Melissa S. Fisher: How Women Rose and Took the Fall on Wall StreetRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: economic history, Bloomberg News, women, Wall Street, Melissa S. Fisher
When Ina Drew resigned as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s chief investment officer last year after reports the bank lost more than $6 billion, the New York Times referred to her as “the woman who took the fall.”
It is up for debate whether financial companies have scapegoated women such as Drew in the aftermath of the financial crisis. What is certain is that just half a century ago it was unimaginable that women might make it high enough in the ranks of Wall Street to take the fall for anything.
Women weren’t entirely invisible. As a 1958 article in the New York Times pointed out, physically, women “play a part in the sense that each weekday the Street’s stone and concrete canyons echo to the click-clack of approximately 60,000 high-heels as secretaries, stenos, bookkeepers, receptionists, ticker operators, file clerks, messengers and pages pour out of subways and into offices.”
But those offices made most women less visible; they had to work not only in these subordinate positions but well behind the scenes. They were on call for powerful men. In the women’s bathroom of at least one company, there were light bulbs labeled with partners’ names. When a partner phoned a secretary from his desk, the corresponding light would go on, and the woman was expected to run out immediately to attend to him....
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump administration says joint UNC, Duke Middle East Studies program portrays Islam too positively
- What White Kids Learn About Race in School
- Frederick Douglass photos smashed stereotypes. Could Elizabeth Warren selfies do the same?
- Chronicling New York’s Muslim History
- New Documents Illuminate The University of Texas’s Secret Strategy to Keep Out Black Students
- Women Scientists Were Written Out of History. It’s Margaret Rossiter’s Lifelong Mission to Fix That
- Allen C. Guelzo Reviews Sidney Blumenthal's Latest Installment of His Biography of Lincoln
- What Reconstruction-Era Laws Can Teach Our Democracy: The NY Times Reviews Eric Foner's Latest Book
- Should historians read their own book?
- Cokie Roberts, Pioneering Journalist Who Helped Shape NPR, Dies At 75