Women’s History Month 2024

March is Women’s History Month and we are pleased to share stories of some notable women who made their mark in financial services. 

Abigail Adams, First Female Investor

Abigail Adams, the wife of President John Adams, was America's first documented female investor. Adams managed the financial affairs for the household while her husband served in the war and, later, in the White House. She was a shrewd investor, making a great deal of money in government bonds. In one exchange in 1783, her husband advised her to invest some money in farmland. She ignored the advice, buying bonds instead. The move made her family more money in the long run!

Maggie Lena Walker, First Female Bank President

Maggie Lena Walker was the first woman to charter a bank. The St. Luke’s Penny Savings Bank was a community lending institution designed to promote savings and homeownership, especially among women and racial minorities. Founded in 1902, the bank served the Richmond, Virginia area for several years before it merged with two other banks. Walker went on to serve as chair of the board for the consolidated bank.

Victoria Woodhall and Tennessee Clafin, First Female Stockbrokers

In 1870, sisters Victoria Woodhall and Tennessee Clafin broke the gender barrier on Wall Street when they opened their own brokerage. Despite the blatant sexism they faced in their struggle, the two sisters made millions advising clients like Cornelius Vanderbilt. While enduring libelous headlines, the two sisters quietly made enough money to put their male counterparts to shame.

Adena Friedman

Adena Friedman is the president and CEO of the Nasdaq, a position she has held since 2017. This position makes her the first woman to ever lead a global exchange company. Friedman has a long history with the Nasdaq, having been with the company on and off since 1993. Prior to serving as the president and CEO, she served as the president and COO from 2014 to 2016. Friedman also had a stint as the managing director and CFO of The Carlyle Group, a private equity company, and she is credited with helping the company go public.



"Early Women in Banking," Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, National Park Service, last updated November 15, 2019

"Victoria Woodhull," National Women's History Museum, Mariana Brandman. 

"Adena Friedman returns to Nasdaq". Reuters. May 12, 2014.


This material is provided solely for educational purposes and is not intended to constitute tax, legal or accounting advice, or a recommendation for any particular transaction.