What to know about Muriel Siebert, the ‘first woman of finance’


Muriel Siebert became the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

Muriel Siebert was making less money than men doing the same work as her. She was tired of it. So in 1967, Siebert, the “first woman of finance,” became the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

This is how she did it.

Siebert, born in 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio, attended Western Reserve University but had to leave after a few years when her father fell ill in 1952.

After moving to New York two years later, she lied about having a college degree, according to the National Women’s History Museum, and got a job for Bache & Company. Tired of pay inequity, she changed jobs three times.

‘A Wall Street Maverick’

She spent two years finding a sponsor for her application (asking nine men to sponsor her before the tenth finally agreed) and a bank that would loan her $300,000. Her seat cost $445,000 in total.

Siebert, known as “Mickie,” bought her seat on Dec. 28, 1967. She spent 10 years as the only woman out of 1,365 men. Siebert also had to deal with anti-Semitism.

It took until 1987 for a women’s restroom to be installed on the floor of the Stock Exchange Luncheon Club, after Siebert “threatened that she would put a portable toilet in the building if there was no bathroom for women,” according to the museum.

Two years after buying her seat, she founded Muriel Siebert & Company. This made her also the first woman to operate a New York Stock Exchange member brokerage firm.

New York Gov. Hugh L. Carey selected her as New York’s first female superintendent of banking in 1977.

Siebert lost a run for the Republican Senate nomination in 1982.

She donated millions to help other women start in business and finance, according to a New York Times 2013 obituary.

“Firms are doing what they have to do, legally,” Siebert said during a 1992 luncheon honoring her efforts. “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.”

In 1994, she was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame.

She published her autobiography, “Changing the Rules: Adventures of a Wall Street Maverick,” in 2002.

Siebert died on Aug. 24, 2013.

She’s regarded as “a pioneer for women in the finance industry,” according to Investopedia.

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