Citigroup Inc C.N on Thursday named consumer banking head Jane Fraser as the bank’s next chief executive officer, making her the first woman to lead a major Wall Street bank.
Fraser, 53, joins a small group of women who have broken through the glass ceiling to reach the C-suite at major financial firms.
Here are some comments Fraser made at public events in 2014 and 2016 about being a working mother and a woman in finance.
“I am a working mother. I always joke with my team and say I have three boys at home: I have a 14-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 59-year-old.”
“It’s a fairly normal home life for me but I’m often asked, ‘Can you have it all? Can you do it all? And I say, ‘Yes, you can, but you can’t do it all at once and don’t expect everything at once.”
“There were so few women there. There were so few women in financial services. And those who were there were rather scary. It was the days of wearing these big padded shoulders, dressing practically like a man or these suits that were horrendous. And none of them were that happy,” Fraser said about her early days as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N, which she joined when she was 20.
“Against all the advice I was given, I planned on getting pregnant the year I was right in the run-up to partner. Everyone said, ‘Oh, don’t be so stupid,’ but I thought, you can’t just lead your life that way. So I was told I was partner in McKinsey & Co two weeks after I’d given birth.”
“I remember getting the phone call from my boss and just thinking, ‘Would he please just get off the phone, because I’ve got to feed the baby, I’ve got to get the food.’ It was chaos around,” Fraser said about being told she had made partner at McKinsey & Co.
“It’d be fair to say it wasn’t an obvious career move. Indeed, quite a few of my friends at work called me to ask me if I was out of my mind making that particular transition. The British term for that is daft. Others puzzled and politely just asked me why,” Fraser said about making the transition from running Citigroup’s private bank from London to handling its troubled mortgage business in St. Louis.
“It took me a while to get over this fear that I wouldn’t be doing a great job, day one. And I see that in a lot of women. And I urge all the younger women in the audience, not to feel that you do have to be 120% qualified for a new job. You don’t, you can’t possibly be. So don’t let that hold you back… But at the same time, just keep enough of that fear, just to keep you on your toes.”
“So my teenage son … he was thrust into a new life in New York City. He left a very happy childhood home, a great life in London, which he does miss sometimes quite a lot. But he’s entered New York with intent and he is playing to his strength. His strength is, he has discovered his English accent. It is very appealing to New York’s young ladies. And every now and then I catch him listening to the BBC dramas on my iPad because he is worried he might lose said accent. Know and invest in your strengths. Whatever they are. It works. Take it from a 13 year old.”