Muriel Siebert: the story of a woman trader
In today’s society, women hold the highest positions in politics and run corporations and states, but less than 100 years ago, gender equality was unattainable. Despite conservatism, there were still women who broke the mold and stepped into men’s territory. One of them was Muriel Siebert, who proved by her own example that a woman could be a first-rate professional in the stock market.
Muriel was born in 1928 in a small Ohio town. Her family lived modestly, her father was the breadwinner and her mother was busy raising two children. As a child, the girl was no different from her peers and had no extraordinary talents. The only thing Muriel was good at was mathematics. It was an easy science, she loved solving problems and had the makings of a good bookkeeper. After high school, Siebert’s father insisted that his daughter continue her education, and in 1949 she entered college. Unfortunately, Muriel left the university after 3 years because her father died. Siebert had to go to work to support herself, there was not enough time or money for education.After her father died, Muriel was given his life savings of $500. The girl looked for ways to invest the money wisely. At the time, stock trading was gaining popularity, and newspapers regularly carried articles about Wall Street’s profits. A plan began to form in Siebert’s mind, and she decided to try her hand at the stock market. However, the rules of the day were not favorable to girls, especially in the financial world. Muriel was not wanted for work, and if she managed to get a job in a brokerage house, she was relegated to secretarial or bookkeeping duties. Stock trading was out of the question. This did not stop the girl, she carefully observed the activities of her male colleagues, gained experience and after a while, she managed to get a position as a trader.
But here was a new challenge – the pay gap between men and women. Female traders were paid significantly less than their male counterparts, despite the number of successful deals they closed. Ultimately, Muriel decided to start her own company. To do this, she had to buy a place on the stock exchange, which cost 450 thousand dollars. The only reason for such a record figure was that Siebert was a woman. The registration of the loan in the bank also caused difficulties, but Muriel managed it – part of the money was given to her by her friends, who took out the loan in their own names.
To attract investors, Siebert lowered transaction fees, even as her competitors raised them. As a result, Siebert’s company gained customers and her business flourished. As a testament to her success, a lounge at the New York Stock Exchange is named after her. This is the only time in history that such an honor has been bestowed upon a trader.