She has served as chief operating officer of the NYSE since 2015 and will start her new role on Friday.
"More than a half century after Muriel Siebert became the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE, Stacey represents a new generation of leadership for the NYSE Group," Jeff Sprecher, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange and Chairman of NYSE Group and the New York Stock Exchange said in a press release. "I'm confident that Stacey, who started as a summer intern on the NYSE floor in 1994, will continue to propel this vital institution forward."
"All 24 original brokers were men. And worse, it took 175 years for the first woman to become a member of the New York Stock Exchange. It was December 28, 1967 when the ratio of men to women members of the New York Stock Exchange became 1,365 to 1," she said, telling the audience how Muriel "Mickie" Siebert's ceiling-breaking run at the organization helped Cunningham understand she belonged there, too.
Cunningham also mentioned the fact that, at the time of her speech, only 6% of companies on the Fortune 500 had a female CEO. Fortune recently noted that number has since dropped 25% this year — to 24 women down from 32 in 2017. Progress like Cunningham's appointment can take decades — if not centuries — to happen in the first place. Here's to hoping success like hers will continue full speed ahead.