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Maria Bartiromo is opening up about the male-dominated Wall Street culture in the early part of her career.
In an guest post for Forbes she writes about being the first person–male or female–to broadcast from the NYSE floor. It was 1995, she was working for CNBC, and the some traders didn’t like her being there.
Independent broker and then director of the NYSE board Mike Robbins comes to mind (may he rest in peace). He did eventually apologize to me for harassing me for so many years with his offhand comments and screaming at me in the middle of the floor of the NYSE for even approaching the GE post where he traded because none of his business was for “my little TV show so I better run along.”
He was one of my bigger problems because not only did he hate the idea of me being there and yelled sarcastic comments at me each time I walked by him, but he was on the NYSE board and he didn’t like anyone talking to me. So it ruined my credibility with others for a little while.easy.
I will not name the sick individual who decided to bump into me and ram his huge electronic trading device into my back while I was on the air live talking about AIG in which he had a position.
This later sent me to the NYSE medical office and him to a suspension. He was suspended for a few weeks. Again, he simply didn’t want me there making change.
Bartiromo says she is actually “grateful” to some of the men “who pushed back at me, and tried to intimidate me.”
“It was a great education. It forced me to channel Barbara Walters, and other leading ladies before me to hold my ground. To stand up to bullies. To know my stuff.”