My closest friend Michelle Marquez has been working for a law group that covers the stock exchange and she has been in this position for many years. These days there are women everywhere that you look on Wall Street, they are working in fraud prevention squads, they hold managerial positions in securities trading, they work in arbitration and of course they are on the trading floor too, but it wasn’t always this way. In fact when Michelle first started in this job, she was one of a very small group of women in what was a very male-dominated industry. I always find it frustrating that not enough girls and women understand what people like had to go through in order to level the playing field and whilst she would never admit it herself, she is an inspiration and a trailblazer.
In her first 3 or 4 years Michelle used to be the victim of a barrage of casual and sinister sexism from the men who worked within the stock exchange. This of course was not coming from every man but there was a large enough group who genuinely believed that she didn’t belong there and that she should not be working in their industry. Sometimes the comments would be tame but sometimes they would be cruel and they did hurt her. Thankfully Michelle was always very thick skinned and dedicated to success which is how she was able to get passed it.
In those years Michelle was working for a small group which would keep an eye out for any irregularities around trading or anything which was flagged as being suspicious. Whenever she saw something suspicious she would have to compile the information and then take it up to her supervisor to take a look. Unfortunately during these years the industry was very dirty and despite the fact that Michelle would often spend a lot of time compiling the necessary information, very little would be done about the issue that she had raised. The reason being was that many people had friends in this industry who would look after them and that meant a great deal of information getting swept under the carpet.
Michelle knew that if she made a mistake at work or if her results weren’t good enough, that they would all say that it was because she was a woman. In order to avoid giving the rest of the group the satisfaction of saying this, Michelle worked twice, if not three times as hard as everyone else. She always felt that she had something to prove to the rest of the team and that is why she slogged away for so many hours. There would be months where I wouldn’t see Michelle and this was why, she would sacrifice her private life in order to make sure that she was respected just like the men.
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