Honoring Women in Financial Services

As we recognize and celebrate Women’s History Month, we thought it was a good time to reflect on the impact of women in the financial services industry, in general, and particularly, here at PDS Planning.

We acknowledge that the financial services space has a reputation as being an “old boy’s club,” with men historically dominating banking, lending, investing, and other financial industries. Nevertheless, women have been breaking into the field as early as the 19th century. There are a few trailblazers in particular who stand out in history, including:

  • Muriel “Mickie” Siebert (1928-2013):  Known as the First Woman of Finance, Siebert became the first woman member of the New York Stock Exchange in 1967. She was subsequently named to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994 and authored her autobiography named, “Changing the Rules: Adventures of a Wall Street Maverick”.
  • Maggie Lena Walker (1864-1934):  In 1903, Walker became the first Black woman to charter a bank in the United States when she opened the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. By 1920, St. Luke’s had helped more than 600 people buy homes. Walker’s vision and leadership set the standard for community lending institutions at a time when women didn’t yet have the right to vote.
  • Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin (1838-1927, 1845-1923):  These two pioneering sisters broke the gender barrier on Wall Street as they ran the first female-owned brokerage. Despite the blatant sexism they faced in their struggle, the two sisters made millions advising clients like Cornelius Vanderbilt. Woodhall would go on to make the first recorded run for president as a woman, doing so a full 50 years before women were legally allowed to vote.

At PDS Planning, we are proud to have Rita Itsell (2002) serve as Managing Principal, along with a cadre of other smart and talented women on our team. With more than 60+ years of combined experience at PDS, each brings a knowledge and skill set, and genuine personality, to work for our clients. We simply would not be PDS without Alyssa Anderson (2012), Laurie Licata, CFP® (2008), Beth McCampbell, FPQP™(2015), Jill Olding (2016), Katie Warga (2020), and Jillian Wendling (2022).


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