Easy As Pay: "There are different ways to attack the boys' club than from the inside," says Sallie Krawcheck, who famously left Bank of America in the midst of a power struggle and now runs Ellevest, a company with an online investment platform aimed at women. But for companies that do want to change a boys-club culture, compensating men and women equitably would encourage more women to remain at their organizations, thereby creating more balanced gender representation and allow the firm to better serve clients — especially female clients. But firms haven't changed — much. "Just friggin' pay them more," Krawcheck says. "Oh, and if you haven't stopped to check whether you have a gender pay gap? You do."
Wooing Women Entrepreneurs: Wells Fargo has long been a champion for gender diversity within the company, but more recently it's been working to attract and retain female clients and entrepreneurs. The "women's initiative" began in the division focused on middle-market businesses, with an effort to educate teams about why it pays to focus on women, particularly business owners, as current and future customers. Then it began teaching staff to differentiate between the way women and men do business to better market to female prospects. Now it's creating women-focused events across the U.S. "If you understand the groups you're supporting, you're going to be better at supporting them," said Susanne Svizeny, eastern division manager for commercial banking and co-chair of the initiative. "If women are growing businesses and they're going to be a bigger part of the population, we've got to be there… It's a business strategy… a good business strategy." Wells has committed to giving $55 billion in loans to women-owned businesses. It fulfilled $48.6 billion of that commitment as of the first quarter of 2016.
Off the Record: The judge overseeing the Bank of America "bro's club" case has agreed to remove from the public record a version of a claim by Megan Messina that she was offered $500,000 to settle a case alleging her boss favored male employees. The B of A managing director sued her employer in May claiming it allowed egregious pay discrepancies between men and women and that it tried to push her out when she raised allegations of improper behavior that harmed clients. She also claimed her male supervisor told her she wasn't welcome in his bro's club and consistently excluded her from e-mails and meetings with the ten men he oversaw. B of A responded in July that no such club exists and that the term was never used by Messina's supervisor or other managers. The judge overseeing the case agreed with Bank of America that earlier versions of Messina's complaint should be removed from the public record and replaced by a redacted version. The redacted complaint will exclude details of other employees' compensation, names of Bank of America clients and privileged communications between Messina and the bank's lawyers as part of their investigation of her claims.
Weak Wills: Kansas City Fed President Esther George said in a recent interview that she is skeptical that the living wills process for organizations as complex as TBTF banks can prevent another crisis. "Their incentives are not around [determining] how to fail smoothly," she said. "They're trying to do something else, right? They're trying to return [value] to shareholders and other things. So I really think it's on the banking agencies to say can these work or not, and so far I think they're having a hard time proving that out." She also suggested capital levels for large banks still need to be substantially higher and that community banks still endure far heavier regulatory burdens than the largest banks. She pushed back on suggestions that the Fed's structure contributes to its lack of diversity in leadership roles.
Laura Izurieta is joining Silicon Valley Bank as chief risk officer. Previously, she worked at Capital One for 16 years, most recently as CRO of its retail and direct bank.
Smart contracts startup Symbiont has hired Caitlin Long as president and chairman. The Wall Street veteran left her job at Morgan Stanley, where she was a managing director in global capital markets, in April.
Ford Motor promoted veteran executive Joy Falotico to lead the Ford Credit lending unit. She was previously chief operating officer of the division.
Green Bancorp in Houston named Elizabeth Vandervoort, its chief accounting officer, its interim CFO beginning in the fall. John Durie will resign as CFO Oct. 31.
Tech Giants Take on the Pay Gap: Major tech players appear to be the ones hearing Sallie Krawcheck's message: just pay women more. Apple, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, LinkedIn and Drop Box were among the 29 companies that signed on to the White House Equal Pay Pledge on Friday (Women's Equality Day, the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment that gives women the right to vote). Organizations that sign onto the initiative promise to help close the national gender pay gap by conducting annual, company-wide pay analyses and review hiring and promotion practices. In late March Intel reported it had reached 100% gender pay parity and Apple said its female employees earn 99.6 cents to every man's dollar. "We're now analyzing the salaries, bonuses, and annual stock grants of all our employees worldwide," Apple said in a statement this past week. "If a gap exists, we'll address it."
Tech Talent on Boards: Women on boards are almost twice as likely to have professional technology experience as their male counterparts — that means holding key roles (like chief risk or information officer) at previous employers or having senior-level responsibility at a tech firm, according to new research. Accenture surveyed female representation on more than 500 Global 2000 companies' boards across 39 countries. Overall, 16% of the women on these boards have digital experience, compared to 9% of men. In the U.S. alone, 26% of women had tech backgrounds, compared to 17% of men. As technology disrupts virtually every industry, "it's clear that more and more jobs — up to and including the board level — will require technology skills," said Roxanne Taylor, Accenture's chief marketing and communications officer. "With the number of women pursuing computer science degrees hovering around 20%, we need to find new ways to get women excited about technology as early as possible."