Breaking: Man Rewarded for Bad Acts, Woman Punished for Social Life

By Sallie Krawcheck

In the news recently: 

Man does the wrong thing, gets his business funded. In fact, record amounts of funding.

Women do the right thing, get punished. 

And woman has too much fun — in her private life, on her own time — and gets bullied into taking a drug test.

The man I’m referring to is, of course, Adam Neumann, ex-CEO of WeWork. Despite the cataclysmic implosion the last time he tried to do this, Neumann just raised a $350 million seed round to start a different company from one of the blue-blood venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz. (For context, that's the largest single check that that firm has ever written. Even though this is a seed investment. And it’s more than the total VC funding raised by Black founders in the second quarter of this year.) 

So let’s raise a glass for second chances and second acts. And let’s raise another to the power and magnetism of confidence. Mr. Neumann is — according to all of the reporting and documentaries — nothing if not confident. While we’re at it: Further head nod to overconfidence. Research shows that people are also drawn to overconfidence, even when the evidence is that the person displaying the overconfidence is … well, overly confident.

The rewarding of the Man Who Wiped Out a Literal Fortune pairs oh-so-nicely with the punishing of Women Who Speak Up. We’re scratching our heads at recent research that found that women whistleblowers are disproportionately punished versus male whistleblowers, regardless of how much power they have in their company. (They did receive slightly less flak when they framed it as a danger for the organization, rather than just pointing out when something was morally wrong. Gotta love those eggshells we’re always walking on.)

I guess nobody likes a party pooper. 

Oh — except don’t be the life of the party, either. 

And by “be the life of the party,” we mean “go dancing” — yup, you read that right. Dancing. See: the Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin. On her own time. In a private residence. When videos of the aforementioned dancing were leaked, the mob called for her to take a drug test. Again: for dancing. And maybe for looking like she was having a little too much fun …? Heaven forbid.

(Late-breaking news: her drug test came back negative. Because of course it did.)


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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.