Have Female Executives Had Enough of CS?

Credit Suisse, diversity, female executives, departures, peoplemoves

Pamela Thomas-Graham, ex Credit Suisse new markets head

The departure of female executives Pamela Thomas-Graham and Charlotte Jones from Credit Suisse this month are the latest in a series of departures of high-profile female executives.

Credit Suisse has long been a pioneer in both promoting women's careers in finance as well as getting qualified women back into the workplace after starting a family, with a host of programs such as mentoring young graduates from elite U.S. universities like Harvard, flexible working, or getting qualified women back into the workforce following family leave. 

A series of high-profile exits in recent months would seem to undermine Credit Suisse's reputation as a female-friendly workplace, long fostered under former Chief Executive Brady Dougan and Pamela Thomas-Graham, a high-profile media, fashion and banking executive who joined the bank in 2010.

Thomas-Graham's Exit

Graham, until last October the highest-ranking female executive at Credit Suisse, left the bank suddenly last week, finews.ch reported exclusively. A source familiar with her departure said her initiatives would be integrated into the bank's various business lines.

Thomas-Graham was a controversial figure inside Credit Suisse, in part because she originally had a broad remit for Credit Suisse's branding, communications, and human resources activities. Her most recent role was promoting Credit Suisse's business in the LGBT community and with Afro-Americans. 

Diversity Efforts

Under Thomas-Graham, Credit Suisse has been a prominent backer of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and is a main sponsor for the city of Zurich's annual pride festival. Thomas-Graham also initiated an entrepreneur's group in the U.S. aimed at African-Americans.

Credit Suisse has also been at the forefront of efforts to bring women back to the workplace after starting families with a program called Real Returns, which was extended last year. More than one-third of the bank's workforce is female. That number sinks to 18 percent when looking at women who are senior leadership positions.

High-Profile Finance Executive Departing

Charlotte Jones, a high-profile finance executive hired from Deutsche Bank more than three years ago and, according to sources, groomed to eventually take over the top finance role at Credit Suisse, is also leaving this month. Jones will become CFO at U.K. asset management firm Jupiter.

Jones follows another top finance executive, Kirsty Roth (pictured below), out the door at Credit Suisse. Roth ran vast parts of Credit Suisse's IT operations under CFO David Mathers before being usurped in a restructuring and reorganization last October.

Kirsty Roth 500

Exodus of Female Bankers

Ramona Boston, Credit Suisse's head of branding, was shunted aside by the hire of BMW executive Steven Althaus last week. Other prominent departures like that of Clarissa Haller underscore that Credit Suisse may not be as friendly to female executives as the bank originally set out to be.

Clarissa Haller 500

The only female executive left in Credit Suisse's top ranks is Lara Warner, who was promoted to the bank's top management in the same restructuring that cost Thomas-Graham her position. Warner is a product of Credit Suisse's mentorship program: a former equity analyst, she was a mentee of Rob Shafir, former co-head of asset management and private banking.

A spokeswoman for Credit Suisse said the bank remains committed to developing and integrating diversity in its our workforce.









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