How Citigroup’s Next CEO Jane Fraser, Mother of 2, “Became More Human”

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Citigroup president Jane Fraser, 53, will replace the bank’s CEO Michael Corbat, 60, when he retires in February 2021. She will become the first woman to lead a big Wall Street bank. Prior to joining Citi in 2004 (she was also head of the bank’s global consumer banking business), Fraser worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Company.

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Jane Fraser will be the first woman to be a CEO of a Wall Street bank, Citigroup. She will take over the position from Michael Corbat who is retiring in February. #janefraser #citigroup #citiceo #womanoftheday #womenempowerment #inspiringwomen #womeninfinance

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Fraser was born in St. Andrews, Scotland, graduated from Girton College, Cambridge with an MA in economics (1988) and Harvard Business School with an MBA (1994). She is married and the mother of two sons.

In 2012, Fraser said: “Being a mother of young children and having a career is the toughest thing I have ever had to do. You are exhausted, guilty, and you must learn how to do things differently. It was the making of me because I became much more 80-20 – focusing on what was really important – got good at saying no, and also became more human to the clients who also face many of these issues too.”

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Qualities like empathy, humility and vulnerability have long been dismissed as optional “soft skills”. #JaneFraser is yet another example of why vulnerable and empathetic leadership is not a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have. Global leaders like #JacindaArdern and #AngelaMerkel have shown us the power of feminine leadership at a nation-wide level, but it’s equally important in the corporate setting. Fraser said the crisis is an opportunity to “smash some of the myths of how you’ve done stuff in the past.”  Given that 87% of CEOs see a direct link between workplace empathy and business performance, as do 79% of HR professionals, it’s clear that the traditional lower-emotion, higher-control leadership approach is not necessarily the best approach.

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Fraser said in a LinkedIn interview that having children taught her some balance: “You learn that you can’t do everything at the level you are comfortable with,’ she explains. ‘You learn to do things at 80%. That was a game changer for me.”

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