On the Money

Sallie Krawcheck: Women, men won't be equal 'until we're equal financially'

Closing the gap
Closing the gap

Whether in career or in life, the gender gap is slowly but surely beginning to close. However when it comes to money, some believe women still have a long way to go.

Former Wall Street titan-turned- entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck calls finance the next wave of feminism, and it's one of the themes in her new book, "Own It: The Power of Women at Work."

While doing research for the book, Krawcheck found that women control 80 percent of direct consumer spending, and make up more than half the workforce. Along with wage inequality, women retire with just two-thirds the money men have, all while living at least 5 years longer than men.

"As women we have a number of money gaps. We don't invest as much as men do…we don't make the money men do, we aren't as advanced at work as men, things actually cost us more, [and] we have a gender debt gap," Krawcheck told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.

"We're not going to be equal until we're financially equal," said Krawcheck, a Columbia Business School graduate, and a veteran of banking giants Bank of America and Citigroup.

To help close the financial gap, Krawcheck realized women's needs and goals needed to be addressed in a better way. It's one of the reasons she started Ellevest, https://www.ellevest.com/ a digital investing platform specifically geared towards women.

"We tried to build something that really dug in deep with women, really co-created an investment platform for women for what they're looking for," she said. Krawcheck noted women's financial goals tend to be different than men's.

For example, she said women have more concrete goals like wanting to save money for a home, or to start a business, or to retire well, For the most part, females don't really care if they outperform the market.

When it comes to women advancing in their careers, Krawcheck said to focus on making the most with your money. "Investing is the best piece of career advice women aren't getting," she said.

"If you are earning your money and putting it in the bank, and you're not getting the higher returns that investing can lead to, and you don't have as money much as the guys do," she asks, "Do you feel better going into your bosses office to ask for the new assignment, to ask for even the raise, to leave a bad relationship, if you have more money or less?"

Krawcheck added that, if there's one thing she hopes readers of her book walk away with, it's knowing the value women bring to the workforce—and that it's finally starting to be recognized.

"The relationship focus we bring, the ability to see things holistically, the risk awareness we bring, these are becoming are more valuable," she said.

"If companies don't value us for who we are —we now have choices and power we didn't have just a handful of years ago," Krawcheck added.

On the Money airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 am ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.