Pioneer’s Death Shines Light on Slow Demise of Old Boy’s Club

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Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, a Wall Street trailblazer who shattered more glass ceilings than one could count, has died of complications from cancer. She was 80.

Siebert crashed the old boy’s club in 1967 when she became the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange – after more than a little opposition. Her application was rejected nine times before she garnered enough support to force the move. It took another 10 years for a second woman to join her on the exchange.

Siebert fought battles big and small. In 1987, two full decades after she earned her seat, she successfully lobbied to have a ladies bathroom built on the exchange floor in her infamous no-nonsense fashion: she threatened to have a portable toilet delivered if the chairman didn’t act swiftly. He did.

Her other contributions include helping launch the discount brokerage industry, giving individual investors better access to the market, and breaking down the walls of all-male social clubs, where deals were often manufactured without the presence of any female talent. She was also the first woman to be named superintendent of banking for the state of New York.

But perhaps her biggest impact was the millions of dollars she spent to support other women on Wall Street. Despite her successes, Siebert remained humbled – and disillusioned with the state of diversity on Wall Street.

“Firms are doing what they have to do, legally,” she said. “But women are coming into Wall Street in large numbers — and they still are not making partner and are not getting into the positions that lead to the executive suites.”

Today’s Wall Street culture is more welcoming to women, but the industry still sways in favor of male bankers. Goldman Sachs’ newest partner class is 14% women, for example, which is the highest percentage since at least 2006. The latest class of managing directors at Goldman was 23% women. At Morgan Stanley, it was just over 17%.

Wall Street still has a ways to go.

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  1. Focus on applying for jobs you’re not overqualified for.
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(Source: AOL Jobs)

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