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The Youngest Female Trader on the New York Stock Exchange

Lauren Simmons is a 23-year-old equity trader for Rosenblatt Securities, and she is both the youngest and the only full-time female employee to hold that position at the NYSE. "When I tell people what my job is they are always surprised," she tells CNBC Make It. Simmons moved to New York after graduating from Kennesaw State University in December 2016 earning a BA in genetics with a minor in statistics. After realizing that medicine wasn't her passion, she started searching for opportunities in other industries.

She started her role in March 2017, but says her employment was contingent upon passing the Series 19, the exam all floor brokers must pass to earn their badge. The exam is rooted in financial principles and concepts. Despite her math background Simmons had not studied finance in college, and had to hit the books — hard. When she passed ("It shocked everyone"), she says it eased her doubts about whether she could manage the role. It also proved to the men on the floor that she was equipped to work alongside them. Simmons is the second African-American woman in history to sign the NYSE Constitution of Members.

Stacey Cunningham was recently named president of the NYSE. A one-time NYSE intern, Cunningham will be the first woman to helm the exchange since its establishment in 1792. She is hoping to bring about a new era of change and progress to the NYSE.

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