Leadership

Ex-Wall Street titan Sallie Krawcheck says a lack of diversity leads to bad decision-making

The Trump administration's sudden and controversial decision to alter immigration policy may be a result of the lack of diversity of the White House staff, says ex-Wall Street titan Sallie Krawcheck.

Krawcheck served as CEO of Smith Barney, CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and CFO of Citigroup. In January, she released a new book, "Own It: The Power of Women at Work," detailing the benefits of diversity in executive teams.

"The book is sort of fascinating given what is going on right now," says Krawcheck. "This morning we are talking about decision making that has occurred at government that happened fast, and the research indicates that if you have non-diverse leadership teams, they tend to make fast decisions because they tend to agree with each other, but they may not make the most effective decisions."

Sallie Krawcheck is the co-founder and CEO of Ellevest
Joe Scarnici | Getty Images
Sallie Krawcheck is the co-founder and CEO of Ellevest
"Diversity leads to better business results — not by a little, but by a lot." -Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest

Trump's administration, she points out, is "one of the least diverse administration teams since the Reagan administration."

Before holding executive leadership roles, Krawcheck made a name for herself being a leading research analyst on Wall Street. Her job was to evaluate the quality of management teams.

"The only research on the quality of management is research on diversity," says Krawcheck. "If you have everyone sort of alike, then you end up having the full vetting of information of decisions, etc. But the diversity leads to better business results not by a little, but by a lot."

Women tend to have different skill sets than men do. Rather than try to emulate their male counterparts, Krawcheck encourages women to recognize that the ways they are different are actually vital.

"It's the qualities that women bring to the workforce not better than the men, but somewhat different than the men where our holistic decision making, our risk awareness, our relationship orientation skills that we tend to bring are becoming actually more valuable going forward, not less valuable," says Krawcheck.

"There's real power in diversity," she says.