Lauren Simmons is making her mark on history, literally and figuratively. At 22 years old, she was the youngest and only full-time female equity trader for Rosenblatt Securities at the New York Stock Exchange. As Simmons signed her name on to the list of the stock traders with the likes of Vanderbilt and Rockefeller, she became the second-ever African American woman to do so in the 226-year history of the New York Stock Exchange.
Graduating from Kennesaw State University in 2016, Simmons had planned to pursue a career in genetics but soon realized that it wasn’t her passion. Knowing she wanted to move to New York City, she made the decision to follow her wit and continue her journey. “My journey was the power of networking. I knew I wanted to do something completely different and networked like crazy,” Simmons said about her inspiration to become an equity trader (Forbes). Simmons’s confidence and charisma were apparent as her networking led her to meet Richard Rosenblatt, the CEO of Rosenblatt Securities, who offered her the job as an Equity Trader and launched Simmons’s career on Wall Street. Studying non-stop for 19 months to pass the Series 19 exam, a requirement for all floor brokers and has a 20% pass rate, Simmons proved her drive and perseverance to excel at every opportunity that comes her way.
Being informed that she was the second-ever African American woman trader at the New York Stock Exchange in front of her family and friends was a bittersweet moment for Simmons. She says that she “was excited, but also disappointed that in 226 years, I was only the second” ( U.S. News). It has now become a title that defines her, being nicknamed “The Lone Woman on Wall Street”, her story has been featured on a variety of media outlets.
Peter Tuchman, one of the most photographed traders on Wall Street, has been at the New York Stock Exchange since 1985 and knows the culture very well. He says that “it’s a bit of a men’s club, and it has always been that way. Why are there no women in this business? It’s because men suck” (CNBC). The trading floor still largely looks like it did 50 years ago, and the workplace culture, which is dominated by men, can be hard for women to feel welcome and have a place to shine. But there are signals that change is on the way! Last year, Stacey Cunningham was named the president of the New York Stock Exchange and will be the first woman president in its entire history. With role models like Cunningham and Simmons breaking glass ceilings and creating change, it will encourage other women to have a career in places like the New York Stock Exchange.
Simmons also has big things occurring in her future. AGC Studios is turning her inspirational story into a movie with Kiersey Clemons to play Simmons. Also, Simmons is writing her book with the release date to be determined. Lauren Simmons is a fearless trader at the New York Stock Exchange and will surely continue paving the road for a better future.