First Black Woman On New York Stock Exchange to Share Her Experience on Wall Street at Penn State

First Black Woman On New York Stock Exchange to Share Her Experience on Wall Street at Penn State

She set the tone as one of the only three Black women to ever work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) announced that its Behrend Speaker Series will continue on Nov. 10 and will feature Martina Edwards, the first Black woman with a seat at the 1,366-member NYSE. According to the university, as Edwards prepares to discuss topics like the racial wealth gap, attendees will also learn about her work on Wall Street.

The finance graduate from Tuskegee University took her place as a member of the NYSE as a trader for Merrill Lynch, an investment management division of Bank of America.

“It was a whirlwind for me working in a dynamic, fast-paced, male-dominated environment with high stakes trading activity, a steep learning curve, and little to no room for error,” she said on her website.

PSU revealed that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks occurred when Edwards began her first week at the Exchange.

“What I am most proud of during my time at the NYSE was advocating for a mock trading night for about 70 Scholars from SEO,” Edwards said in the university release.

“Access, exposure, and mentorship are factors when considering the dearth of underrepresented talent on Wall Street. I believe firmly that talent is broadly distributed, but not always evenly developed,” she said.

In addition to her role at the NYSE, Edwards provides capital, coaching, and connections to underserved entrepreneurs as the chief of strategic partnerships for Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, a Georgia nonprofit where she reportedly raised $25 million to fund underserved businesses.

“My professional journey has taken me to many places from Merrill Lynch, to business school, to US Trust,” Edwards shared on her website.

“One of the most fulfilling roles I have ever served in was as SEO’s Senior Director, Alternative Investments Program, hosting conferences in NYC with allocators of capital for emerging managers and managing an Alternative Investment Fellows program designed to help underrepresented first and second-year investment banking analysts more effectively compete for roles in private equity,” she added.

Her talk will commence at 7:30 p.m. in McGarvey Commons, in the Reed Union Building, and is open to the public.