Next Steps: As Wells Fargo retail-banking chief Mary Mack works to overhaul the company's sales culture, her employees wonder how they'll be evaluated and paid under her leadership. She's been on a 20-city listening tour to find out what led to Wellsgate and why. She's also been trying to come up with employee incentives that won't induce any misconduct. "There are clearly things as a company that we've got to work on," Mack said.
Different Strokes: The new chairman of the American Bankers Association, Dorothy Savarese, wants the rules of the financial system to encourage community banks and big banks to do what they do best. "We need diversity," she said, arguing that differently sized banks have different strengths and weaknesses and that one-size-fits-all regulation fails to recognize that. "We're homogenizing banking and I don't think that's good for our country because the diversity of our banking industry supports the diversity of our economy and we know that a diverse economy is a resilient one and creates more jobs." Savarese is just the second woman to lead the ABA board, after Elizabeth Duke (in 2004-2005). She discussed what it means to have a woman in that role, what her priorities will be and what she hopes to do about the challenges facing her peers. Saverese is president and CEO of the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank and No. 11 on this year's list of the Most Powerful Women in Banking.
Guys Struggle with Work-Life Balance Too: Former Visa CEO Charles Scharf spent most of his time at the company's San Francisco headquarters before stepping down Monday to devote more time to his family in New York. "I think to do this job properly you need to be committed to spending the appropriate amount of time in San Francisco," he said. "Given my personal situation, I don't feel that I can do that right now." Scharf also will also step down from Visa's board.
Family First: The U.S. is the only developed country without mandatory paid family leave for new parents. In contrast to most countries - which ensure at least three months of paid leave - the U.S. offers three months of unpaid leave. Many have attributed the gender gap in financial services to the difficulties in balancing work pressures with family demands. To help address this, paid family leave should be compulsory in the industry, contends Mike Meyer, the head of global credit and U.S. fixed income at RBC Capital Markets.
Please, Mr. President: Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White should be demoted, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said Friday. Warren is pushing for a rule that would require companies to publicly disclose their political spending and is upset about a lack of support from White.
In Case You Missed It
Bankers Wanted, Flexible Hours: The big hurdle in diversifying the senior ranks of banking right now is in retaining female talent; no one has difficulty with the recruitment portion of the puzzle, says David Casper, president and CEO of BMO Harris Bank. "Leaders need to adapt to the changing needs of their employees, not vice versa," Casper says. The 9-to-5 workday, for example, is becoming a thing of the past. "All employees have personal and professional obligations," he says. "We need to revisit the traditional views of how, when and where we get our work done. The most effective employees are working on their terms, their way." It matters at the recruitment level too. "If a talented prospective employee has two job offers, he or she is going to take the one that offers more flexibility. It doesn't matter if the applicant is a man or a woman, or whether he or she has kids. Top talent wants flexibility."
Community Bankers to Watch: Five executives on American Banker's list of Women to Watch hold key positions at banks with less than $30 billion in assets: Karen Glenn of First United Bank and Trust; Liz Dukes Wolverton of Synovus; Mary Ann Scully of Howard Bank; Jill Castillaof Citizens Bank of Edmond; and Begonya Klumb of UMB Financial. Make sure to check out these profiles.
Judy Steiner has joined the Banner Corp., in Walla Walla, Wash., as its chief risk officer. She was previously chief risk officer of FirstMerit Corp. in Akron, Ohio., which was acquired by Huntington Bancshares earlier this year.
Maria Coyne, a former executive vice president at KeyCorp, is now the president and chief executive of the Cornerstone Fund, the financial services arm of the United Church of Christ. "Her work in establishing a Women's Small Business Banking arm within KeyBank was perfect for Cornerstone," Brian Clarke, a partner at executive search firm Kensington International, said in a blog post. Coyne, who is a familiar face among the Most Powerful Women in Banking, last appeared on the list in 2014.
Rosann Zulauf is now chief retail officer at Two River Bancorp in Tinton Falls, N.J., where she is responsible for branch planning, sales and service, budgeting and regulatory compliance for the 15-branch network. She was previously a retail market manager for TD Bank in New Jersey.
Minnesota Bank & Trust in Edina, Minn. has recruited Margaret A. Johnson to oversee retail and small business banking. Johnson was previously a senior premier banker at BMO Harris Bank.
Stock Yards Bancorp in Lousiville, Ky., has added an eleventh seat to its board for Donna Heitzman, a former portfolio manager for KKR Prisma Capital in New York.
Female Partners: Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley's most highly respected venture capital firms, has hired Yahoo's Jess Lee as its first female investing partner for its U.S. operations. The firm had reportedly been pursuing Lee since 2012, and Sequoia Chair Mike Moritz said last year that he was working to find a female partner. Other VC firms, including Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst, IVP, Mayfield Fund and Redpoint Ventures, still list only men among their U.S. partners. Earlier this year Peter Thiel hired the first female partner at his venture capital firm, Founders Fund. "Getting the first female venture capitalist into a top-tier partnership is a big deal," said Kate Mitchell, the co-founder and partner of Scale Venture Partners and the chairwoman of the National Venture Capital Association's task force on diversity. "Whether that translates into a long-term commitment to better inclusion, only time will tell."
The Double Bind of Women: Unconscious bias and the double bind for women may be even more deeply ingrained in American culture than racial bias, according to former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, a Democrat from Illinois. The double bind is "the very, very fine line of being a shrew on one hand and a puppet on the other that any woman in public life has to walk," she said. It arises when our minds try to align our stereotypes about men and women, with our stereotypes about leadership, says NYU psychology professor Madeline Heilman, who helped conduct a study on how to tell, scientifically, if women are victims of gender bias. She asked volunteers to evaluate a high-powered manager joining a company, sometimes telling them the manager is a man, other times that it's a woman. "When the person was presented as a high powered person, who was very ambitious, we found that the person was seen as much more unlikable when it was a woman than when it was a man," she says. "We have conceptions of these jobs and these positions and what is required to do them well, and there's a lack of fit between how we see women and what these positions require."
Davids and Goliaths: Arjuna, Pax, and Trillium, three small activist investment firms, are challenging some of the world's largest companies on gender imbalances in the workforce, on their boards, equal pay and LGBTQ protection. Arjuna Capital's director for equity research and shareholder engagement, Natasha Lamb, began the movement earlier this year, looking at eBay, Google, Adobe, Facebook. "Pay equity is no longer aspirational," Lamb said this week. "It's being implemented." In the coming year Lamb will look at eight companies, including four of the big banks and two other financial services firms. Trillium is also looking at financial companies and plans to file resolutions at nine of them to get more disclosure of data on race, gender, and pay, said Trillium vice president Brianna Murphy. She's filing resolutions at Aflac and Fifth Third Bancorp, asking them to issue reports on workforce diversity.