Tips from the Top: Career Advice from Women in Finance


Climbing the corporate ladder on Wall Street is difficult, and can be even harder for women looking to get to the top. We’ve interviewed some of the most successful women in business and finance for our Open Door interview series to bring their best career advice to you. From running multi-billion dollar funds to owning it in the publishing industry, these women executives are here to share their road to success.

Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck – CEO & Founder of Ellevest 

“It’s all about resilience. Your career is not going to go the way you planned.”

Sallie began her career as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers before attending Columbia Business School for her MBA. She returned to DLJ before moving to Sanford C. Bernstein where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the Chairman and CEO of sell-side research. In 2002, she joined Citigroup as the CEO and Chairman of Smith Barney for which she was named by Fortune as the “Most Influential Person Under the Age of 40”. She later joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch to run their Global Wealth Management Group, leading the unit to $3.1 BN in profit.

She’s taken her role as one of the most influential women in finance seriously, running the Ellevate network before launching an investing platform designed by and for women, Ellevest.

joanne wilson

Joanne Wilson – Angel Investor & Founder of Gotham Gal Ventures

“I don’t invest in ideas. I invest in real businesses.”

From buyer at Macy’s to angel investor and blogger, Joanne Wilson underwent several career transitions before backing numerous start-up companies, primarily founded by women. In the past, she has run a company in the rag trade, led the sales division for Silicon Alley Reporter (a magazine/events company), and chaired MOUSE (Making Opportunities in Upgrading Schools in Education).

Since 1994, Joanne has been blogging under the name Gotham Gal about women entrepreneurs and has used her fortune to serve as an angel investor and adviser to a total of 35 companies.

Alexa von Tobel

Alexa von Tobel – CEO & Founder of LearnVest

“I have a motto every morning: Get up. Dress up. Show up.”

Alexa von Tobel graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Psychology and went to work as a trader at Morgan Stanley. A year and a half later, Alexa left Wall Street to become the Head of Business Development at, a venture-backed start-up in based in New York City. She enrolled in Harvard Business School in the fall of 2008, but after winning several awards for her budding company, LearnVest, she took a leave of absence to raise capital and formally launch it.

Since then, she’s been named the 2011 “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur” of 2012, and she has also become a New York Times bestselling author with her book Financially Fearless. Alexa continues to expand LearnVest and contributes to several magazines, as well as hosts her own weekly radio show on Sirius XM, “Financially Fearless with Alexa von Tobel.”


Watch all of our interviews with top women in business in finance, including Public Relations Founder Alison Brod and Trusted Media Brands CEO Bonnie Kintzer!


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