Sallie Krawcheck on good leadership: 'Don't molest your employees'

JP Mangalindan
Senior Correspondent

Ellevest CEO and Wall Street legend Sallie Krawcheck had searing advice for employers seeking to improve the quality of their leadership during Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit on Wednesday.

“Don’t molest your employees,” Krawcheck offered onstage on Wednesday during a panel at Yahoo Finance’s annual All Markets Summit, held in New York City.

Krawcheck’s advice refers to recent allegations that longtime Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed numerous women, including employees, during his decades-long career. Since The New York Times published its initial story on Weinstein in early October, dozens of women have come forward and publicly accused him of sexual misconduct.

And Weinstein isn’t the only one to come under fire. Longtime Amazon Studios chief Roy Price stepped down this month after a producer for “The Man in the High Castle,” a popular Amazon original series, alleged she was “repeatedly and insistently propositioned” by Price in 2015. Likewise, Binary Capital venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck quit the firm he co-founded following multiple allegations of sexual harassment exposed in a report by The Information this June.

Ellevest CEO and Wall Street legend Sallie Krawcheck at Yahoo Finance’s annual All Markets Summit on Wednesday.

But there’s a silver lining to all the appalling revelations: they represent a significant moment for America as women feel more empowered — at least in the here-and-now — to step up and raise their voice on-the-record.

“I think what’s happening is amazing,” Krawcheck said. “I think it’s amazing the strides that we have made over just the last year or just the last few years, that women are using social media and the proliferation of media to speak out about these predators. What I’m loving seeing is that women are supporting other women in this.”

In fact, Krawcheck suggests recent events have also given cause for some to potentially reevaluate — and perhaps be more sympathetic regarding — Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination suit in 2015 against investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Pao at the time alleged Kleiner Perkins had discriminated against her during her employment and eventual dismissal.

However, a jury ultimately ruled in favor of the well-known venture capital firm — a verdict that simply proved to some that sexism, particularly in Silicon Valley, remained alive and well. Pao’s court battle was also more recently documented in a book released this September, “Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change.”

JP Mangalindan is a senior correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Email story tips and musings to jpm@oath.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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