Abstract: The First Women on the NYSE Floor: The Forgotten History

Janice Traflet

Abstract

For more than a century, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) floor was off-limits to women, even in a visiting capacity. While the trailblazing roles of women like Muriel Siebert in the late 1960s and early 1970s are well-remembered, the barrier to women working on the Exchange floor actually fell much earlier. From 1943 to 1947, as a result of the manpower shortages stemming from World War II, dozens of women made history on Wall Street by working as quote girls and carrier pages on the floor. When the manpower shortage ended with the war's conclusion, these women fought to continue in their floor positions and enlisted the help of their union to do so. This paper seeks to resuscitate this forgotten but important period in NYSE history, labor history, and women's history.