The NYSE has its first female President

NYSE Chief Operating Officer Stacey Cunningham, speaks during an interview on the floor of the NYSE in New York. Photo: File

DURBAN – Stacey Cunningham, is the first female President of the New York Stock Exchange.

Cunningham will be taking over from Thomas Farley who has been the president of the NYSE since May 2014. In the 226-year history of the exchange, Cunningham will be its first female leader. She was previously the CEO of the NYSE.
Cunningham first got her start at the NYSE as an intern in 1994 while she was an industrial engineering at Lehigh University. After two years she began working on the NYSE floor, at the time there was a small amount of women working there compared to the men.
After some time, Cunningham took a break from the NYSE and enrolled in a nine-month cooking programme. A requirement of the programme was that she spend six weeks working in a professional kitchen.
According to Cunningham, her time on the trading floor at the NYSE prepared for the environment of the kitchen. In 2007, she was back on the trading floor but with Nasdaq, NYSE’s rival. By the end of 2012, Cunningham was back at the NYSE and within a year she was promoted to head of sales and relationship management.
After three years she became the COO. Cunningham becoming the President of the NYSE maybe considered a step in even the gap between men and women in the workplace considering the way the NYSE was when she was an intern.
She said that when she joined the NYSE as an intern the female bathrooms was inside an old phone booth while the men had a bathroom that had couches and an attendant.