Megan Brown isn’t the first woman to get pregnant and exit corporate life, frustrated and finished with the “rat race.” But she is among the minority to have climbed the ranks of Wall Street – accepting, and actually loving, being a woman in the dog-eat-dog world of a not-so-female-friendly industry – before giving into her need to move on, and out.

During a recent conversation inManhattan, Megan spoke with me about her baptism by fire in the finance industry. She started on the floor of the New York Stock exchange as a trader working for “a really tough cookie.” Her boss spared no one from his foul language and screaming rants. “It was brutal. I was yelled at from seven in the morning until the bell rang at four. I would be on the train home and I would cry every night – EVERY night.”  After 18 months of a tortuously steep learning curve, and with her boss’s encouragement, she moved to Bear Stearns. “What a difference! It was so professional; no one’s yelling at me.” Megan held numerous jobs within the corporation, ultimately becoming the global head of third-party distribution. She considered herself a lifer, believing she would be with Bear Stearns forever (of course, that was before it imploded). At one point she recalls asking her boss why there weren’t more women – and there were hardly any – his response was, “Honestly, Megan, I would hire them, but I don’t even get any resumes.”

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Peter Westerman


Credit Union Times

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