Laura Baron was one of the first female financial advisors in this country. She is still on the job at age 93, WealthManagement.com reports.
Baron was a secretary for Oppenheimer and Co. in the 1950s when her boss suggested she get her license to become a stockbroker. When she went to take the Series 1 test, the proctor had to check with his supervisors to see if it was okay for her to take the examination due to her gender.
Baron had a unique situation when she started out at Edwards and Hanley as a stockbroker in 1959. She worked as a secretary in the morning, and then made cold calls in the afternoons and evenings. Baron faced discrimination in the office – she said that “there were 11 men in my office and every one of them truly disliked me.” Potential clients were also confused by Baron, although it was a male client who finally gave her a big break because she was “a woman in a man’s world.”
But Baron persevered, working twice as hard as the men, she says, and eventually built up a big client base. In 1966, the New York Stock Exchange named her “Woman of the Year.” In recent years, she has worked as a financial advisor to many widows, helping the women understand their portfolios. At 93, Baron still works two days a week.
However, as much progress as women have made over the years, they are still underrepresented in her field – there is still only one other female broker at her office.
Written by Lisa Swan