50 years since women joined the LSE

Exactly fifty years ago today –on March 26, 1973, women joined the London Stock Exchange for the first time in its 200-year history. Six female stockbrokers made history in an all-male institution after being elected into ‘the House’ following years of tireless campaigning.

Today, the London Stock Exchange is actually run by a woman: Julia Hoggett, who said this about the pioneers.

Their actions have allowed the rest of us to follow and I would like to thank each and every one of them.”

Julia Hoggett –London Stock Exchange CEO

While reading some articles related to this historic anniversary the images struck me. Only a couple of women among so many men. I feel grateful and proud of these women. They were pioneers who had to face prejudice, criticism, and questions/doubts about their ability and contribution. Thanks to their bravery, intelligence, and determination, we live in a better world.

These are some of the pictures.

The trading floor in 1973. (Source: Evening Standard/Getty Images)
The London Stock Exchange, 26th March 1973. (Source Bela Zola/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Can you spot Sarah Danes –one of the 6 first female stockbrokers joining the LSE in 1973? Source: Financial Times.
Janet Stevens –who worked as a trainee dealer in the LSE– testimonial. (Source: Financial Times)

This last picture contains the testimony of Janet Stevens who worked as a trainee dealer in the London Stock Exchange. Her words about having to prove yourself felt painfully current.

I found most people very supportive, but I remember that you had to prove yourself. Yu had to be better than the boys.

Janet Stevens–

There has been progress in the right direction. However, there is still a lot of work and we are far from reaching equality. We can see this by simply looking at the statistics

Half a century later, our sector has not fully redressed the structural inequity and imbalances that characterised the experience of women —and barred them from professional growth in our sector

Julia Hoggett –London Stock Exchange CEO

I want to close this post with optimism by looking at this fantastic picture. What an amazing contrasts with the previous ones. Women in Finance are here to stay!

Market Close at the London Stock Exchange March 2023. Many of the pioneers with Julia Hoggett, current CEO.

References and Further Reading

If you want to read more on this topic, I recommend:

as well as these inspiring articles and interviews with Julia Hoggett

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