This Ladies’s Historical past Month, we acknowledge ladies who broke glass ceilings within the finance and enterprise industries. By shining a highlight on these 4 historic figures, we bear in mind all those that paved the way in which for girls in these fields at this time.  

These 4 historic people had been daring sufficient to be the one ladies in a room of males and to assert monetary titles and achieve wealth and affect ladies had not earlier than. 

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 52% of monetary actions employees in 2021 had been ladies.1 Nevertheless, there may be nonetheless work for equal gender illustration in funds. Based on a report by Deloitte, ladies solely held 21% of C-suite positions in American monetary establishments in 2021.2 

“Ladies’s voices must be heard,” stated Senior Vice President of Lending Elizabeth Million of Elevations. 

She suggested ladies who’re advised they will’t work in male-dominated locations ought to take that as motivation. “Don’t inform me I can’t succeed or received’t be of worth,” Million stated. “When somebody says you aren’t helpful, use that as motivation to show them flawed.” 

Million emphasizes the significance of equal gender illustration in finance, as ladies are an under-served inhabitants. By supporting each other, ladies can proceed to achieve affect within the finance trade. 

This month, we have fun, honor and achieve inspiration from these historic ladies of finance. By recognizing how far we’ve come and honoring the highly effective ladies who shattered gender limitations, we achieve inspiration to proceed making strides for equality. 

Maggie Lena Walker 

A portrait photograph of Maggie Walked with an artistic filter

First lady in America to constitution a financial institution and function its president 

Maggie Lena Walker based the St. Luke Penny Financial savings Financial institution in 1903. Within the segregated South, the financial institution helped members of the native Black neighborhood discover financial independence.3 

Walker was a toddler of slaves. Tragically, her father died younger, leaving the household at a loss emotionally and financially. She labored as a trainer earlier than later getting concerned with the finance world.3 

“Let a lady select her personal vocation simply as man does his,” she stated in a public speech. “Let her go into enterprise, let her make cash, let her turn out to be impartial, if attainable, of man.”4 

After she had left educating, she opened a neighborhood insurance coverage firm for girls earlier than founding the St. Louis Penny Financial savings Financial institution. Her Black-owned financial institution grew to 50,000 members and survived the Nice Melancholy whereas many others collapsed.3 

Walker was co-founder of the Richmond chapter of the NAACP and founding father of the Richmond Council of Coloured Ladies, which raised cash for native causes.5 

A political activist, she fought for girls’s proper to vote and towards discrimination and segregation. She organized a boycott towards streetcar segregation in Virginia.5  

Walker was additionally a high-level member of the Unbiased Order of St. Luke’s, an African American group to assist the ailing. There, she began publishing the group’s newspaper, The St. Luke Herald.5 

Muriel Siebert 

Photo of Muriel Siebert holding a phone and smiling

First lady to purchase a seat on the New York Inventory Alternate 

Muriel “Mickie” Siebert was the primary lady to purchase a seat on the New York Inventory Alternate (NYSE). Regardless of resistance from buyers and guidelines from the NYSE, in 1967, she received a seat and later opened her brokerage, Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. She spent 10 years as the one lady working with greater than 1,000 males on the NYSE.6  

“There have been no feminine function fashions, so I simply blazed my very own path,” she stated. 

When she first began in New York finance, Siebert labored on Wall Road. Annoyed by the inequality she skilled and looking for gender pay parity, she set her eyes on the NYSE.6  

It took two years to discover a man to sponsor her seat and a financial institution to mortgage her $300,000 for the seat, which price $445,000 complete. She began Muriel Siebert & Firm in 1969 and have become New York’s first feminine superintendent of banking in 1977. After 20 years of sitting on the NYSE, the establishment lastly put in their first ladies’s restroom. Siebert had threatened to usher in a transportable rest room if her request was denied. 8 

In 1990, she began the Siebert Entrepreneurial Philanthropic Plan to assist consumers give cash to charities. Siebert directed the New York Metropolis’s Municipal Credit score Union, City Improvement Company, and Job Improvement Authority.8 

She acquired 17 honorary doctorates and was inducted into the Nationwide Ladies’s Corridor of Fame in 1994. Siebert Corridor is the primary room within the NYSE to be named after an individual.8 

Abigail Adams 

Photograph of Abigail Adams in a bonnet and collar

First feminine investor in America 

Abigail Adams used shares and bonds to develop her household’s funds, saying it was “cash which I name mine” when it was legally her husband’s.9 

Abigail Adams was the spouse of President John Adams and mom of President John Quincy Adams. She was the primary First Woman to dwell within the White Home.9  

She was an adviser to her husband, John Adams, at a time when ladies couldn’t vote or run for workplace and educated herself by her household’s library at a time when ladies’s entry to training was restricted.9 

Adams is famend for the letters she wrote to her husband. In a single notably well-known letter, she requested her husband to make sure the Founding Fathers “bear in mind the women.” She stated, “Don’t put such limitless energy into the arms of the husbands. Keep in mind all males can be tyrants if they might.”10 

She went on to warn that if ladies wouldn’t be thought-about within the new America, they might insurgent. “If explicit care and a spotlight is just not paid to the women, we’re decided to foment a rebel and won’t maintain ourselves sure by any legal guidelines wherein we now have no voice or illustration,” Adams wrote.10 

Adams fought for girls’s rights, together with a lady’s proper to training, and opposed slavery.  

Ursula Burns 

Photo of Ursula Burns smiling with a natural background

The primary Black lady to run a Fortune 500 firm 

Ursula Burns was CEO of Xerox from 2009-2016, the place she began as an intern in 1981.11  

Raised in a New York Metropolis housing venture by a single, immigrant mom, Burns attended a personal highschool earlier than incomes a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from present-day New York College.11 

She calls the state-created scholarship program that despatched her there “important” in that it stored her from graduating with $80,000 in debt. Burns then acquired her grasp’s in engineering by attending a scholarship program for minorities from Xerox. The scholarship included a summer time internship on the firm.11 

Burns continued as a full-time worker, then steadily labored her manner up engineering positions till she turned vice chairman of world manufacturing and, finally, CEO.11 

At a time when the corporate was fighting declining income, she helped Xerox broaden to rely extra on companies and was not simply copiers. Burns stepped down in 2016 after Xerox break up into the brand new Xerox and Conduent. 12  

Throughout her tenure as CEO, she was additionally a member of the President’s Export Council.14 Burns additionally helped discovered Change the Equation, a non-profit led by CEOs and launched by the Obama administration to extend STEM training. She now gives management counseling to organizations together with MIT and the U.S. Olympic Committee.13  

Folks usually declared to Burns that she have to be a genius, assuming that’s the solely manner she may very well be a CEO as a black lady. She stated, “I’m not wonderful. I’m right here as a result of I’m pretty much as good as you.”15 

Celebrating Ladies’s Progress 

In the course of the month of March, we acknowledge these 4 ladies amongst others who made strides for gender equality within the monetary trade.  

“Ladies really want to assist different ladies,” Million stated. “It’s vital to shut gender and variety gaps within the finance trade. The broader illustration we now have in funds, the higher we might be of help.” 

Along with recognizing these ladies in finance, we encourage you to assist women-owned companies, together with people who Downtown Boulder lists.  


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023. content=(Seepercent20tablepercent2012.),andpercent20hospitalitypercent20(50.9percent20percent).  
  1. “Advancing extra ladies leaders in monetary companies: A worldwide report,” Deloitte, 2022. 
  1. “Maggie Lena Walker,” Ladies’s Historical past, 2017. 
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  1. “Maggie Lena Walker,” Encyclopedia Virginia. content=Maggiepercent20Lenapercent20Walkerpercent20waspercent20an,Pennypercent20Savingspercent20Bankpercent20inpercent20Richmond  
  1. Hayes, Adam, “Who Was Muriel Siebert?” Investopedia, 2023.
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  1. “Abigail Adams: Keep in mind the Women,” Federal Reserve Financial institution of Atlanta, 2022.–remember-the-ladies.  
  1. Michaels, Debra, PhD, “Abigail Smith Adams,” Nationwide Ladies’s Historical past Museum, 2015. 
  1. “Ursula M. Burns: The primary African American Girl CEO of a Fortune 500 firm,” Black Enterprise Ventures Affiliation. content=Ursulapercent20ispercent20anpercent20Americanpercent20Business,ofpercent20apercent20Fortunepercent20500percent20company. 
  1. “Ursula Burns,” Forbes. 
  1. “Ursula Burns,” Columbia College within the Metropolis of New York. 
  1. Nolen, Jeanette, “Ursula Burns,” Britannica.  
  1. Ignatius, Adi, “’I’m Right here As a result of I’m As Good As You,’” Harvard Enterprise Assessment, 2021.  

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