If you were to take a look around at all of the aspects and companies that work in conjunction with the stock exchange then you will see large percentage of women. From the fraud prevention squads to the securities commission, those working in arbitration and of course, the traders themselves, some are in the minority still, but they are working within the industry. Things were not always like this however and when my best friend Michelle L Marquez began working for a law group that looked over the stock exchange, she was the only woman in her team, and one of only a handful of women in the industry. To understand just how lucky we are, here is what Michelle had to go through during her early years, as she was unknowingly changing the status quo of an entire industry.
These days an accusation that ids often thrown at businesses is that they are unfair in the work that they give to men and women, often giving men more, of course this is rarely accurate but it is still a complaint that people make. in the past however this was not the way that things worked out and Michelle was forced to work harder than everyone else in the room to prove that she belonged there. Nobody gave her more work than she should have had but there was a general feeling that women were not deserving of this kind of position, and that is why she always felt that she had to work harder.
The job which Michelle originally held was to watch over trades that were being made and make sure that everything was being done in line with the rules and regulations. Unfortunately however during that time there was a lot of corruption in the stock exchange and from top to bottom there was very much an old boys club mentality, where things would be swept under the carpet. In many cases Michelle would see something wrong, take it to her superiors and then nothing would be done about it. As you can imagine this was something deeply frustrating which Michelle had to go through and it resulted as a combination of the foul play at hand, plus the fact that she was a woman.
The saddest thing about her early days in the industry were the comments that she would be subjugated to, comments about the way she looked, the way that she worked or the things that she said. What helped Michelle during these days was the fact that she grew up with 3 brothers, all of whom were older than her. The result of this was a strong resolve and the ability to take an insult and throw it back. Whilst this of course should never have been happening in the first place, the sexism that she faced and got through thanks to her resolve was something that many women had to go through in order to change how things were.
A remarkable woman and a true trailblazer.