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Female Leaders dominating the financial world

SINCE THE beginning, world of trading, investments and securities has been dominated by men. In fact, the whole financial sector has been a male-only industry for hundreds of years. Until now, that is.

You see, over the last 10+ years, there has been a clear shift in the industry where more and more women are climbing to the top of the chain, making a substantial impression. With that said, the industry is still far from equal, and the number of male company leaders is still outnumbering female leaders by large margins.

However, we thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at the ongoing shift by highlighting some of the top leaders of the financial world.

Female financial leaders

Below is a list of women that we consider the top five financial business leaders of the past decade. All of them are still active, but some of them have left their positions to pursue other goals. Despite that, they have all left a mark on the industry and, in many ways, they’ve helped pave the way for future female leaders.

Stacey Cunningham - CEO at the New York Stock Exchange

In May 2018, Stacy Cunningham was appointed president and CEO of the NYSE, a company she had worked at for more than 15 years as both a trading floor clerk and a COO.

She is the first-ever female president of the exchange, and her promotion created headlines across the world. She also happens to be incredibly talented and a globally respected figure in the world of trading.

Clara Furse - Former CEO of the London Stock Exchange and current Chairman of HSBC UK

Clara Furse is a Canadian-born British banker who is currently serving as the Chairman of HSBC UK, one of the most prominent banks in the UK. Similar to Cunningham, Furse was the first female to be appointed the CEO of the London Stock Exchange in 2001 - a position she held until May 2009.

In addition, she has served on countless business boards and at the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee (FPC). She was also once named by TIME Magazine as one of the world’s top 100 most influential people.

Annika Falkenberg - Former CEO at Swedish SEB

Between November 2005 and March 2017, Annika Falkenberg held the position as the CEO of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB). Prior to that, she had worked at SEB since 1987, just after graduating from Stockholm University with a degree in economics.

Moreover, Falkenberg has served at several high-profile positions at many Swedish and international companies. Besides a long list of accomplishments, Falkenberg was also named the most the third most powerful woman in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in 2015.

Ana Botín - Executive Chairman of Santander Banco

Ana Patricia Botín-Sanz de Sautuola O'Shea was appointed as the executive chairman of the Santander Group in 2014, a position she holds to this day. Before that, she served as the CEO of Santander UK, and she has also served as a director of the Coca Cola Company.

Despite the fact that Botín comes from a privileged family (her family has run Santander for four generations), she is a very accomplished woman with one of the most impressive resumes out there. There is also no doubt that she remains one of the most powerful women in the world.

Zoe Cruz - Former Co-President at Morgan Stanley and a Ripple Board Member

In 2006, Zoe Cruz, a Greek-born Harvard Business School graduate, was appointed as Co-President of Morgan Stanley where she had previously served as Vice President and Managing Director.

Today, Cruz is still highly active in the financial world and she serves as a board member at Ripple among many other prestigious positions.

Once named “the most powerful woman on Wall Street,” there is no doubt that Cruz still has an incredible influence on our global financial markets.

Note that this list is far from all-inclusive, and there are many other women that are helping to run our financial entities. For example, Fidelity Investments’ CEO Abigail Johnson, the Chairman of the International Money Fund, Christine Lagarde, as well as the Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States, Janet Yellen.

In addition, we’re seeing similar patterns in other industries, for example, IBM has a female CEO and so does YouTube, and let’s not forget General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

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