I recommend that everyone stop by the Museum of American Finance on 48 Wall St. and check out the new exhibition that is opening tomorrow, Women of Wall Street. I am totally excited because I helped in it’s creation- I wrote a couple of the labels, did some research, picked out some of the featured artifacts, and helped with the setup. I think the opening tomorrow is sold out or full or something but I totally recommend that everyone stop by. If I’m around and still interning, I’ll totally give you a personal tour.
These past two years have not been kind to the women on Wall Street. Of course, they have not been very kind to anyone. But women executives, a minority in this male-dominated world, have suffered some especially high-profile setbacks.
Sallie L. Krawcheck, the chief executive and chairman for Citi Global Wealth Management, stepped down in a power struggle with the chief executive. Zoe Cruz, a president of Morgan Stanley, was ousted in a shakeup. And Erin Callan, who had ascended to become Lehman Brothers‘ chief financial officer, was pushed out in the early stages of that firm’s collapse.
Even among the lower ranks, the mass downsizing of financial firms has been accompanied by accusations of discrimination.
Nonetheless, women will show up in force next Tuesday for the opening reception for the new “Women on Wall Street” exhibit at the Museum of American Finance. It has generated a lot of interest. “I can’t remember selling out an opening reception,” said Kristin Aguilera, a spokeswoman for the museum. She said they capped the registration at 250 people.
The exhibit, which will run through Jan. 16, is divided into contemporary and historical female figures on Wall Street. The contemporary segment includes interviews with Ms. Krawcheck; Abby Joseph Cohen, a senior investment strategist at Goldman Sachs who made her mark calling the bull market of the 1990s; and Nancy B. Peretsman, the influential head of the media group at the investment bank Allen & Company.
In many ways, the historical figures have the most striking stories. Many made their mark when Wall Street was more insular and misogynistic than it is now. They include a first lady, a self-proclaimed presidential candidate, and the world’s richest (and most miserly) woman.