08 Aug “I’m in their world, but I’m not like them.”
Last week, I (Dr. Donnelly) attended an event hosted by Modern Wealth Concepts here in Philly, where Lauren Simmons was the keynote speaker. Lauren, for anyone who missed the story several months ago, is currently the only female trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Additionally, she is the youngest woman ever to do so, and only the second African-American woman to do so. ‘Trailblazer’, therefore, feels a slim description for Ms. Simmons.
What I found the most fascinating about the event was when the moderator asked her what it was like to be the only woman. Immediately, Lauren responded, “That’s a limiting question.” She went on to explain that she feels that question pits her against the men, as though the men are the norm and she is the oddity. Sure, it has been their world so far, but that’s only a fact of history not necessity. Instead, she says she stays true to who she is as often as possible and while she has adapted parts of her personality for the job, she has not done the same to fit into the boys club of trading.
For example, she said she’s fairly soft spoken but that had to change in order to do business. When she’s on the floor, she concentrates on projecting and articulating clearly so she can be heard. But when she’s “offstage”, so to speak, she doesn’t feel a need to be loud. This balance between authenticity and adaptability is so important and I’m so glad she addressed it.
The Good Doctors wish Ms. Simmons all of the success in the world as she continues to conquer finance and thanks Modern Wealth Concepts for making the event happen.
Below is an interview Ms. Simmons gave in June. I wanted you to be able to hear her story from her voice.