Another Woman Loses a Top Spot on Wall Street

Another Woman Loses a Top Spot on Wall Street

Another Woman Loses a Top Spot on Wall Street

Add Ina Drew to the list of prominent Wall Street women who have left their jobs. JPMorgan Chase said today that Ina Drew, head of the bank’s chief investment office, is retiring, following the disclosure of a $2 billion trading loss. The bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, had urged her unit, which invests the bank’s cash, to make riskier bets to boost profits, Bloomberg News reported, citing five former executives. Drew had a 30-year career at the bank and rose to be one of two women who were part of the bank’s powerful operating committee.

The ranks of female execs on Wall Street were thin even before the financial crisis, and Drew’s exit follows a string of female executive departures. In June of last year, another Dimon lieutenant, Heidi Miller, the former head of JPMorgan Chase’s international operations, announced plans to leave the bank. Last fall, Sallie Krawcheck, who ran Bank of America’s wealth management division, left the bank as part of a management reorganization. She got a $6 million severance package and stayed out of the public eye for months until reemerging this spring as afrequent tweeter.

The financial crisis precipitated other high-profile departures. In June 2008 Lehman Brother’s chief financial officer, Erin Callan, lost her job as investors questioned the firm’s finances before it collapsed. Zoe Cruz, a former co-head of Morgan Stanley, was ousted in 2007. (Bloomberg News reported last week that Cruz is liquidating the hedge fund she founded after leaving Morgan Stanley.)

Krawcheck recently told Marie Claire that while women have senior roles in about 15 percent of corporations, the number falls well below 10 percent on Wall Street. “We are significantly underrepresented there,” she said. Women are more than half of the workforce in the financial sector but are chief executives at fewer than 3 percent of U.S. financial companies, according to Catalyst, a nonprofit dedicated to working with women in business.

Krawcheck said that Wall Street should rethink how best to develop female leaders:
“We’re putting women on diversity councils; we’re putting them in mentoring programs; we’re giving them special leadership training, telling them how to ask for promotions—but we are not promoting them. My goodness, we’re just making women busier.”

Beyond advancement, pay for women in the finance sector is not on a par with men’s either. Census data show that financial jobs have a bigger earnings gap than other fields. In some jobs, such as financial managers, women make from 55¢ to 62¢ for every $1 a man earns. There’s no word yet on Drew’s severance.