Four Remarkable Women in History

1.    On June 4, 1784, about six months after the first untethered manned hot air balloon flight, a painter and amateur aeronaut, M. Fleurante and the Count Jean-Baptiste de Laurencin were scheduled to go up in a hot air balloon called La Gustave. However, the Count was nervous and gave up his spot to 19 year old, Elisabeth Thible. In those days, as you can imagine, crowds were astounded to see a woman of such bravery. Dressed as the goddess Minerva (Roman goddess of wisdom), Elisabeth stepped into the balloon and made history as the first woman to fly in an untethered hot air balloon.

2.    Becky Schroeder was only 10 years old when she was doing her homework in the car. As it grew darker, she was having a hard time seeing her paper. That’s when she came up with an idea. She started experimenting with phosphorescence paint on paper and a clipboard. In 1974, at age 12, Becky created The Glo-Sheet and became the youngest female to be granted a U.S. patent.

3.    In 2015, a 92 year old, two-time cancer survivor, and mother of five became the oldest woman to finish a marathon. Harriette Thompson started running when she was 76 years old. During her training she lost her husband and had a staph infection in one of her legs. But she kept going because she wasn’t just running for herself. She ran for a charity, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She raised more than $100,000! “I just can’t get over it and it’s nice to know. But I wasn’t really interested in making, or breaking any records. I was just interested in raising money.”

4. On December 28, 1967, Muriel Faye Siebert “Mickie” joined the male dominated financial industry and became the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and the first woman to head one of the NYSE’s member brokerages. Also known as The First Woman of Finance, Siebert was among the most acknowledged traders on Wall Street. In 1977, she became the first woman to serve as New York state’s superintendent of banking. As much as she was recognized for her roles in finance, her outspoken criticism of the gender inequalities did not go unnoticed. After years of having no women’s restrooms, Siebert informed the chairman that if he did not install a room for her, she would install a portable toilet. She received her ladies room. Once she was also told the elevator was only for the men. She gathered up some male colleagues, and in protest, they walked with her down the stairs and out. According to Siebert, “There were no female role models, so I just blazed my own path”.

- Content prepared by Rana Kory, Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors