Thursday, December 29, 2011

Women on Wall Street

From Bloomberg:

Siebert wasn't the first woman to rise above gender discrimination in the world of finance. One of the earliest documented female investors in the U.S. was Abigail Adams, who ignored her husband John's instructions to invest in land while he was stationed overseas, and instead made a much larger return investing in U.S. government bonds. Contemporary accounts describe Abigail's foray into the investing world as the one source of contention in the couple's otherwise happy marriage, despite her success.

There are also abundant examples of women who went out of their way to de-emphasize or even hide their gender to foster their careers in finance. Among them were the first women to own a Wall Street brokerage, sisters Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin, who had custom-made business dresses designed to hide their femininity and blend in with their male colleagues. Even so, the New York Times headline that announced the firm's opening in 1870 read "Wall Street Aroused," and the story's reporter concluded that "A short, speedy winding up of the firm of Woodhull, Claflin & Co. is predicted."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

From what I've read, these women had something in common aside from their backgrounds in financial pursuits in their desire to not to submitt to laws and status quos not made in women's favor. Seibert had to apply for sponsorship 10 times before being accepted in the NYSE and pushed and shoved her way on top of a man-made corporate ladder. Adams had sought for specailized set of laws regarding women, but was shut down by her own husband. But it did not stop her advocacy and determination. They wanted what they feel they deserved by various means, and they aren't made less for it.

Christian Pearson @