Muriel Siebert: The First Woman To Have A Seat On The New York Stock Exchange
By | December 21, 2019
The New York Stock Exchange isn’t a place for the faint of heart -- as the late Muriel Siebert, who became the first woman to win a seat on the exchange in 1967, could have told you. It’s a cutthroat atmosphere that requires you to make choices at the blink of an eye. Before Siebert, women weren’t allowed to have a seat on the stock exchange floor. Siebert fought tooth and nail to be allowed on the floor of the Stock Exchange. She jumped through hoops that no man would have to jump through and even founded her own firm. She didn’t let anyone tell her what she could and couldn’t do - she just did it.
Muriel Siebert's story is a tale that's inspiring to anyone who's ever been told that they can't do something that they know they're perfectly cut out for. She stood up for herself and took her rightful place in spite of the roadblocks that lied in her way. Her push to gain a role on the New York Stock Exchange was unprecedented, but that's the way things go when you're making history.
Siebert was locked out of the New York Stock Exchange
After attending Western Reserve University from 1949 to 1952, Siebert dropped out of college and started working at different brokerages. At the time she was simply finding her sea legs in the industry. She did research for different financial institutions and performed analysis for various financial institutions.
In 1967 she founded her own firm, Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. a company that should have let her get a spot on the Stock Exchange, but because she was a woman it wasn’t as cut and dried as it should have been. Prior to 2006, the NYSE was a private company, and its members had to buy membership -- called a "seat." As with many exclusive clubs, there was a process to gaining and keeping membership. Siebert asked ten different men to sponsor her seat on the exchange, nine of whom passed simply because they didn’t think that she belonged in the same place as the boys.
Throughout her time trying to gain acceptance on the New York Stock Exchange she became known as a brash and outspoken young woman. While that was likely an excuse for not giving her a seat on the Exchange it's likely that she wouldn't have gained the seat had she not been so forward.