For The First Time Ever, The New York Stock Exchange Will Be Led By A Female Executive

“As soon as I walked out there I thought, this is what I want to do.”

In its 226-year history, the market has hired its first female president, Stacey Cunningham, reports Bloomberg.

Cunningham, who got her start as an intern at the NYSE in 1994, will replace former chief operating officer, Tom Farley who is leaving the company. 

"I just fell in love with the floor," she said in an interview with The Financial Times. "As soon as I walked out there I thought, this is what I want to do."

This moment marks an important time in history for women in the financial industry. According to Bloomberg, two out of the  top three U.S. stock exchange operators are now led by women. In 2017, Adena Friedman, became the chief executive officer of Nasdaq Inc. 

Cunningham says that her success was made possible in part by  her role model Muriel Siebert. Siebert was the first woman to trade on the floor at the NYSE. 

"If she hadn't done that, if she hadn't said, 'I'm not allowed to be there, but I am going to just go do it anyway', I never would have been able to walk on the trading floor without thinking about it. And I never gave it a thought," Cunningham told The Financial Times. 

The Weber Shandwick's Gender Forward Pioneer Index reported that, out of 500 companies, only 10.9 percent of senior executives were women. 

Cover image via Bart Sadowski / Shutterstock.com.

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