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Stacey Cunningham: 4 things to know about the NYSE’s first woman president

Stacey Cunningham: 4 things to know about the NYSE’s first woman president
[Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images]

For the first time in its 226-year history, the New York Stock Exchange has a woman president. Stacey Cunningham, who is currently the NYSE’s chief operating officer, will become the exchange’s 67th president as of Friday.

The NYSE has a long history of overlooking the existence of women. It wasn’t until 1967 that Muriel Siebert became the first woman to get a seat for trading on the stock exchange floor, and that was only after nine men turned down her request for sponsorship.

In 2002, Catherine Kinney became the NYSE’s first woman co-president, but the role wasn’t as powerful as it sounds, because, at the time, the real boss of the exchange was the CEO or chairman. Now that responsibility now falls to Cunningham. It’s worth noting that the NYSE’s rival stock exchange, the NASDAQ, also has a woman CEO, noted Trekkie Adena Friedman. Yes, men, the women are in charge of the money now.

Here are four things to know about the new NYSE boss:

  • Cunningham earned her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University.
  • Cunningham started her career on the ground floor of the NYSE. She was a summer intern in 1994 back when the profession was still incredibly male-dominated. One sign of that was that the phone-booth-turned-women’s-bathroom—put in the members’ lunch club for Muriel Siebert—was still there.
  • She came on to the NYSE full-time in 1996, working as a specialist for Bank of America Securities. She has also worked at the NYSE’s crosstown rival, the NASDAQ.
  • She took a break from the stock exchange to go to culinary school, and has been known to whip up grilled peach and burrata snacks in the NYSE’s on-site kitchen.

Correction: An early version of this article said Cunningham will be the CEO of NYSE, she will be the president. The NYSE does not have a CEO position, as it is now owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

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