Lauren Simmons made history as the youngest and only full-time female trader at the New York Stock Exchange. IDA JOHN. Featured Image
Despite progress made in making our workplaces more diverse, there are still several industries where the glass and concrete ceilings are more prevalent. One such industry is the financial industry. Wall Street is notorious for being mostly male and mostly White, but one trailblazer is changing that and making a name for herself. At 23 years old, Lauren Simmons made history as the youngest and only full-time female trader at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Simmons, now 24, is also the second Black woman to be a full-time trader at the NYSE. It was recently announced that a movie is being filmed about Simmons and her life story. Simmons sat down to discuss how she overcame being the “only” in her industry and gives advice for how organizations can foster a culture of inclusion.
Janice Gassam: How did you overcome being a Black woman and being so young in such a male-dominated industry?
Lauren Simmons: I mean honestly, the role is gender-neutral…so for me, I’ve always been of the mindset that there’s a reason that they hired me for this job. I’m not going to stay in my head and constantly think ‘I’m the youngest, and I’m the female and the only African American’…I’m here to do my job, and I want to do my job well…a lot of that energy I put towards being really successful in my role, passing my Series 19, and making history. I just want to prove that other people…can do it as well…this is a job that anyone can do, and that’s my mindset…