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Abigail Adams, First Lady (of Bonds) and Others

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we thought we would highlight five women leaders and pioneers in finance.

Muriel Siebert, first female owner of a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
For many of us, Muriel Siebert is a legendary groundbreaker and proof that women could be successful on Wall Street. In 1967, she founded Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc., which sold institutional research and financial analysis. In addition, she applied for a seat on the NYSE. This requires a sponsor, and, of the ten investors she asked, only one agreed to do it. After finally gaining her seat, she had an extremely successful career, taking a break in the late 1970s to serve as Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York, during a precarious financial time; notably, no banks failed in New York State during her tenure!

Rosemary McFadden, first female president of a U.S. stock or futures exchange
Long before Adena Friedman became president and CEO of NASDAQ in 2017, Rosemary McFadden broke ground by becoming the president of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) in 1984, an unexpected move at the time. A growth-focused innovator, under her lead, new contracts in crude, heating oil, and gasoline were introduced, and trading volume grew from 5MM to 34MM contracts. When asked if she could change one thing today, what would it be, her reply was “It would be that more women occupy the “C” suites, have parity on Boards of Directors of Fortune 500 companies and holding more senior elected offices.”