A History of Wall Street's Women

December 28, 2011

By Kristin Aguilera, Deputy Director, Museum of American Finance
Bloomberg - Echoes Blog

On Dec. 28, 1967, Muriel "Mickie" Siebert became the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange -- a full 175 years after the exchange was founded. According to Siebert, her NYSE member badge was the most expensive piece of jewelry she ever bought (at $445,000), and it was also the hardest earned. She had been turned down by nine prospective sponsors before finding the two she needed to endorse her application.

As the lone woman among 1,365 men at the exchange, Siebert wasn't universally welcomed. Headlines such as "Skirt Invades Exchange" and "Powder Puff on Wall Street" conveyed a reluctance on "the Street" to accept a sea change that had been making its way through many other professions for years. In fact, when Siebert purchased her seat, she wasn't issued the standard scroll all new members received, and which she was required to display. She didn't receive it until the following year, when the exchange had a new president.

Siebert wasn't the first woman to rise above gender discrimination in the world of finance...

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