Women on Wall Street – Three Views Over Three Centuries

5 MAR 2012 | 04:08 PM | Posted by: Steven Wheeler

Although financial services had long been a predominantly male industry, several leading women have over the decades helped open doors to an increasing number of professional women in finance – women who are today’s bankers and stockbrokers, CFOs and CPAs, analysts and investors.

 To celebrate Women’s History Month, here are three views from three different centuries of women in Wall Street who have helped blaze the trail.

The Bewitching Brokers, 1870

During the nineteenth century, careers in Wall Street were generally closed to women.  Two pioneers were Victoria Woodhull and her sister Tennessee Claflin, who opened a stock brokerage house on Broad Street in 1870.  Their endeavor attracted thousands of curious visitors and widespread notice in the press.  While the sisters projected an image of earnest business women, gossipy newspaper reports focused on frivolity, tagging them the “bewitching brokers.”  This engraving from Harper’s Weekly presents a satirical view of female stockbrokers vampishly beguiling the men on the stock exchange trading floor.

Stock Market Girls, 1943

Women went to work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange for the first time during World War II.  Up until then the floor had been an all-male bastion, but as members and clerks were called into military service, women stepped in as Wall Street’s own “Rosie the Riveter.”  Across the nation millions of women entered the job market during the war years.  The NYSE employed dozens of women as carrier pages and quote clerks on the trading floor, but at war’s end they rotated back to off-floor jobs.  In 1967 Muriel Siebert became the first woman member of the NYSE, helping to open new career opportunities for women in Wall Street.

Floor Broker Doreen Mogavero, 2010

Doreen Mogavero is founder, president and chief executive of Mogavero, Lee & Co., the first and only NYSE member firm wholly owned and operated by women.  Doreen began her career on Wall Street in 1975 and became a member of the NYSE in 1980.  At the age of 25, she was the youngest member on the floor at that time.  Doreen’s extensive trading background includes corporate stock buybacks, block trading and risk arbitrage.  She has served in a variety of high level committee and board leadership positions at the NYSE and is a frequent market commentator in broadcast and print media.

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