The First Women of Wealth and the Policies That Paved Their Way

March 8, 2017

By Tanya Klich, Forbes

If you had to write a resume for Isabel Benham (1909-2013), it would contain some notable "firsts."

In the 1930s, she was the the first woman on Wall Street to study the male-dominated railroad industry. In 1964, she became the first female partner at a Wall Street bond firm, according to the Museum of American Finance.

But early in her career, she'd sign her name as “I. Hamilton Benham” to avoid discrimination.

While generations of women before and after took risks to achieve wealth in their respective industries, many like Benham also had to navigate a culture of inequity to get there.

Here is a brief history of women in finance, business, politics and entrepreneurship -- and the policies that paved the way for them:

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