Most Powerful Women in Banking: No. 18, B of A's Anne Clarke Wolff

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Head of Global Corporate Banking and Global Leasing | Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Anne Clarke Wolff sees a mixed picture regarding efforts to improve gender equality in the banking industry's top ranks.

On the one hand, women can now take longer maternity leave, they get more support from employers about their decision to take time off, and banks are taking steps to recruit more women.

But attrition among female employees continues to be a challenge, Wolff said. The Wall Street veteran notes that at the highest levels of the industry, there remain key barriers for women.

"In executive suites dominated by men, the style and traits that make women successful up until that point often make it challenging to penetrate the glass ceiling," she said.

"Men and women communicate, lead and partner in very different manners, language and approach. Shifting performance and talent discussions to more objective measures of success, away from measures of likability, may be one way to gender-neutralize talent planning and open up the door to more opportunities."

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Wolff joined Bank of America in 2011, as part of the company's push to expand its corporate banking business outside of the United States. She is in its Bank of America Merrill Lynch unit.

In fiscal year 2016, revenue for the international subsidiaries platform grew by 11%. The global corporate banking unit that Wolff leads works with many of B of A's largest clients.

Before joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wolff was head of global sales for treasury services at JPMorgan Chase. Earlier, she spent nearly 20 years in a variety of senior roles at Citigroup.

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