Sallie Krawcheck says women feel more shame about money than sex and death

Sallie Krawcheck says women feel more shame about money than sex and death


Wall Street veteran and Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck would like to see women who are livin’ large get the same praise as their male colleagues. Perhaps that will help remove some of the shame she says women feel about money.   

“Money is so taboo for us as women,” she explains in an exclusive interview with TheStreet. “We receive so many negative messages around money from the press that’s aimed at us about how[…] financial planning is really, really hard.”

Krawcheck says that women’s spending habits can be socially stigmatized. “[We hear that we’re] spending too much on the latte[,] on the facial[,] on the manicure and the pedicure, on the shoes and so on. And so we have these messages that come to us which are not positive.”

Culturally, she says, society loves to see a wealthy man spend money. “Men get all these positive affirmative messages around growth and making money,” she tells TheStreet. The result of the social acceptance gap is a problem because it makes women less likely to talk about money.

“It’s sort of hard to believe, but money is a subject that is more taboo than sex,” Krawcheck says. “Women are much more likely to talk about money than they are to talk about sex and actually literally prefer talking about their own death [to talking about] money. It doesn’t get any more uncomfortable than that.”

Whether it’s income transparency or sharing investment tips with friends, Krawcheck says that “[women have] to break the taboo and have the conversations.”

She points to a past survey of Ellevest investors that showed that “most women knew there was a gender pay gap,” Krawcheck tells TheStreet. “But they didn’t think they had a gap. And if you’re not talking about it and you don’t know about it, then[…] you think ‘well I’m fine, it’s everybody else’.”

But according to Krawcheck, women will never know unless they speak up.