New York Stock Exchange Pioneer Dies at Age of 80

Muriel Siebert, the first female to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and the first woman to become head of one of the exchange’s member firms, has passed away at age 80.

Known to her friends on Wall Street as "Mickie", the pioneer was an outspoken advocate for women's advancement in business. Siebert started off her career on Wall Street without a college degree in a male-dominated field, eventually proving herself to be a trailblazer and financial wizard.

"I had a dream of earning the same pay as my male colleagues. So I asked a friend what large firm would pay me equally, and he said that the only way it would happen was if I bought my own seat on the New York Stock Exchange," Siebert wrote in her autobiography.

And she did. In 1967, she paid almost half a million dollars to become the first woman to get a seat on the NY Stock Exchange.

“For 10 years,” Ms. Siebert said, “it was 1,365 men and me.”

Ten years later, she became the superintendent of banking for New York state — the first female to hold that position, ever.

And she stayed critical of the gender disparities in business opportunities being provided, encouraging women to keep battling the injustices prevalent 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. There’s still an old-boy network. You just have to keep fighting.”