"I remember going to one interview at the only firm that gave me a callback.  It was a very posh Wall Street law firm, and the man who took me around said to me about a half hour into the callback process, ‘We’ve already hired a woman, so I don’t think you have much chance at a job offer.’  My husband said that, when he met me after the interview, I was sitting on a step on the street corner crying.

I inquired about whether I could work for the [National Labor Relations Board] in New York and the man who ran the New York office said, ‘A woman? We’re not hiring a woman in this office. She might have to interview teamsters.’  So I thought, if the Wall Street firms won’t hire me and the NLRB won’t hire me, I will apply to the SEC, because they had an honors program and I was told this was one of the best of the government agencies, probably the best one in New York.

[At the SEC], I worked on a quickie criminal investigation with the man who was then the Associate Director, Jack Devaney, a career employee who was a very good lawyer…We obtained an indictment in three weeks, which at that time was a record of some sort, and he said to me, ‘You were hired over my objections, but you’re working out all right.’  The old-timers really didn’t want women in the office."

- November 18, 2005 Interview with Roberta Karmel

Gallery Opens, looking at the roles and progressive participation of women in two key and contemporaneous regulatory agencies:  the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the National Association of Securities Dealers (now FINRA)

Curated by Teresa Koncick

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During World War II, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – considered a government agency non-essential to the war effort – relocated to Philadelphia and set up office in the Athletic Club, including the club pool. (Courtesy of New York World-Telegram and Sun Newspapers Collection, Library of Congress)

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