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Wall Street Women: Engendering Global Finance in the Manhattan Landscape

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Abstract

The first generation of women on Wall Street has negotiated shifting gender roles from the fifties to the present, a period of transformation in global financial markets and business as well. Over much of this period, these women increasingly used city places—federal buildings, the stock exchange—to promote women's upward mobility on Wall Street. In this article, I focus on how two women's networks—The Financial Women's Association and the Women's Campaign Fund (now Forum)—deployed many tactics of visibility, including organizing events celebrating women's accomplishments in male dominated industries, using the press, and more recently incorporating feminist performance artist's autobiographical storytelling. The article traces the ways the women's networks shifted the sites of their spatial tactics in the eighties, from downtown financial spaces to more “democratic” professional-managerial spaces throughout Manhattan. It also illuminates the ways the networks have increasingly incorporated tenets of liberal feminism into their events.

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