There are tons of women in the world who are trying so hard to make a difference in tons of different fields. It is incredibly tough especially if you are trying to get into the male-dominated industry. However, nothing is impossible to those who work really hard and has the perseverance to achieve excellence.
Just like this woman who made history by being the very first female president of the New York Stock Exchange. The NYSE is known to be the biggest stock exchange in the entire world because of its market capitalization reaching $21.3 trillion as of last year. Located at the heart of Wall Street, it’s now serving its first woman president.
Since the moment I stepped onto the trading floor, the @NYSE has always held a special place in my heart. I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization. pic.twitter.com/600GP34hZe
— Stacey Cunningham (@stacey_cunning) May 22, 2018
The New President Of New York Stock Exchange Is A Woman
It was in 1967 when the New York Stock Exchanged welcomed its very first female member, Muriel Siebert, which was actually 175 years after it has been founded which was in 1792. Now, after 226 years, they have finally chosen a female president in the person of Stacey Cunningham. She has begun overseeing the world’s largest stock exchange when she took the position last May.
History has been made the moment the Intercontinental Exchange Inc., who basically owns the NYSE, that 43-year-old Cunningham got what it takes to take over since she has the experience from being the chief operating officer of the NYSE Group. According to Intercontinental Exchange chairman, Jeff Sprecher, Cunningham managed to do her job excellently and showed her amazing leadership qualities as well. She has earned the industry’s respect, which made her suitable for the job. He also said that Cunningham now represents the all-new generation of leadership and a new ear for the New York Stock Exchange.
Thank you to @moiraforbes and @WomenatForbes for visiting the @NYSE to discuss how important it is for women to leverage their strengths in new ways pic.twitter.com/fflDL8MzNt
— Stacey Cunningham (@stacey_cunning) September 5, 2018
It was in 1994 when her journey within the stock exchange began as an intern. While still studying at Lehigh University as an industrial engineer, she has seen how much the exchange has struggled to keep women around. Just two years later, she became the trading floor clerk for two years, in an interview with The Street, she revealed how she never really thought about being one of the few women working on the trading floor.
She never actually saw it as a clear path for her career. Then again, she saw Muriel as an inspiration for going through it, making her realize how women like her must always push through the boundaries and redefine them, so she could make a difference herself.
However, it was in 2005 when she actually did something unexpected with a career shift heading towards a different direction by leaving WallStreet and enter the world of culinary. Cunningham worked for Nasdaq from 2007 to 2012, and she even pointed out the similarities of her job in the stock exchange and is like being in the kitchen. She said that both careers required her to multitask as well as to deal with mistakes efficiently. She came back to the stock exchange in 2012.
How Did She Do It?
In an interview for TIME’s multimedia project, Cunningham revealed that she actually feels glad to share her story to the world, since that basically means more and more women would be inspired to find the courage to step out of their comfort zones and take the risk. There are so many opportunities in almost every field, women like her must simply have the guts to take on the male-dominated industry especially if they work extremely hard for it.
As admitted that she never actually felt like she was treated any differently and that’s a good thing, women do stand out but it was great to feel equal. She never felt intimidated and simply played her own game. Cunningham said that one of the most important things she did was to not try and turn herself into someone she’s not, and not try to become anyone else.
She knew right then and there what are the things that she can do and what are the things she can’t do so that she would be able to work on them. When it comes to respecting, she made sure that when someone says something to her or about her that made her feel disrespected or uncomfortable, she would point it out right away, and make sure it never happens again.