"It's not happening," Ms. Krawcheck told the show's host, Trevor Noah. "We're not making any progress. We're not moving forward."
Ms. Krawcheck, who earlier in her career served as president of the Global Wealth and Investment Management division of Bank of America, noted that the lack of diversity in top management positions runs counter to research showing that diverse companies perform better.
She also talked about the gender investing gap and noted that the asset management and financial advisory industries are overwhelmingly male.
"The symbol of the investing industry is a bull," she said. "It's a phallic symbol.
"What [a female investor] sees is an industry that doesn't represent her and that has told her how to change," Ms. Krawcheck said. "I thought, 'Why don't we start a company — Ellevest — that quits trying to change her but changes the underlying product to the way she wants to invest?'"