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Drishti Bodhraj Premprakashi

JWB Blogger

Erin Callan Tells You What’s On The Other Side Of The Glass Ceiling

  • JWB Post
  •  August 3, 2016


Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz on Hillary Clinton breaking the glass ceiling. It is something worthy of priding over, but we’re never told that cracking through the glass ceiling has more to provide than just sunlight. Beyond the glass ceilings, you will also find storms and harsh weather.

Here’s the story of Erin Callan who’s seen what’s on the other side of the glass ceiling.

Erin Callan went to Harvard and then started working as a tax attorney for a top law firm called Simpson Thacher. She then moved to Lehman Brothers and soon made it to the position of Chief Financial Officer in 2007. She became the first woman ever to sit on the investment bank’s executive committee.

Even though she was known as the most powerful woman on Wall Street, she had a steep fall.

Callan’s journey is more cautionary than inspirational for women who are moving to the top in a male-dominated world.

Callan put in all her effort for years, sacrificing her family and personal and social life. On this journey, she did not realize when she had moved into the world devoid of women.

Now 50, Callan recalls all this with regret in her book ‘Full Circle: A memoir of leaning in too far and the journey back’ which will release this spring.

“I could’ve achieved comparable success without being so maniacal about it,” she told The Huffington Post recently.

The book also offers a look into the experience of very few women who made it to the top in banking.

When Callan made it, she found herself caught in a male-dominated maze and was constantly reminded how she was ‘different.’ She was asked too many questions and criticized for her clothing.

Her career went downhill after the financial crisis of 2008. Her story was widely covered by the business press. With this, a mortgage meltdown had hit Lehman, and Callan was thrown under the bus to represent her firm while the former chairman, CEO Dick Fuld remained away from the media.

Many years later, Callan mentioned in her new book that Fuld apologized for this. “Callan even warned him two days before the publishing so he wouldn’t be “surprised,” she told HuffPost. When he finally read it, Fuld actually called her up to compliment her. “He said I did a great job,” she said.

Callan resigned in 2008 and later started working at Credit Suisse, but she couldn’t work anymore. She ended up in a hospital after overdosing on sleeping pills.

She recovered and got remarried. After going through several rounds of fertility treatments, she had a baby. She is now retired and is raising her 17-month-old daughter with her husband, Anthony Montella who is a retired New York City firefighter.

Callan’s story may not inspire us but it tells us about the consequences that we have to face to get to the top. Nonetheless, JWB will continue to persuade inspiring women to move forward and crash the glass ceiling and destroy the stereotypes that lie in the male-dominated world.

You can read the original article here.

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