5 Women Who Have Dominated Their Finance Careers

When it comes to top executives and CEOs, men are usually the first people that come to mind. Finance, an especially male-dominated sector of the corporate world, rarely puts women at the top. Women have to fight to take control of their career paths. That’s why it’s so refreshing when women rise through the ranks.

Forget the showy sexism in the Wolf of Wall Street; how about the women of Wall Street? Let’s focus on them. If you’re looking for a finance idol, then read on to learn about five women in finance who broke through their respective glass ceilings to reveal the cash and power exposed just above them.

Maria Bartiromo

Dominating the finance industry isn’t just about managing the front lines of financial institutions. Women, such as Maria Bartiromo, make careers reporting on finance as well. Bartiromo, who now works for Fox news, made a name for herself after two decades as a CNBC finance reporter.

Business Insider notes, “[…] she made history as the first journalist to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.” Today she is not only one of the leading women reporters in finance, but she is one of the most significant of all finance reporters.

Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck has a long and respected history in finance. Market Watch reports, “Sallie Krawcheck, a renowned executive and thought leader in the financial industry, is the former president of Bank of America's Global Wealth & Investment Management division. Prior to joining Bank of America, she was CEO and chairman of Citi Global Wealth Management, CFO of Citigroup Inc., and CEO of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.”

She’s slated to become one of two new board of director seats for 2U (a technology company). As a result, she’ll likely lend her wealth of business and finance knowledge to the company.

Mary Schapiro

Financial professionals all over the United States dream of holding Mary Schapiro’s former job as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairperson (SEC), if only for a day. While the high-ranking position no longer belongs to Schapiro currently, it was still a historic station for a woman working her way up in finance.

In her Forbes profile, it’s noted, “With a background in law, Schapiro held positions as SEC commissioner and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority before her appointment as SEC chair in early 2009.” Schapiro obviously had her eyes set on the prize from the start, and through dedication to her education and career she came out on top.

Ruth Porat

Ruth Porat is the perfect example of a woman at the top of finance. One of the highest finance positions at any company is typically the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Porat not only achieved this status, but did so at one of the world’s leading companies.

According to Forbes, “As the public face of Morgan Stanley, Porat is considered the most senior woman on Wall Street.” She started at the company in 1987 and remains the CFO today.

Muriel Siebert

An article about powerful women in finance just wouldn’t be complete without Muriel Siebert. Siebert, nicknamed the “first lady of Wall Street” for her role as one of the first women on the block, rose from entry-level research analyst to a high rolling independent broker. According to a PBS interview with Siebert, “On December 27, 1967, Seibert became the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock exchange.”

It’s because of women like Siebert that Fisher Investments opportunities exist for women and that employers are willing to help women further their career aspiration.

With powerful professionals like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer speaking out from the heads of their companies about women and their place in the workforce, it’s no wonder the game is starting to change. Clearly, finance is no exception.

Who’s your favorite woman in finance – or in any industry, for that matter? What qualities do you admire most about your professional heroine? Share your thoughts in the comments below.