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.
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 sectorJulia 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!
References and Further Reading
If you want to read more on this topic, I recommend:
- Celebrating 50 years of women on the London Stock Exchange, there’s still work to do, by Financial News
- 50 Years Since Women Trailblazers Joined London Stock Exchange, by Bloomberg
- ‘Perhaps she will not spoil the atmosphere after all’: women mark 50 years trading at the LSE Some of the first female traders recount how they started on the floor of the exchange, by FT
- 50 Years of Women at the London Stock Exchange – Rachel’s Story, interview with Rachel Mallinson, who became the first female member of the Leeds Stock Exchange
as well as these inspiring articles and interviews with Julia Hoggett
- LSE chief says London markets must be ‘young and scrappy’ to compete
- Setting the tone from the top on DEI
- Driving Equality, interview with Outleadership