "God, that's a lot of attention to detail."

01:30 Sallie Krawcheck: I think what... I think the reason that I've been asked to do the call though, I'm the mother of two, I'm the stepmother of two, and I've managed to successfully get these kids at least to college overall, and I've managed to sort of do this while navigating a career. I will tell you, though, that the stories in my household that we tell about me being the working mom, the favorite one revolves around my going on a business trip to Chicago. My daughter, who was going to be the lead in the school play the next day, and she's probably in, I don't know, seventh or eighth grade, calls me and lets me know that she is not feeling good, she's not feeling well, and she doesn't think she can go to school. And of course, I tried to coach her through this and I say, "Honey, this is just nerves. You're not sick, you're okay." "No, mom. No, mom." I said, "Look, everybody's counting on you, everybody's depending on you." "No, mom, I don't feel good." And I finally said, "Look, you have got to suck it up. You just need to take a bucket to school with you." Which of course she did, and then she vomited in it all day. So that's a story that tends to come up about me as a mom, which is whenever anything gets tough, we just sort of say, "Take a bucket."

02:44 Sallie Krawcheck: No, I'm sort of joking about this, but what I will tell you that underlines all of this for me as a working mom, and the sort of view that I've tried to bring to it is it's a privilege, it's a delight, and it's a joy. And that the issues that I've faced as a working mother have typically been ones that I've been thrilled to face and that the opportunity to have these kids, bring up these kids, and have a career, if it means that I am 15 minutes late for the glee club performance, etcetera, to me are not make or break overall. But that I've just loved, loved having these kids and bringing these kids up. And quite frankly, I've, for a long time, thought about my kids as almost being my secret weapon, and I'll tell you, when you go... When I go back in time and think about when I was a young research analyst, and it was me and the guys, I think I was the only mom amongst the research analysts at Bernstein when I started. It was really interesting because I would take a break at the end of every day to spend a couple hours with my children. The guys often would not and would work straight through, and while one might think, "So not fair, that but these guys are... For the point of their career, are getting to work straight through." I actually found that I was more productive as a result.

04:08 Sallie Krawcheck: That I would spend my couple of hours with my kids playing the running and hugging game, which I highly recommend. It involves having a kid run down the hall, hug you, turn around, run back, and then do it all over again. I would actually find that I had my best ideas after taking those breaks and spending time with the kids, and research has since shown if you concentrate on a problem, pull away from the problem, address the problem again, that that is when creativity can happen. And so I really always approached having these kids as a joy and really competitive advantage. So now that I've told you what I did wrong as a mom, let me sort of go through the handful, and it really is just a handful, of things I did that may... You may find useful for yourselves as you are navigating through it.

04:52 Sallie Krawcheck: So I'd say the first thing is I never let the kids be upset to leave them, that even though, and particularly... When they were teenagers, as you might imagine, there were plenty of times I was very happy to leave them, but when they were younger and they were so cute and their cheeks were so fat and you just wanted to pinch them, and I had to go on a business trip, I... And by the way, when they were younger, I was terrified to fly, absolutely terrified to fly.

05:22 Sallie Krawcheck: So here I was leaving these adorable children, here I was walking out the door, here I was trying to be... Had no success yet as a research analyst trying for that, and I would close the door and I'd sometimes burst into tears. But what I did was I would always hold it together in front of them. I would always tell them, "Mommy always comes back." I never ever complained about work in front of them, and so they didn't have this sense of, "Something is wrong when my mom is working." But instead, "This is us, this is a happy family. My mom loves working, and she loves coming back." So that was the first thing.

05:55 Sallie Krawcheck: The second, if I was to go through a list, and this is a biggie, particularly for those of you who have got younger kids. I convinced my husband very early on that when one of the little ones woke up in the middle of the night and screamed, "Mommy!" what they actually were saying was parent of either gender. And I will tell you that when we would take turns, Wednesday night was my night, Thursday night was his night, back and forth... And by the way, for about five years, we did not sleep... Our kids did not sleep through the night. It just seemed like they wanted water, they had a nightmare, they had to find their pacifier, they had to find their lammy, they thought there was a monster under the bed. But I'll tell you, taking turns like that and getting three full nights of sleep, four whole nights of sleep a week, made all the difference.

06:40 Sallie Krawcheck: Okay, that's two. Number three. And this is when they got a little bit older, and particularly now that they're at school, one of the things that we did that I am so happy we did was that I would spend one weekend away with each of the kids every year, which meant my husband, because we had the two of them when they were growing up, we would swap. And so each of us got one weekend completely alone with the kids every year. And it didn't work out well every year. There was a trip to the emergency room when my daughter had a cut on her head stapled shut that was the second maternal low point that we talk about, but for the most part, that time that we had with the kids, we can almost go year by year and remember every single one of them. And getting away from the routine and having that one on one time made all the difference.

07:29 Sallie Krawcheck: The other thing, too, and other peopl will give you different advice on this, but as they got older, doing the college visits one on one with them was also, I found, fantastic. Now there's two schools of thought on this. One school is that the family together, it's all together, you're all going to ivy-covered walls and all that stuff, but what I've found is that with my kids if you had family members around, it just shut 'em down. It just shut 'em down. And by the way, of course, someone was always gonna say something that was gonna embarrass that adolescent kid. But when I took Spring Break trips with my kids to look at colleges, and it's at the age when those kids are a little surly, a little finding their way, and I found that for the first couple of days when I was one on one with them, the kids would be pretty quiet. But after a bit, the brooding would start to fade and out it would come in small dribs and drabs, talking about their future, talking about at the age of 16, 17, 18, who they wanted to be, what they wanted to be, what kind of jobs they wanted to have, what kind of impact they wanted to make on the world. But it took about three or four days to get through all the defenses they'd put up. So it's one thing that for us worked well, and that I would highly recommend.

08:50 Sallie Krawcheck: The other thing... I don't know what I'm on now, four or five. The other time when I had time with them is that both of my kids had some health challenges along the way. Now I was really fortunate in that both of these kids had these health challenges when I was at points of career transition as opposed to running 6,000 miles an hour on a job. But when those kids had those health issues, I dropped everything and I mean everything. As in stayed with them. My daughter had a concussion and was in a darkened room, and I stayed in that darkened room with her the entire time. My son was in the hospital. I stayed in the hospital with him. And I'm sure all of you will as well or I hope none of you have to do it, but the relationships that I formed with my kids when they were going through some tough times, there is a silver lining to every cloud and that was certainly it.

09:46 Sallie Krawcheck: On to more practical things. Now that my kids are in college, for those of you who've moved onto them, and for your kids who are teenagers, I highly recommend putting Find Friends on their cellphones. And I don't care my kids said, "Mommy, it's creepy that you know where I am all the time." But I drew the line on that early on, and as a result, even now that they're in college, I know where they are all the time. Now it doesn't mean I don't wake up when they're home, and I will tonight. I can already tell you what's gonna happen. I'm gonna wake up before the curfew, about ten minutes before, and I'm gonna be in a cold sweat. My heart's gonna be beating, but the truth is at least I can track them home. And that has been, I'm happy to tell you, particularly as they're away from me, such peace of mind.

10:28 Sallie Krawcheck: The other thing I did with the kids in college, and this one as a grown up I'm gonna recommend that you do in advance and warn them, I have reserved the right to choose one class that each of my kids has to take each semester, and the view on this ism "I'm happy for you to have this whatever major you wanna have, but before you graduate from college, you're gonna take coding, you're gonna take statistics, you're gonna take accounting, and I don't care if you never use it again, but you're gonna do it." And that one, I've had friends who've tried to do it after the kids were in college. I just recommend that you set that up early because I think now that my son is getting older, he recognizes it as a favor I did for him that he otherwise wouldn't have done.

11:14 Sallie Krawcheck: And then I think finally... And again, I told you, there's just a few things that I did well. The biggie, there are a couple of biggies which is I have let them see me sweat. My career has had some ups and it's had some downs, and I've worked hard and I've succeeded and I've failed and I've failed in public, and I've pivoted and I've been uncertain, and I've switched what I wanted to do, and so on. And I never hid that from them. I will never forget my two kids tiptoeing into my bedroom the morning after I was booted out of Citigroup to check that I was okay. And they have since watched me restructure my career from one that was within big corporations to one that has got a very different complexion, an entrepreneurial complexion. And they watched me struggle with that at times.

12:11 Sallie Krawcheck: They see me sort of sit on the sofa and write the enormously long list of things I like, things I don't like, things I'm good at, things I'm terrible at, what I wanna do, what's important to me, what I can let go, what doesn't matter, and so on. And I think for them... And they've seen that I've been okay with it. And I think for them is they've been maturing into adulthood and they are trying to figure out what they are going to do. The recognition that, "Hey, you know what? You don't have to know it at 21, and you're set until you're 68." That this is a process and it's okay for folks to go through the process.

12:46 Sallie Krawcheck: Final thing I wrote. I've written a piece about, which is on the same topic of work as though the kids are watching you, and I'll sort of share a couple of anecdotes. One of which is of my son, and my son is very, very liberal. In fact [chuckle] there was a period of time when the Occupy Wall Street was going on, he almost went down to go Occupy Wall Street. He was too young, so he wasn't allowed to leave the house for it. But he's a really liberal kid. And a handful of years ago, he and I... I was working... I was running Merrill at the time. And he and I went out to dinner, just the two of us, one summer evening and happen to cross Dick Fuld, who was having dinner at the same restaurant with his daughter and I... We stopped at a table, I introduced my son to Dick, we introduced each other to our kids. And we went down and sat at the table, our table, out of earshot, thank goodness. Because as we're sitting down I think to myself, "Well this is fantastic, 'cause here I am at dinner with my teenage kid, this is a really interesting opportunity to begin to talk to him about the financial crisis and what happened and so on."

13:55 Sallie Krawcheck: And I said, "Honey, that was Dick Fuld, and Dick Fuld... " And he interrupted me in a pretty loud voice actually and said, "You don't have to tell me who Dick Fuld is, I know Dick Fuld." And he went on to explain to me with great energy how Dick Fuld should be in jail. Don't think I agree with this by the way, but he went on to tell me his view. What we should do to Dick Fuld, what Dick Fuld did wrong, Dick Fuld in jail. And so on, and I find myself thinking, "Here's my teenage kid, I didn't know he knew all this stuff and furthermore, I didn't know he had these opinions on all this stuff." And of course I work on Wall Street, so I with some trepidation say to him, "Honey, you know what I do, right?" And he shoots back at me immediately and says, "Of course I know what you do. I Googled you and you're one of the good guys." And I thought at that point saying, "Wow, these kids know so much more than we give them credit for and they are looking at us and watching us for clues."

15:00 Sallie Krawcheck: And the final one, which involves my daughter, is she worked here this summer at Ellevate Network for part of the summer. Now, you will all be happy to know, your dues are being spent in an extremely frugal fashion because our office is so small, that we are practically sitting in each other's laps. And we have mice, but we're moving soon, but we have mice.

[laughter]

15:27 Sallie Krawcheck: And that there's not a lot of natural light. And as we've hired folks, the space has gotten tighter and tighter. And she and I were leaving one evening and I sort of turned to her, I said to her, "Isn't this the craziest thing you've ever seen?" I said, "You remember I worked at these big companies, you used to come by and visit me, and I'd have an office that was several times the size of this where we all are, for just me. Isn't that crazy?" And she looks at me and she says, "I don't know why you're saying that. Do you realize how much happier you are now? Do you realize that you come home everyday and talk about your professional mission? And you're talking about advancing women in the work place? You're talking about helping women achieve their professional and financial goals in whatever small way you can?" And my jaw dropped to the ground on that one. So at that point, I again apologized to her for telling her she should take a bucket to school, that she ended up vomiting in.

[laughter]

16:24 Sallie Krawcheck: Because I thought she had some pretty good insights. So anyway, I hope that was a little bit helpful. As I said, I really don't hold myself out as being... As having it more figured out than anybody. I will tell you that it's something that I figured out as I went along. When I was growing up, I sort of imagined that I would be... Remember Mary Richards on the Mary Tyler Moore show? I always sort of thought I would be a career woman, I wouldn't have kids, I didn't imagine it. And then these kids came along and they have been such a joy to me and really my underlying view on this is I've been so fortunate to had been able to had the career I've had and so incredibly fortunate to be able to have these kids. That I have figured the mistakes I have... We have all made along the way. Our mistakes that are so well-meaning, but that the great really so outweighs the tough here. And that I've been fortunate to be able to juggle it and juggle it improperly and juggle it poorly and sometimes do a few good things to bring the kids up, has been such a pleasure.

17:38 Sallie Krawcheck: Okay so Maricela, any questions for me?

17:41 Maricella: Yes.

17:42 Sallie Krawcheck: Perfect. Hold on, here's Maricela.

17:45 Maricella: Thanks for everyone for listening and wow, thank you for all the questions that are coming in, quite a few. Thanks, Sally for sharing those stories. And well, let me start.

[laughter]

17:58 Maricella: They're a lot. So let me start with this one. It says, "Sally, would love to hear any advice you have for those of us that manage working moms, but don't have kids ourselves. Things we should definitely do or do more often."

18:21 Sallie Krawcheck: For those of us who manage working moms but don't have kids ourselves, or let's bring the dads into this, because what I'm afraid happens still in the workplace out there is that most workplaces will say they offer flexibility. Most working moms will say, "Yeah, right. I don't really believe it. And that if I am offered flexibility, that it puts me on the mommy track." And I don't have exact numbers to hand but it is something, it's the vast majority of women have that reaction, which is, "Geez. I'm the mother of minor kids. And my company really doesn't have real flexibility programs." Or, put in another way, flexibility without shame. And so, the advice would be, for whatever you do with your policies around working moms, they should be around working parents, and that the dads should be encouraged as well to take time for a soccer game, to bring the kid in with the nanny or the babysitter or the daycare is out and it's not working, and to sort of celebrate the fact that you're hiring whole people who have whole lives. And that's true whether they're male or female, it's true whether they're single, whether they're partnered, whether they have kids or not.

19:48 Sallie Krawcheck: And so, I think part of it is acting like and addressing your folks as though they are those whole people and treating them as adults around finding that right balance, allowing people, if it makes sense for your business, to work from home when they need to or when they want to. I personally find, by the way, I try to spend... And I don't always do it, I don't even ever do it. But I try to put aside one day a week where I can actually think, and I find that it helps me and my job and me and my productivity so much more. But giving those people that flex in order to engage with their family, which I think makes them better workers, overall is important. And I'll tell you when I had the moment. The moment was a few years ago when I went out, I was actually visiting the folks at Salesforce. And of course, I assume you have seen the market [20:43] ____ team have taken, have worked to identify and close their gender pay gap, which cost them I think three million dollars. I remember he set me up with their head of HR, and talking to his head of HR about having engaged individuals. And she told me that their talent was so scarce for them that it brought them to the recognition that they needed talent, they needed people to be engaged, and that they found by treating people respectfully and recognizing that they have these whole lives, they had much more effective folks.

21:19 Sallie Krawcheck: And they made the decisions that they would rather have, from their flexibility perspective, individuals who brought their whole self, their whole not-worried self, their whole 'not-thinking-about-I've-got-the-kids-with-the-babysitter-who-isn't-quite-right' selves. They'd rather have that whole fully engaged self for ten hours a week or 20 hours a week or 30 hours a week rather than someone who's frightful and worried and concerned for 60 hours a week or 40 hours a week or whatever it is. And that by treating individuals respectfully and saying, "How much time can you give us and be wholly there?" They said was so much more helpful in productivity than almost anything else they'd done.

22:02 Maricella: Thank you, Sally. You sort of touched on this, but we've got this question quite a few times. So I wanna try and put it into one phrase. People are asking about, what do you think about health support systems and how you manage sick days with your kids?

22:22 Sallie Krawcheck: Me personally and not me as a business manager? Me personally?

22:30 Maricella: Yeah.

22:32 Sallie Krawcheck: How do I manage it? As best as I can. And look, I am really fortunate to have a good partner in my husband. And I know when Lean In came out, and Sheryl had written one of the most important professional decisions you can make is who your spouse or partner is. And for a moment I said, "Wait a minute, that's what I've been saying for years." I've been there. And I think that's exactly right. I've been married... This is my second marriage. In my first marriage, my husband, before the days of everyone having a cellphone, certainly before the days of the internet, so I'm dating myself, I remember if I ran late in my job and I would get home he would be irritated with me. And that can be a tough way to build a career when you have that hard deadline and someone who's upset, what you know is gonna be upset with you at home if you miss it. In contrast with my current husband, the father of our children, we got very clear upfront on what both of us wanted to achieve in our lives. Now, I was actually fortunate in a way because he is a successful individual, and so there was never any sense as my career started to move that the two of us were competing in any way. And I suspect in my first marriage, there was that sense.

24:00 Sallie Krawcheck: So I think it was that we weren't competing. It was the we were real clear on what we were trying to do, and we were real clear on the sharing. And it's not 100% sharing all the the time. You know it's fascinating, when our son was in the hospital, some handful of years ago, I just wasn't going to leave. And, he on the other hand, I never sort of understood it, right, he went to work, he went to Starbucks, he brought us coffee, and there did seem to be this sort of difference. And that was okay, we sort of worked it through, I'm gonna be here I'm not going to leave, you go do this. But it was... It's a constant back and forth in communication. Look, I think you gotta, when you're sick you're sick, when you gotta take a day for the kids, you gotta take a day for the kids. If you work for a company that doesn't allow you to do it, I think you have the conversations with your boss, as we call them courageous conversations around here. You bring it out, you talk about it, you discuss it. But you know what, the truth is, if the company isn't gonna have the culture that allows you to be an adult, you sometimes might want to think about a different company as well.

25:00 Sallie Krawcheck: Because that kind of stress is just crushing for everybody. And I think... I was fortunate that I'm working to build businesses now as an entrepreneur that respects that. And I had the opportunity in many of the companies that I worked for of being respected as an adult, and managing my time correctly.

25:22 Maricella: Thank you, Sally. We have a ton of questions coming in. Thank you everyone for being so engaged today. And I do want to address these, because we have a couple that came in with this, and we actually talked in our poll today about this. And one of them says, "Thrilled to see Mark Zuckerberg taking paternity leave for two full months." And the question really is, perhaps you can comment on this, and although the fact remains that most men don't exercise flexibility, do you think there's evidence of this changing, and coming to more of a corporate Wall Street industry?

26:04 Sallie Krawcheck: Well Wall Street, [chuckle] well, you know, but here's what I think, fantastic. I'm so happy to see that. You know, and as Mark references in doing it, the research is pretty clear about how impactful in a positive way this can be for the family and for the child. And I think what it does too is, we talked about this a bit before, is it takes it away from being, here's something those women are asking for, maternity leave to here's something for people. And something that makes since as we respect individuals and respect the fact that they have lives outside of work, and the fact that their families are important. Isn't that what we want out of our employees and people that we spend our time and our days with? So I think it's fantastic. I think it's still onesies, twosies, and a little anecdotal, although I will say that one of our... I was so pleased one of our Ellevate Network corporate women, when she had her baby, I think eight months, nine months ago now, her husband took paternity leave, or parental leave exactly the same amount of time that she did, and the two of them were home for weeks and weeks, and then both of them came back at the same time. And I thought that was fantastic.

27:24 Sallie Krawcheck: I think we still, of course, have a ways to go on maternity leaves, too. And I think it bothers all of us, because we've asked here at the Ellevate Network about this, that we and Papua New Guinea, are the two that do not have mandated parental leaves. It is picking up some attention in the presidential race right now, which I think is good. I wish we as a country would stop thinking about it as an entitlement, or as a gift. Or again, something pesky women are asking to stay home with their pesky babies, and a gift that we would give them. I think it is an investment that we should make in our families and our citizens of our country. And for those of you who know me, you know I'm a research analyst at heart. And so I look at the research, and I've started to talk about the fact that in this country the retirement savings crisis here, which as we all know is so big and so ugly we've almost stop talking about it.

28:25 Sallie Krawcheck: That the retirement savings crisis is actually a womens crisis. Sadly, we earn less than then guys still do. We take longer, or any career breaks to a greater extent than they do, therefore we retire with 2/3 the money of men and we live five plus, six plus, years longer. And even just that living longer if there's a retirement savings crisis, it's ours. And so the question we should be asking ourselves is how we keep women in the workforce longer, how we close the gender pay gap. And one way to do it is a mandated parental leave. Certainly for the women, it would be great to see companies extend it to the guys. And if we can get folks to have more of a leave when their children are young, there's a greater chance that they will not leave the workforce at that point, stay in the workforce, grow the economy, help close the retirement savings gap.

29:18 Sallie Krawcheck: I mean, it's so many darn good things that happen. And again, by the way, to hark back to what I said about my meeting at Salesforce, that when they come back it's not sleep deprived, nervous about the baby at home, half a brain at work, but that they can come back and bring their whole selfs to work. And so I think this is a challenge that we need to look at more wholistically as opposed to in a limited fashion, as to only the negatives that occur, rather than wholistically the positives.

29:51 Maricella: Thank you Sally. I'm gonna change pace a little bit here. I think you're gonna like this question. Any suggestions for teaching your kids to be financially responsible?

[chuckle]

30:02 Sallie Krawcheck: You're making me laugh, 'cause I think I just said, "Some of the other moms I know are having their kids read the freakin' Wall Street Journal."

[chuckle]

30:13 Sallie Krawcheck: But, you look, I think one of the great things that happened to my family was my son ended up, one year when he was a young teenager, overspending his allowance. I had given... This is a secret, guys. So, don't tweet this one. But, I'd ended up giving him my credit card for use for some school things, and he ended up getting carried away with it and spending some money on some things he shouldn't have spent some money on, and as a result, that kid had to pay back every penny and had to pay back every penny with interest. And I just loved it because he ended up working in a grocery store for the summer hauling bags. And it was the greatest thing to watch this young kid realize the value of money and realize the value of hard work overall. And that lesson, along with... We did the allowances, too. We did the chores around the house, etcetera, etcetera. But, that, "I've just gotten myself into trouble with money by not paying close enough attention to it, by being a little greedy, and the way to get out is through some very hard work", I think, was a really important lesson for him. It isn't one that I would have imposed upon him, but was one that is apparent, the discipline needed to be there. And I promise you, he learned that lesson fast.

31:40 Maricella: Thank you, Sally. This is an interesting one. How do you find time to take care of yourself besides in addition to work and family, etcetera?

31:50 Sallie Krawcheck: Well, that is a great one, and I do have to say I'm sitting here looking at it from kids who are teenagers, and those early years can be so tough, and you can be so tired. There's a picture of me, and please don't, nobody look for it, the picture of me that my daughter came across on the internet of I am gaunt, there are circles under my eyes, I am pale which makes the circles look even bigger, my hair looks awful, I'm wearing black which is a color I should never wear, and it's me next to a computer. And my daughter comes across this at some point doing some school project, and she said, "Mom, who is this? Is this like your older, ugly, older sister?" and I said, "Well, sweetheart, that was me when you were one years old." And I remember, 'cause I could see the backdrop of the office. So, I'm happily right now at a good stage where my kids are at school and I have oceans of time, but I really remember those years. Look, this is where if you have a partner, a great partner comes in, and handy, I don't think my husband would like me to say can handy, but...

[chuckle]

33:09 Sallie Krawcheck: But, this is where having a great partner and having an agreement that "I get... I'll take the kids alone for X number of hours on the weekend and you have them for Y numbers of hours on the weekend. And if what is important to you is sleeping in, then I'd like to sleep in one weekend. If what is important to you is getting away for a pedicure, I need this one hour for a pedicure. I'll take two hours for a mani and a pedi, you have two hours for golf." Whatever those things are, but staking out that time of, "Here's what I need to keep my sanity." For years, for me personally, it was cooking. It just was the quietness and calmness of the kitchen, probably combined with the fact that I was also doing something for the family which took the edge off the guilt. Later, for me, it was going for a run. It took a while to get to that. But, at some point, the stress of work and the stress of the financial crisis got to be tough, and I said, "Okay, guys. I need to run." My minimum is four days a week for 30 minutes. I have to do it. And I don't wanna say that was a non-negotiable, but that's my non-negotiable. And so, I think like everything else, it's engaging with a partner, being clear about what you need, and making sure that other person is getting what they need as well, but not neglecting yourself and not looking like I did in that picture.

34:32 Maricella: Okay. Thank you, Sally. One last question, and I wanna address this because we've also gotten similar versions of the same thing, and it is what's your greatest piece of advice for moms who are reentering the workforce?

34:47 Sallie Krawcheck: So, for moms who are reentering, there are a couple of things. The first thing I would say, if you are in a career break and you want to reenter the workforce, or if you think you might want to reenter the workforce, I would urge you to keep your toe in the water, and that for any number of women, the idea of, "Geez, I left, and it's ten years later, and now I want to go back in.", that can be, just let's face it, that can be tough. If, on the other hand, you've been out of the work force, and you're a marketing expert, and you've kept your toe in the water by working on marketing for XYZ nonprofit, you've taken these kinds of classes, you've taught at this kind of school somehow to keep things from getting rusty and having some skills that have been either developed or enhanced or maintained on the resume, I think, I'm seeing can be tremendously helpful for women.

35:55 Sallie Krawcheck: I think, as well, engaging with the family about as you transition to a different stage, what the different expectations will be on the kids. I'd give you... I've seen friends who... Be sure to do it with joy. The idea that I talked about before of, I'm going back to the workforce. This is not, "I feel terrible about leaving you. I'm sorry I'm leaving you. Dinner is now gonna be microwaved as opposed to a gourmet meal every night, I'm sorry about that." But instead, this is a joyful thing and things are gonna change, and things are gonna shift, and this is gonna make your mom happy, and it's gonna make your dad happy, and we're all gonna be happy and having that stance to it. And particularly if the kids are a bit younger, again what I found with my kids is that they look to me for clues on how am I supposed to feel about this. And look, by the way, sometimes I had 'em. I could go through the stories, give me a couple glasses of wine, I'll tell you all of them. I had the stories where the other moms said to their kids and then the kids said to my kids, "You're mom's a working mom which is not as good as my mom who's not a working mom."

37:01 Sallie Krawcheck: We had that whole thing. I will never forget buckling my daughter into the car when she was younger and I asked her what she was gonna be when she grew up and she said, "I'm not gonna be a working mom 'cause I would never do that to my kids." And I said, "Who told you that honey?" Right? It was one of the other kids and the mom... But you know what? The kids look... I would say the kids are always looking to you for what's okay and I... The idea of that is fantastic for their family and that is not what works for our family, and this is the kind of family we are, I think is the best advice that I can possibly, possibly give to anyone. And believing that and having that joy of work. Again, I would hark back to we are... Look, I know we've got a gender pay gap we need to make up, we've got a gender investing gap we need to make up, all... We have all of that.

37:53 Sallie Krawcheck: Those things are important. That being said, I wake up every day with unbelievable gratitude that we are able to have the careers that we are able to have that our mothers and grandmothers could not possibly have dreamt about, and that we get to have these wonderful conversations about work/life balance that they would have paid to have. And I think with that as an underpinning of how fortunate we are and what a great time we live in, I think the rest of it can be details. Alright, all of y'all are nice to be here on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. My turkey arrived this morning so I'm gonna go home this afternoon and start brining, but I hope all of you have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving season. We all have so much to be thankful for and the rest of the year and into a great next year. Take care all, bye-bye.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST

The balance of being a successful working woman while being an attentive mother is a never-ending struggle women face everyday. Maintaining both worlds is not easy, and will not come without mistakes and low-points, but it's still possible. Join Ellevate Chair and CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest Sallie Krawcheck for a Jam Session with tips on how to succeed as an entrepreneur while being a working mom.

This Jam Session is open to non-members; feel free to invite your friends! Register HERE.

We'll be live-tweeting this Jam Session, so follow along with #EntrepreneurMom!

Summary

00:00 Sallie Krawcheck: Thank you, Maricela. Good afternoon, everybody, thank you for being here. I don't know how in the world it got to be that I'm doing this jam session today. Maricela asked me a handful of weeks ago if I would do a jam session and I said, "Sure, I'm thrilled to do a jam session." And then two things happened, one of which is it showed up on my calendar the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so somehow in that slide to Thanksgiving... I don't know about you all, but I'm already in my sweatpants. And the second thing, when the topic came up, it was about being a working mom and the handful... The title being A Handful of Smart Things I Did As A Working Mom. If my kids could hear that I am speaking on this topic, I cannot tell you how hard they would be laughing because the running joke in my home is that I am a good enough mom. And, in fact, a handful of weeks ago, I was at an event with some other professional moms and one... I promise you, one of the moms was talking about how she... In their family, they read the Wall Street Journal together and discuss the markets, so that was strike number one against me, and strike number two was she was talking about the healthy meals she tries to put together for the family and makes sure that it's all balanced through the... Whatever the nutritional triangle is. And I think implicitly I do that, but I just thought, "God, that's a lot of attention to detail."

01:30 Sallie Krawcheck: I think what... I think the reason that I've been asked to do the call though, I'm the mother of two, I'm the stepmother of two, and I've managed to successfully get these kids at least to college overall, and I've managed to sort of do this while navigating a career. I will tell you, though, that the stories in my household that we tell about me being the working mom, the favorite one revolves around my going on a business trip to Chicago. My daughter, who was going to be the lead in the school play the next day, and she's probably in, I don't know, seventh or eighth grade, calls me and lets me know that she is not feeling good, she's not feeling well, and she doesn't think she can go to school. And of course, I tried to coach her through this and I say, "Honey, this is just nerves. You're not sick, you're okay." "No, mom. No, mom." I said, "Look, everybody's counting on you, everybody's depending on you." "No, mom, I don't feel good." And I finally said, "Look, you have got to suck it up. You just need to take a bucket to school with you." Which of course she did, and then she vomited in it all day. So that's a story that tends to come up about me as a mom, which is whenever anything gets tough, we just sort of say, "Take a bucket."

02:44 Sallie Krawcheck: No, I'm sort of joking about this, but what I will tell you that underlines all of this for me as a working mom, and the sort of view that I've tried to bring to it is it's a privilege, it's a delight, and it's a joy. And that the issues that I've faced as a working mother have typically been ones that I've been thrilled to face and that the opportunity to have these kids, bring up these kids, and have a career, if it means that I am 15 minutes late for the glee club performance, etcetera, to me are not make or break overall. But that I've just loved, loved having these kids and bringing these kids up. And quite frankly, I've, for a long time, thought about my kids as almost being my secret weapon, and I'll tell you, when you go... When I go back in time and think about when I was a young research analyst, and it was me and the guys, I think I was the only mom amongst the research analysts at Bernstein when I started. It was really interesting because I would take a break at the end of every day to spend a couple hours with my children. The guys often would not and would work straight through, and while one might think, "So not fair, that but these guys are... For the point of their career, are getting to work straight through." I actually found that I was more productive as a result.

04:08 Sallie Krawcheck: That I would spend my couple of hours with my kids playing the running and hugging game, which I highly recommend. It involves having a kid run down the hall, hug you, turn around, run back, and then do it all over again. I would actually find that I had my best ideas after taking those breaks and spending time with the kids, and research has since shown if you concentrate on a problem, pull away from the problem, address the problem again, that that is when creativity can happen. And so I really always approached having these kids as a joy and really competitive advantage. So now that I've told you what I did wrong as a mom, let me sort of go through the handful, and it really is just a handful, of things I did that may... You may find useful for yourselves as you are navigating through it.

04:52 Sallie Krawcheck: So I'd say the first thing is I never let the kids be upset to leave them, that even though, and particularly... When they were teenagers, as you might imagine, there were plenty of times I was very happy to leave them, but when they were younger and they were so cute and their cheeks were so fat and you just wanted to pinch them, and I had to go on a business trip, I... And by the way, when they were younger, I was terrified to fly, absolutely terrified to fly.

05:22 Sallie Krawcheck: So here I was leaving these adorable children, here I was walking out the door, here I was trying to be... Had no success yet as a research analyst trying for that, and I would close the door and I'd sometimes burst into tears. But what I did was I would always hold it together in front of them. I would always tell them, "Mommy always comes back." I never ever complained about work in front of them, and so they didn't have this sense of, "Something is wrong when my mom is working." But instead, "This is us, this is a happy family. My mom loves working, and she loves coming back." So that was the first thing.

05:55 Sallie Krawcheck: The second, if I was to go through a list, and this is a biggie, particularly for those of you who have got younger kids. I convinced my husband very early on that when one of the little ones woke up in the middle of the night and screamed, "Mommy!" what they actually were saying was parent of either gender. And I will tell you that when we would take turns, Wednesday night was my night, Thursday night was his night, back and forth... And by the way, for about five years, we did not sleep... Our kids did not sleep through the night. It just seemed like they wanted water, they had a nightmare, they had to find their pacifier, they had to find their lammy, they thought there was a monster under the bed. But I'll tell you, taking turns like that and getting three full nights of sleep, four whole nights of sleep a week, made all the difference.

06:40 Sallie Krawcheck: Okay, that's two. Number three. And this is when they got a little bit older, and particularly now that they're at school, one of the things that we did that I am so happy we did was that I would spend one weekend away with each of the kids every year, which meant my husband, because we had the two of them when they were growing up, we would swap. And so each of us got one weekend completely alone with the kids every year. And it didn't work out well every year. There was a trip to the emergency room when my daughter had a cut on her head stapled shut that was the second maternal low point that we talk about, but for the most part, that time that we had with the kids, we can almost go year by year and remember every single one of them. And getting away from the routine and having that one on one time made all the difference.

07:29 Sallie Krawcheck: The other thing, too, and other peopl will give you different advice on this, but as they got older, doing the college visits one on one with them was also, I found, fantastic. Now there's two schools of thought on this. One school is that the family together, it's all together, you're all going to ivy-covered walls and all that stuff, but what I've found is that with my kids if you had family members around, it just shut 'em down. It just shut 'em down. And by the way, of course, someone was always gonna say something that was gonna embarrass that adolescent kid. But when I took Spring Break trips with my kids to look at colleges, and it's at the age when those kids are a little surly, a little finding their way, and I found that for the first couple of days when I was one on one with them, the kids would be pretty quiet. But after a bit, the brooding would start to fade and out it would come in small dribs and drabs, talking about their future, talking about at the age of 16, 17, 18, who they wanted to be, what they wanted to be, what kind of jobs they wanted to have, what kind of impact they wanted to make on the world. But it took about three or four days to get through all the defenses they'd put up. So it's one thing that for us worked well, and that I would highly recommend.

08:50 Sallie Krawcheck: The other thing... I don't know what I'm on now, four or five. The other time when I had time with them is that both of my kids had some health challenges along the way. Now I was really fortunate in that both of these kids had these health challenges when I was at points of career transition as opposed to running 6,000 miles an hour on a job. But when those kids had those health issues, I dropped everything and I mean everything. As in stayed with them. My daughter had a concussion and was in a darkened room, and I stayed in that darkened room with her the entire time. My son was in the hospital. I stayed in the hospital with him. And I'm sure all of you will as well or I hope none of you have to do it, but the relationships that I formed with my kids when they were going through some tough times, there is a silver lining to every cloud and that was certainly it.

09:46 Sallie Krawcheck: On to more practical things. Now that my kids are in college, for those of you who've moved onto them, and for your kids who are teenagers, I highly recommend putting Find Friends on their cellphones. And I don't care my kids said, "Mommy, it's creepy that you know where I am all the time." But I drew the line on that early on, and as a result, even now that they're in college, I know where they are all the time. Now it doesn't mean I don't wake up when they're home, and I will tonight. I can already tell you what's gonna happen. I'm gonna wake up before the curfew, about ten minutes before, and I'm gonna be in a cold sweat. My heart's gonna be beating, but the truth is at least I can track them home. And that has been, I'm happy to tell you, particularly as they're away from me, such peace of mind.

10:28 Sallie Krawcheck: The other thing I did with the kids in college, and this one as a grown up I'm gonna recommend that you do in advance and warn them, I have reserved the right to choose one class that each of my kids has to take each semester, and the view on this ism "I'm happy for you to have this whatever major you wanna have, but before you graduate from college, you're gonna take coding, you're gonna take statistics, you're gonna take accounting, and I don't care if you never use it again, but you're gonna do it." And that one, I've had friends who've tried to do it after the kids were in college. I just recommend that you set that up early because I think now that my son is getting older, he recognizes it as a favor I did for him that he otherwise wouldn't have done.

11:14 Sallie Krawcheck: And then I think finally... And again, I told you, there's just a few things that I did well. The biggie, there are a couple of biggies which is I have let them see me sweat. My career has had some ups and it's had some downs, and I've worked hard and I've succeeded and I've failed and I've failed in public, and I've pivoted and I've been uncertain, and I've switched what I wanted to do, and so on. And I never hid that from them. I will never forget my two kids tiptoeing into my bedroom the morning after I was booted out of Citigroup to check that I was okay. And they have since watched me restructure my career from one that was within big corporations to one that has got a very different complexion, an entrepreneurial complexion. And they watched me struggle with that at times.

12:11 Sallie Krawcheck: They see me sort of sit on the sofa and write the enormously long list of things I like, things I don't like, things I'm good at, things I'm terrible at, what I wanna do, what's important to me, what I can let go, what doesn't matter, and so on. And I think for them... And they've seen that I've been okay with it. And I think for them is they've been maturing into adulthood and they are trying to figure out what they are going to do. The recognition that, "Hey, you know what? You don't have to know it at 21, and you're set until you're 68." That this is a process and it's okay for folks to go through the process.

12:46 Sallie Krawcheck: Final thing I wrote. I've written a piece about, which is on the same topic of work as though the kids are watching you, and I'll sort of share a couple of anecdotes. One of which is of my son, and my son is very, very liberal. In fact [chuckle] there was a period of time when the Occupy Wall Street was going on, he almost went down to go Occupy Wall Street. He was too young, so he wasn't allowed to leave the house for it. But he's a really liberal kid. And a handful of years ago, he and I... I was working... I was running Merrill at the time. And he and I went out to dinner, just the two of us, one summer evening and happen to cross Dick Fuld, who was having dinner at the same restaurant with his daughter and I... We stopped at a table, I introduced my son to Dick, we introduced each other to our kids. And we went down and sat at the table, our table, out of earshot, thank goodness. Because as we're sitting down I think to myself, "Well this is fantastic, 'cause here I am at dinner with my teenage kid, this is a really interesting opportunity to begin to talk to him about the financial crisis and what happened and so on."

13:55 Sallie Krawcheck: And I said, "Honey, that was Dick Fuld, and Dick Fuld... " And he interrupted me in a pretty loud voice actually and said, "You don't have to tell me who Dick Fuld is, I know Dick Fuld." And he went on to explain to me with great energy how Dick Fuld should be in jail. Don't think I agree with this by the way, but he went on to tell me his view. What we should do to Dick Fuld, what Dick Fuld did wrong, Dick Fuld in jail. And so on, and I find myself thinking, "Here's my teenage kid, I didn't know he knew all this stuff and furthermore, I didn't know he had these opinions on all this stuff." And of course I work on Wall Street, so I with some trepidation say to him, "Honey, you know what I do, right?" And he shoots back at me immediately and says, "Of course I know what you do. I Googled you and you're one of the good guys." And I thought at that point saying, "Wow, these kids know so much more than we give them credit for and they are looking at us and watching us for clues."

15:00 Sallie Krawcheck: And the final one, which involves my daughter, is she worked here this summer at Ellevate Network for part of the summer. Now, you will all be happy to know, your dues are being spent in an extremely frugal fashion because our office is so small, that we are practically sitting in each other's laps. And we have mice, but we're moving soon, but we have mice.

[laughter]

15:27 Sallie Krawcheck: And that there's not a lot of natural light. And as we've hired folks, the space has gotten tighter and tighter. And she and I were leaving one evening and I sort of turned to her, I said to her, "Isn't this the craziest thing you've ever seen?" I said, "You remember I worked at these big companies, you used to come by and visit me, and I'd have an office that was several times the size of this where we all are, for just me. Isn't that crazy?" And she looks at me and she says, "I don't know why you're saying that. Do you realize how much happier you are now? Do you realize that you come home everyday and talk about your professional mission? And you're talking about advancing women in the work place? You're talking about helping women achieve their professional and financial goals in whatever small way you can?" And my jaw dropped to the ground on that one. So at that point, I again apologized to her for telling her she should take a bucket to school, that she ended up vomiting in.

[laughter]

16:24 Sallie Krawcheck: Because I thought she had some pretty good insights. So anyway, I hope that was a little bit helpful. As I said, I really don't hold myself out as being... As having it more figured out than anybody. I will tell you that it's something that I figured out as I went along. When I was growing up, I sort of imagined that I would be... Remember Mary Richards on the Mary Tyler Moore show? I always sort of thought I would be a career woman, I wouldn't have kids, I didn't imagine it. And then these kids came along and they have been such a joy to me and really my underlying view on this is I've been so fortunate to had been able to had the career I've had and so incredibly fortunate to be able to have these kids. That I have figured the mistakes I have... We have all made along the way. Our mistakes that are so well-meaning, but that the great really so outweighs the tough here. And that I've been fortunate to be able to juggle it and juggle it improperly and juggle it poorly and sometimes do a few good things to bring the kids up, has been such a pleasure.

17:38 Sallie Krawcheck: Okay so Maricela, any questions for me?

17:41 Maricella: Yes.

17:42 Sallie Krawcheck: Perfect. Hold on, here's Maricela.

17:45 Maricella: Thanks for everyone for listening and wow, thank you for all the questions that are coming in, quite a few. Thanks, Sally for sharing those stories. And well, let me start.

[laughter]

17:58 Maricella: They're a lot. So let me start with this one. It says, "Sally, would love to hear any advice you have for those of us that manage working moms, but don't have kids ourselves. Things we should definitely do or do more often."

18:21 Sallie Krawcheck: For those of us who manage working moms but don't have kids ourselves, or let's bring the dads into this, because what I'm afraid happens still in the workplace out there is that most workplaces will say they offer flexibility. Most working moms will say, "Yeah, right. I don't really believe it. And that if I am offered flexibility, that it puts me on the mommy track." And I don't have exact numbers to hand but it is something, it's the vast majority of women have that reaction, which is, "Geez. I'm the mother of minor kids. And my company really doesn't have real flexibility programs." Or, put in another way, flexibility without shame. And so, the advice would be, for whatever you do with your policies around working moms, they should be around working parents, and that the dads should be encouraged as well to take time for a soccer game, to bring the kid in with the nanny or the babysitter or the daycare is out and it's not working, and to sort of celebrate the fact that you're hiring whole people who have whole lives. And that's true whether they're male or female, it's true whether they're single, whether they're partnered, whether they have kids or not.

19:48 Sallie Krawcheck: And so, I think part of it is acting like and addressing your folks as though they are those whole people and treating them as adults around finding that right balance, allowing people, if it makes sense for your business, to work from home when they need to or when they want to. I personally find, by the way, I try to spend... And I don't always do it, I don't even ever do it. But I try to put aside one day a week where I can actually think, and I find that it helps me and my job and me and my productivity so much more. But giving those people that flex in order to engage with their family, which I think makes them better workers, overall is important. And I'll tell you when I had the moment. The moment was a few years ago when I went out, I was actually visiting the folks at Salesforce. And of course, I assume you have seen the market [20:43] ____ team have taken, have worked to identify and close their gender pay gap, which cost them I think three million dollars. I remember he set me up with their head of HR, and talking to his head of HR about having engaged individuals. And she told me that their talent was so scarce for them that it brought them to the recognition that they needed talent, they needed people to be engaged, and that they found by treating people respectfully and recognizing that they have these whole lives, they had much more effective folks.

21:19 Sallie Krawcheck: And they made the decisions that they would rather have, from their flexibility perspective, individuals who brought their whole self, their whole not-worried self, their whole 'not-thinking-about-I've-got-the-kids-with-the-babysitter-who-isn't-quite-right' selves. They'd rather have that whole fully engaged self for ten hours a week or 20 hours a week or 30 hours a week rather than someone who's frightful and worried and concerned for 60 hours a week or 40 hours a week or whatever it is. And that by treating individuals respectfully and saying, "How much time can you give us and be wholly there?" They said was so much more helpful in productivity than almost anything else they'd done.

22:02 Maricella: Thank you, Sally. You sort of touched on this, but we've got this question quite a few times. So I wanna try and put it into one phrase. People are asking about, what do you think about health support systems and how you manage sick days with your kids?

22:22 Sallie Krawcheck: Me personally and not me as a business manager? Me personally?

22:30 Maricella: Yeah.

22:32 Sallie Krawcheck: How do I manage it? As best as I can. And look, I am really fortunate to have a good partner in my husband. And I know when Lean In came out, and Sheryl had written one of the most important professional decisions you can make is who your spouse or partner is. And for a moment I said, "Wait a minute, that's what I've been saying for years." I've been there. And I think that's exactly right. I've been married... This is my second marriage. In my first marriage, my husband, before the days of everyone having a cellphone, certainly before the days of the internet, so I'm dating myself, I remember if I ran late in my job and I would get home he would be irritated with me. And that can be a tough way to build a career when you have that hard deadline and someone who's upset, what you know is gonna be upset with you at home if you miss it. In contrast with my current husband, the father of our children, we got very clear upfront on what both of us wanted to achieve in our lives. Now, I was actually fortunate in a way because he is a successful individual, and so there was never any sense as my career started to move that the two of us were competing in any way. And I suspect in my first marriage, there was that sense.

24:00 Sallie Krawcheck: So I think it was that we weren't competing. It was the we were real clear on what we were trying to do, and we were real clear on the sharing. And it's not 100% sharing all the the time. You know it's fascinating, when our son was in the hospital, some handful of years ago, I just wasn't going to leave. And, he on the other hand, I never sort of understood it, right, he went to work, he went to Starbucks, he brought us coffee, and there did seem to be this sort of difference. And that was okay, we sort of worked it through, I'm gonna be here I'm not going to leave, you go do this. But it was... It's a constant back and forth in communication. Look, I think you gotta, when you're sick you're sick, when you gotta take a day for the kids, you gotta take a day for the kids. If you work for a company that doesn't allow you to do it, I think you have the conversations with your boss, as we call them courageous conversations around here. You bring it out, you talk about it, you discuss it. But you know what, the truth is, if the company isn't gonna have the culture that allows you to be an adult, you sometimes might want to think about a different company as well.

25:00 Sallie Krawcheck: Because that kind of stress is just crushing for everybody. And I think... I was fortunate that I'm working to build businesses now as an entrepreneur that respects that. And I had the opportunity in many of the companies that I worked for of being respected as an adult, and managing my time correctly.

25:22 Maricella: Thank you, Sally. We have a ton of questions coming in. Thank you everyone for being so engaged today. And I do want to address these, because we have a couple that came in with this, and we actually talked in our poll today about this. And one of them says, "Thrilled to see Mark Zuckerberg taking paternity leave for two full months." And the question really is, perhaps you can comment on this, and although the fact remains that most men don't exercise flexibility, do you think there's evidence of this changing, and coming to more of a corporate Wall Street industry?

26:04 Sallie Krawcheck: Well Wall Street, [chuckle] well, you know, but here's what I think, fantastic. I'm so happy to see that. You know, and as Mark references in doing it, the research is pretty clear about how impactful in a positive way this can be for the family and for the child. And I think what it does too is, we talked about this a bit before, is it takes it away from being, here's something those women are asking for, maternity leave to here's something for people. And something that makes since as we respect individuals and respect the fact that they have lives outside of work, and the fact that their families are important. Isn't that what we want out of our employees and people that we spend our time and our days with? So I think it's fantastic. I think it's still onesies, twosies, and a little anecdotal, although I will say that one of our... I was so pleased one of our Ellevate Network corporate women, when she had her baby, I think eight months, nine months ago now, her husband took paternity leave, or parental leave exactly the same amount of time that she did, and the two of them were home for weeks and weeks, and then both of them came back at the same time. And I thought that was fantastic.

27:24 Sallie Krawcheck: I think we still, of course, have a ways to go on maternity leaves, too. And I think it bothers all of us, because we've asked here at the Ellevate Network about this, that we and Papua New Guinea, are the two that do not have mandated parental leaves. It is picking up some attention in the presidential race right now, which I think is good. I wish we as a country would stop thinking about it as an entitlement, or as a gift. Or again, something pesky women are asking to stay home with their pesky babies, and a gift that we would give them. I think it is an investment that we should make in our families and our citizens of our country. And for those of you who know me, you know I'm a research analyst at heart. And so I look at the research, and I've started to talk about the fact that in this country the retirement savings crisis here, which as we all know is so big and so ugly we've almost stop talking about it.

28:25 Sallie Krawcheck: That the retirement savings crisis is actually a womens crisis. Sadly, we earn less than then guys still do. We take longer, or any career breaks to a greater extent than they do, therefore we retire with 2/3 the money of men and we live five plus, six plus, years longer. And even just that living longer if there's a retirement savings crisis, it's ours. And so the question we should be asking ourselves is how we keep women in the workforce longer, how we close the gender pay gap. And one way to do it is a mandated parental leave. Certainly for the women, it would be great to see companies extend it to the guys. And if we can get folks to have more of a leave when their children are young, there's a greater chance that they will not leave the workforce at that point, stay in the workforce, grow the economy, help close the retirement savings gap.

29:18 Sallie Krawcheck: I mean, it's so many darn good things that happen. And again, by the way, to hark back to what I said about my meeting at Salesforce, that when they come back it's not sleep deprived, nervous about the baby at home, half a brain at work, but that they can come back and bring their whole selfs to work. And so I think this is a challenge that we need to look at more wholistically as opposed to in a limited fashion, as to only the negatives that occur, rather than wholistically the positives.

29:51 Maricella: Thank you Sally. I'm gonna change pace a little bit here. I think you're gonna like this question. Any suggestions for teaching your kids to be financially responsible?

[chuckle]

30:02 Sallie Krawcheck: You're making me laugh, 'cause I think I just said, "Some of the other moms I know are having their kids read the freakin' Wall Street Journal."

[chuckle]

30:13 Sallie Krawcheck: But, you look, I think one of the great things that happened to my family was my son ended up, one year when he was a young teenager, overspending his allowance. I had given... This is a secret, guys. So, don't tweet this one. But, I'd ended up giving him my credit card for use for some school things, and he ended up getting carried away with it and spending some money on some things he shouldn't have spent some money on, and as a result, that kid had to pay back every penny and had to pay back every penny with interest. And I just loved it because he ended up working in a grocery store for the summer hauling bags. And it was the greatest thing to watch this young kid realize the value of money and realize the value of hard work overall. And that lesson, along with... We did the allowances, too. We did the chores around the house, etcetera, etcetera. But, that, "I've just gotten myself into trouble with money by not paying close enough attention to it, by being a little greedy, and the way to get out is through some very hard work", I think, was a really important lesson for him. It isn't one that I would have imposed upon him, but was one that is apparent, the discipline needed to be there. And I promise you, he learned that lesson fast.

31:40 Maricella: Thank you, Sally. This is an interesting one. How do you find time to take care of yourself besides in addition to work and family, etcetera?

31:50 Sallie Krawcheck: Well, that is a great one, and I do have to say I'm sitting here looking at it from kids who are teenagers, and those early years can be so tough, and you can be so tired. There's a picture of me, and please don't, nobody look for it, the picture of me that my daughter came across on the internet of I am gaunt, there are circles under my eyes, I am pale which makes the circles look even bigger, my hair looks awful, I'm wearing black which is a color I should never wear, and it's me next to a computer. And my daughter comes across this at some point doing some school project, and she said, "Mom, who is this? Is this like your older, ugly, older sister?" and I said, "Well, sweetheart, that was me when you were one years old." And I remember, 'cause I could see the backdrop of the office. So, I'm happily right now at a good stage where my kids are at school and I have oceans of time, but I really remember those years. Look, this is where if you have a partner, a great partner comes in, and handy, I don't think my husband would like me to say can handy, but...

[chuckle]

33:09 Sallie Krawcheck: But, this is where having a great partner and having an agreement that "I get... I'll take the kids alone for X number of hours on the weekend and you have them for Y numbers of hours on the weekend. And if what is important to you is sleeping in, then I'd like to sleep in one weekend. If what is important to you is getting away for a pedicure, I need this one hour for a pedicure. I'll take two hours for a mani and a pedi, you have two hours for golf." Whatever those things are, but staking out that time of, "Here's what I need to keep my sanity." For years, for me personally, it was cooking. It just was the quietness and calmness of the kitchen, probably combined with the fact that I was also doing something for the family which took the edge off the guilt. Later, for me, it was going for a run. It took a while to get to that. But, at some point, the stress of work and the stress of the financial crisis got to be tough, and I said, "Okay, guys. I need to run." My minimum is four days a week for 30 minutes. I have to do it. And I don't wanna say that was a non-negotiable, but that's my non-negotiable. And so, I think like everything else, it's engaging with a partner, being clear about what you need, and making sure that other person is getting what they need as well, but not neglecting yourself and not looking like I did in that picture.

34:32 Maricella: Okay. Thank you, Sally. One last question, and I wanna address this because we've also gotten similar versions of the same thing, and it is what's your greatest piece of advice for moms who are reentering the workforce?

34:47 Sallie Krawcheck: So, for moms who are reentering, there are a couple of things. The first thing I would say, if you are in a career break and you want to reenter the workforce, or if you think you might want to reenter the workforce, I would urge you to keep your toe in the water, and that for any number of women, the idea of, "Geez, I left, and it's ten years later, and now I want to go back in.", that can be, just let's face it, that can be tough. If, on the other hand, you've been out of the work force, and you're a marketing expert, and you've kept your toe in the water by working on marketing for XYZ nonprofit, you've taken these kinds of classes, you've taught at this kind of school somehow to keep things from getting rusty and having some skills that have been either developed or enhanced or maintained on the resume, I think, I'm seeing can be tremendously helpful for women.

35:55 Sallie Krawcheck: I think, as well, engaging with the family about as you transition to a different stage, what the different expectations will be on the kids. I'd give you... I've seen friends who... Be sure to do it with joy. The idea that I talked about before of, I'm going back to the workforce. This is not, "I feel terrible about leaving you. I'm sorry I'm leaving you. Dinner is now gonna be microwaved as opposed to a gourmet meal every night, I'm sorry about that." But instead, this is a joyful thing and things are gonna change, and things are gonna shift, and this is gonna make your mom happy, and it's gonna make your dad happy, and we're all gonna be happy and having that stance to it. And particularly if the kids are a bit younger, again what I found with my kids is that they look to me for clues on how am I supposed to feel about this. And look, by the way, sometimes I had 'em. I could go through the stories, give me a couple glasses of wine, I'll tell you all of them. I had the stories where the other moms said to their kids and then the kids said to my kids, "You're mom's a working mom which is not as good as my mom who's not a working mom."

37:01 Sallie Krawcheck: We had that whole thing. I will never forget buckling my daughter into the car when she was younger and I asked her what she was gonna be when she grew up and she said, "I'm not gonna be a working mom 'cause I would never do that to my kids." And I said, "Who told you that honey?" Right? It was one of the other kids and the mom... But you know what? The kids look... I would say the kids are always looking to you for what's okay and I... The idea of that is fantastic for their family and that is not what works for our family, and this is the kind of family we are, I think is the best advice that I can possibly, possibly give to anyone. And believing that and having that joy of work. Again, I would hark back to we are... Look, I know we've got a gender pay gap we need to make up, we've got a gender investing gap we need to make up, all... We have all of that.

37:53 Sallie Krawcheck: Those things are important. That being said, I wake up every day with unbelievable gratitude that we are able to have the careers that we are able to have that our mothers and grandmothers could not possibly have dreamt about, and that we get to have these wonderful conversations about work/life balance that they would have paid to have. And I think with that as an underpinning of how fortunate we are and what a great time we live in, I think the rest of it can be details. Alright, all of y'all are nice to be here on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. My turkey arrived this morning so I'm gonna go home this afternoon and start brining, but I hope all of you have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving season. We all have so much to be thankful for and the rest of the year and into a great next year. Take care all, bye-bye.


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Kristy Wallace
Kristy Wallace

New York, NY

CEO at Ellevate Network

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Maricella Herrera Avila

VP Operations & Strategy at Ellevate Network

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Community Discussion
Natalie Straub

Looks like a great session - I'd like to invite non-Ellevate member friends and have forwarded the invite. However, they are having trouble registering. Something special they/I need to do? Thanks!

November 2, 2015

Paula Bowie

I'm always interested to hear the perspectives of other working mothers who have held demanding roles. Personally I found the early teenage years much more challenging than the early years - I'm keen to hear any wisdom that helps me to make a better connection with all of my children.

November 3, 2015

Susan Edwards

Will a recording be made available?

November 30, 2015