New York is known as the big apple and a melting pot of people from around the world. I have been intrigued about learning the history of the NYSE and how women were a part of the institution over the years.
The city is famous for the establishment of the NY Stock Exchange (NYSE). Millions of visitors come to the state every year to take a picture with the famous bronze Wall Street Bull. In 2017 the Fearless Girl bronze sculpture was added opposite the bull. A great addition especially representing women in the industry. I love the idea what it represents to young girls who may see themselves as financial investors one day.
The NYSE was founded on the 17th of May 1792 by 24 Stockbrokers who organized security trading in NY for commodities of wheat, and other commodities which were being traded at the time. The stockbrokers signed a document called the Buttonwood Agreement which was actually signed outside of 68 Wall Street. The Buttonwood tree is actually the American sycamore tree which was used to for making wooden buttons back in the day because of the fine grain of the wood.
This document became the founding document of what would become the NY Stock Exchange. This document is actually one of the most important documents in the history of finance in U.S history. About 25 years later on the 8th of March in 1817 the organization officially became the New York Stock Exchange and Exchange Board.
Women account for about 9% of the total number of NYSE members. We are all grateful to Muriel Siebert who was a trailblazer of her time and became known as “ The First Woman of Finance” as well as the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE. She was known for being very outspoken for women and minorities during her time and also famous for wearing fur coats on the trading floor. The trading jackets were originally designed for me so I am assuming she though her coats were more comfortable and fancy. Talk about a woman making a statement. She definitely paved the way for future members. In March of 2017, Lauren Simmons became the youngest and the only current full time trader at the NYSE. She was also the second African American woman to be a part of the Exchange in its 228 history to hold a position like hers.
As of July 2017 there were 2400 companies listed on the NYSE with a combined value of 21.3 trillion market capitalization.