Lauren Simmons has scored a hat-trick, of sorts: she’s not only the first full time New York Stock Exchange Trader, she’s the first African American woman to be a full time NYSE trader, and the youngest at 23 years old.
In an interview with Channel 11 the NBC Affiliate in Atlanta, Lauren Simmons says “It is surreal, and even to this day, it’s really hard to process. I wanted to be a genetic counselor.”
But just before graduating from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, she decided to use her statistics minor to find a job in finance. Ms.Simmons made connections on Linkedin to network and “I talked to any and everyone. Anyone who would listen. I got told a lot of nos, got told nothing, no responses, and had that one opportunity to bring me down to the trading floor.” And that was when she was hired by Rosenblatt Securities, becoming the second black woman on the trading floor and the first full time female trader in history.
“It’s really hard to process, and even when I say it, ‘I’m the second African-American,’ like it almost sounds as if it can’t be true,” Simmons said.
“I think if women applied, there would be more women on the trading floor, and if they were also aware of the position they could see themselves in the position,” she explained.
Lauren Simmons says the best part of the Rosenblatt Securities / NYSE job is its unpredictability.”It is not a typical nine-to-five job,” Simmons says. “I come in at six. I leave right at four, but the market goes up, it goes down emotions are flaring all day long.”
Lauren Simmons has a message both for Kennesaw State University graduates and the World: “I want there to be more stories like mine. Hopefully, it encourages more women, especially women of color, to break glass ceilings, as well, and to go out and to be the first and the second and these stories won’t be the first and second anymore, they will be the fiftieth or hundredth.”