Women's History Week: Women Of Wall Street Share Journey Of Challenges, Success
As NY1 continues to celebrate Women's History Month, business reporter Diane King takes a look at some of the female trailblazers who have built their own success on Wall Street and filed the following report.
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Dubbed the first woman of finance, Muriel Siebert became the first female member of the New York Stock Exchange in 1967, opening doors for future generations of women pursuing careers on Wall Street.
"We are wholly owned and operated by women, no men involved in the decision making process at all, and that's just the way it worked out. Quite frankly when we started I don't think we had a vision that we were going to be all women," said Mogavero, Lee & Co. President & CEO Doreen Mogavero.
Doreen was the first woman appointed to a spot on a Stock Exchange Board, and she runs the only all female-led firm on the floor.
"I think initially it was very difficult to sell the fact that we were just as competent and hard-working, and just as deserving as anybody else was," Mogavero said. "Today I think it's a little bit easier, and obviously much more accepted."
Several stories above the trading floor sits Courtney Hall Leimkuhler, the NYSE's Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy. Despite her hefty title, she says women still have a ways to go before they fully come into their own on Wall Street.
"Obviously we are a small population in the greater Wall Street context, and still very under-represented as a population on Wall Street and in corporate America in general," noted Hall Leimkuhler.
Then there's Yvette Arrington Flores, who works in floor operations. She is a lead supervisor who troubleshoots technology problems, but she began in an unusual place.
"I started here, as we had a conversation before, downstairs in the cafeteria. I was a young girl, 18 years old, and there were people coming downstairs to eat food that saw I had potential, and they offered me a job to work on the floor as a messenger," recalled Arrington Flores.
For any young woman looking to find her way onto the "street" or even move up the ladder, Courtney Hall Leimkuhler offered the following advice:
"Wall Street it is extremely fast paced. It's certainly not an environment that coddles well so you have to take initiative. You have to find great role models," she said.