This is Muriel Siebert. Her friends called her Mickie. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio and made her first visit to the New York Stock Exchange in the early 1950’s. According to her autobiography, the trading floor looked like a “sea of men in dark suits,” but when she got home, she told all her friends that one day she would get a job there.
In 1954, Ms. Siebert got herself back to New York and managed to land her first job on The Street as a research analyst making sixty-five bucks a week. This was remarkable not only because she was a woman in a man’s world, while all of the other women around at that time were secretaries and assistants. She also happened to have been a college dropout, having left school in Ohio when her father became terminally ill.
In 1967, after moving through a variety of positions and employers, she decided it was time to open her own brokerage and research firm. And to do it properly, in those days, a brokerage firm owner needed to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
Easier said than done.
The price of membership was $445,000, which is still a lot of money now, but then it was the equivalent of $3.5 million in 2019 dollars. She needed a loan. But the banks back then were accustomed to force women to have a male co-signer on all loans. Unimaginable that this was just a few generations ago.
Siebert went to the banks and asked for