Throughout history, we have witnessed women take on new leadership roles and impact the world for the greater. This year will go down in history for women’s rights because the New York Stock Exchange just hired it’s first female president for the first time in it’s 226 years!
Watch the article above. It’s all about Stacy Cunningham, a 43-year old banker who began interning for the NYSE at the age of nineteen in 1996. Cunningham started as a floor clerk for the NYSE and after a short break to work as a chef, Cunningham came back to be the Exchange’s 67th president. According to USA Today, 2 of the world’s most well-known financial exchanges will be led by women! Reported by Fortune “her promotion comes about a year and a half into Adena Friedman’s tenure as the first woman CEO of Nasdaq.” Don’t adjust the lighting on your screen girl, you read that correctly. Cunningham succeeds Thomas Farley who’s leaving to head a special purpose acquisition company.
Cunningham was so excited by the news that she later tweeted the exchange “has always held a special place in my heart,” and added: “I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization.”
Cunningham has been quoted to love the stock floor, being that she’s been working with stock exchange for such a long time. Stacey surprisingly mentions that she didn’t notice she was one of the few women on the floor. I’m not sure how you could miss being in a room filled with men, but Cunningham somehow found a way. She states “I know I was outnumbered. I mean, I can tell the difference between a man and a woman. But it was not – it just wasn’t top of mind for me.” Cunningham does recall the bathrooms as a defining difference between men and women at the NYSE though. She recalls that when she worked as an intern the women’s bathroom was a “converted phone booth” while the men’s bathroom was a paradise! We’ve come so far, but still have further to go. Cunningham rose above the challenges and never acted as if she didn’t belong, saying “[I] never acted as though there was a question as to whether or not I should be where I was.”
At the dawn of her leadership, Cunningham talks about her supporters and remembers the role of Muriel Siebert, who “paved the way” for other women to be at the NYSE. It’s reported that Siebert was actually the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE. Now that’s taking women empowerment to an entirely new level!
As Cunningham’s approaches her time to lead the New York Stock Exchange, we salute this woman of excellence for continuing to pave the way for all women. Let’s join in a hearty “YOU GO GIRL” as we watch the world be taken by storm. Congratulations Stacey Cunningham!