Youngest Trader, Only Female and Second-Ever African American Woman at the New York Stock Exchange
At 22 years old, Lauren Simmons shattered the glass ceiling and made history by being the youngest and only full-time female equity trader on Wall Street for Rosenblatt Securities.
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Affectionately called the “Wolfette of Wall Street,” Simmons was also the second African American woman in history to hold the prestigious title.
Graduating from Kennesaw State University with a degree in genetics and a minor in statistics, Simmons initially aspired for a career in genetic counseling. While she made the decision to not pursue that journey, what had not changed was her passion to move to New York City – where networking led her to meet Richard Rosenblatt, the CEO of Rosenblatt Securities. Beyond her many qualifications, it was ultimately Simmons’ confidence that led Rosenblatt to take her under his wing and offer her a position as an Equity Trader in his company.
“Being a trader, you make decisions within microseconds,” Simmons said on meeting Rosenblatt, “So I think for him, even for me, the choice of coming onto the trading floor made sense immediately.” But the job wasn’t completely hers; she still had to pass the Series 19 exam, a test required for all floor brokers to earn their badge that has a pass rate of just 20%. After studying the book cover-to-cover for a month straight, Simmons successfully passed on her first try.
By passing that exam, Simmons made history at 22 years old – becoming the youngest trader on the floor and became the second-ever African American woman working as an equity trader at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 225 years. Since her story broke, Simmons has been featured in ABC, CNBC, CNN, and Fox to name a few. She has also been a financial contributor to CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and Bloomberg.
Since her departure from the trading floor, Simmons is now a multifaceted entrepreneur, an author, personal finance expert, global motivational speaker, producer, and director. She was also named to Harper’s Bazaar’s “Woman Who Dare” 2019 list.
Currently, Simmons is executive producing a film based on her life story with AGC studio – starring Kiersey Clemons. Additionally, she is the host of Going Public – a new financial TV series on Entrepreneur.com that premiered in January 2022.
Lauren shares her story from zero to one where she incorporates having all odds against her. Through perseverance, the power of the mind, and being open to opportunities, she landed a role at the NYSE and made history. She shares her personal journey growing up in Georgia, having a disabled twin brother, and what her brother and mother instilled in her to get her to achieve her biggest dreams.
The Power of Being the OTHER in the Room: Diversity & Inclusion
Lauren shares her experience being on the trading floor, as well as other work environments, and strategies for using what makes you different as power to be great in your role. She discusses breaking the mindset of others, how all corporations should be open to diversity and inclusion, and the changes that were made after Lauren came to the trading floor.