by Jim Toes
Last night, Traders Magazine held its fourth annual “Wall Street Women – A Celebration of Excellence” awards event. Congratulations to the 17 women recognized for their achievements and contributions to the financial-services industry. Like the women who came before them, they are role models for others to follow. Their firms also deserve praise – as does Traders Magazine – for shining a spotlight on the importance of openness and inclusion in our business.
When the 114th Congress begins in January 2015, there will be for the first time more than 100 women representing the nation’s citizens.
A day earlier, the United States – through the electoral process – also endorsed a group of women, electing 10 freshman congresswomen to the House of Representatives and two to the Senate. When the 114th Congress begins in January 2015, there will be for the first time more than 100 women representing the nation’s citizens.
We have come a long way. The United States did not have a woman member of Congress until Jeannette Rankin was elected to the House in 1916. Women could not even vote in an election until the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1920. Our financial markets were even slower to admit women, as the New York Stock Exchange did not have a woman member until Muriel Seibert in 1967.
The achievements of today’s women and other minorities also underscore that we still have a long way to go. We live in a time when a great deal of attention is focused on inequality, and on the perception that more progress is needed on important issues has stalled. It’s a good time to remind ourselves that breadth of participation is a core strength of our society and our markets. Both the financial industry and the United States itself pride themselves on the opportunity we offer to the many. Each of us has a role and responsibility to try to encourage that participation, as members of the financial profession and as citizens.