Changing Patterns of Work, Care and Public Policy in Europe and North America
Edited by Diane Perrons, Colette Fagan, Linda McDowell, Kath Ray and Kevin Ward
Chapter 4: Enterprising Women: Remaking Gendered Networks on Wall Street in the New Economy
1 Melissa Fisher In 1954, the Eisenhower Bull Market ushered in a new period of economic prosperity for the nation and an unprecedented growth spurt on Wall Street. Corporate expansion, aggressive stock selling and increased consumer activity contributed to the financial climate. In 1957, in the wake of these changes, the New Yorker (1957) ran an article about a group of 27 female security analysts. Susan Zuger, the group’s president and founder, told the reporters the story of the creation of the Young Women’s Investment Association (YWIA). She and her female friends wanted to join the Investment Association of New York – an organization of young financial men – to help them make ‘Street contacts’ to find better jobs. Barred from entry because of their gender, they chose to form their own organization. These female entrepreneurs were convinced that ‘the Association is definitely a growth situation’ (the New Yorker, 1957). Indeed by 2004 the YWIA now known as the Financial Women’s Association of New York (FWA) had developed into ‘a leading executive organization of 1100 members committed to shaping leaders in business and finance with a special emphasis on the role and development of women’ (http://www.fwa.org). Forty-plus years after the creation of the FWA, the nation was again flush with enthusiasm, this time around about the ‘new economy’. ‘Flatter hierarchies’, ‘global networks’, and ‘startups’ were part of the vocabulary of business. In October 1999, the New York Times ran an article entitled, ‘A network of their own: from an exclusive address,...
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