Sharon Bowen, a Black woman, has been appointed as the next chair of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), according to MarketWatch.
Bowen’s promotion marks the first time a Black woman was placed in the role and comes on the heels of leadership changes as the NYSE faces growing competition from other stock exchange companies.
In 2021, one of the NYSE's competitors, Nasdaq, raised $191 billion through IPOs, as opposed to NYSE, which accumulated $109 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports.
While Nasdaq used their IPOs to prioritize environmental, social and governance benchmarks in their forward-movement agenda, the NYSE stumbled due to the impact of COVID-19.
Bowen was also the first Black person appointed as commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission back in 2014. Her three-year service began in 2014 during the Obama administration, V103 reports.
She has since helped cultivate new conversations in the finance industry, including discussions about diverse representation and quality civic engagement.
Bowen was named one of America's "Top Black Lawyers in the U.S." and in 2006 was recognized as Lawyer of the Year by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. In 2007, she was named the Diversity Champion by the New York City Bar Association and in 2011, she received the Diversity Trailblazer Award from the New York State Bar Association.
Born in Chesapeake, Virginia, Bowen received her undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Virginia. She would go on to obtain an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
According to NewsOne, Black women only make up a little over 10% of people working in the finance industry. Lauren Simmons became the second Black woman to become a trader at the NYSE in 2017; she was 22 at the time.