#BlackExcellence graces the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with their only full-time female employee, Lauren Simmons. Simmons graduated from Kennesaw State University in Georgia with her bachelor’s degree in genetics. While she was in college, she worked as a supervisor at Six Flags and interned at Woodstock Clinical Treatment Center. While at the treatment center, she created an innovative version of the center’s resource manual as well as a budget sheet of $300,000 after closely analyzing the company’s past expenses.
"I fell in love with the numbers and the fast movement, and the men in the trading jackets and everything was moving so fast and I’m loving it," Simmons told Joe Miller of the BBC.
There have been very few women who’ve occupied a trading position and Simmons happens to be one of them. She’s also one of very few women who have signed their names in the book that contains the constitution of the New York Stock Exchange. The founder and CEO of the boutique securities firm who hired Simmons, Richard Rosenblatt, said he’s confident that "she won’t be the last." Even with the advanced technologies of artificial intelligence, the floors of the New York Stock Exchange are still strongly male-dominated. However, Simmons is a prodigy in her workplace.
"They are like you’re a woman, and you are 23, and you are a minority," Simmons said. "What are you doing, how did you get this job?" she told the BBC. Roseblatt, who’s been trading since 1969, mentioned to the BBC that trading in a trading crowd is a very physical thing and it didn’t attract many women, "You and I would look at each other and try to figure out: How big an order did we have? How nervous did you look? How aggressive were you going to be?"
Rosenblatt has tried to recruit other women, however, Simmons is still the only full-time female broker on the floor. "We just hired a new person not too long ago and in the interview process, there weren’t that many female applicants, because they weren’t applying," Simmons said. Hopefully, the future of the New York Stock Exchange will continue to flourish with #blackexcellence!