Skip to Content

Sallie Krawcheck Explains Why Women Need Their Own Investing Tools

One morning, while putting on her mascara, Wall Street veteran Sallie Krawcheck had a lightbulb moment in which she realized that “the retirement savings crisis in this country is a woman’s crisis.”

It’s not just because women live longer and earn less than men do, she tells Fortune digital editor Aaron Task at the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo. It’s also that women “invest to a lesser degree than men do.”

This phenomenon is often referred to as the “investment gap” and can cost women thousands—if not millions—over the course of their lives.

With the belief that part of the problem is that current financial planning tools are overly testosterone-driven, Krawcheck set out to create an investment platform with women’s needs in mind.

Enter Ellevest, the first digital investment platform designed around the female investor. The platform, which launched to the public in May, is a robo-advisor that works much like more-established players such as Betterment and Wealthfront.

Subscribe to the Broadsheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the world’s most powerful women.

From a user’s perspective, Ellevest looks and feels very different from other digital investment platforms, however. Rather than being centered on the performance of a particular product or portfolio, it is goal-based and lets women experiment with real-life tradeoffs such as whether to purchase real estate, when to have kids, and when to retire.

“We women, we’re very holistic,” says Krawcheck. “It’s all about letting her choose.”