Hopefully, Stephanie Hessler’s story about quitting i-banking because she had kids won’t set the women on Wall Street back 10 years.
Hessler worked in i-banking for 11 years and then when she had kids, she quit. And she readily admits that she quit because she had kids.
“I found everything just had changed for me. It was so much harder. I didn’t want to do the longer hours. I didn’t want to do the travel. I wanted to be a whole person with a balanced life. Even as exciting as it was, 80-hour weeks are just ridiculous. That’s not a life.”
Hessler’s story gets a meager hooray for honesty, everything else about it is terrible PR for the women on Wall Street.
At least lie about why you quit, or fudge it a little, and do women like Teresa Teague, who has a family and was just named Partner at Goldman, and Mary Erdoes, who has a family, a marathon runner, and is the head of JPMorgan’s Asset Management business, a favour.
Instead, Hessler talks about how she still enjoys fashion (the area she covered when she was an i-banker) in her daily life. And what she means by that is she wears it.
She still follows fashion and enjoys being current as one could see form her designer clothes. She was wearing a fitted, white Anne Fontaine blouse, Seven For All Mankind jeans and a pair of Prada shoes with extremely narrow, pointed toe triangles that would impress Isosceles.
And then she talks about her new hand-made greeting card and poster business. Starting her own company would be impressive, except that she didn’t mention the company (Seriously, a businesswoman who’s getting press and doesn’t use it to promote her company?) and, instead of showing off a card with an original design or tag-line she came up with, she does this:
“My greeting cards are a little edgy and express what I think of contemporary society,” she said.
She held up one that read, “I kiss better than I cook.”
“That’s one of my messages.”
Oof. The real message she’s sending is, I quit finance to be a stay-at-home mum who makes crafts and in her spare time, day dreams about pop-Philosophy:
“In Eastern philosophy, this time is referred to as the opening up of your second life. I think of this time as stepping into work that really helps me become a whole person who can function with balance.”