No Glass Ceiling In The CJP Bubble

Jennifer Prosek  Follow

Glass CeilingWorking within an entrepreneurial company with few rules is sometimes more of a privilege than you realize. I often say, I’m living in the “CJP Bubble”; a place that I’ve created, alongside my colleagues, to be a work environment that we enjoy coming to everyday and one where we are unfettered by the rules and norms of the outside world.

The Wall Street Journal’s recent story about Sallie Krawcheck’s departure from Bank of America (BAC) reminded me of how much I love living in the this bubble. The story (linked above) was about the age-old issue of the glass ceiling for women and how it’s just not getting better on Wall Street. According to Catalyst, less than 20% of finance industry executives are women despite the fact that 47% of the US workforce is female.

At CJP, the majority of our clients are Wall Street firms, or at least linked to financial services in some way. Despite this I can say with confidence and happiness that as a woman running a company that deals with The Street, I seldom feel limited. In fact, I feel empowered. Why? Well, one reason might be that our Wall Street clients clearly respect and value of women in business (or they would likely not deal with our firm). For that reason, there is a natural selection in place (am I saying that CJP’s client are among the most open minded and evolved? You’re damn straight I am!).

CJP is an incredibly diverse operation and many of our clients seek us out for just that reason. They expect senior management to include men and women alike. As a recent author I am often asked to deliver keynote speeches at conferences. Sometimes, frankly, the keynote opportunities I am offered seem, well, a bit outsized for me. But then I will ask the event organizer why they chose me. After a bit of a pause they will often admit, “It’s hard to find a female entrepreneur,” or “The audience will be fascinated by a woman who works with Wall Street.”

No matter how you slice it, I’m proud to call our CJP clients among the most open minded professionals I’ve encountered in my career. But as I was reminded in reading about Ms. Krawcheck this week, there is a big difference between women working on Wall Street and women working with Wall Street. It’s clearly easier to be among the latter. Here’s hoping The Street quickly finds another champion to take a few more swings at that glass ceiling. CJP

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