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Suzanne Shank on Paving the Way for Women & Minorities in the Industry

SWS celebrates International Women’s Day by highlighting our President and CEO, Suzanne Shank, featured by MarketWatch. The article discusses her career path, the firm’s 25 years of success, and paving the way for more women and minorities in the industry. Happy Women’s History Month! Read more below.

‘If we didn’t do it, no one would’: Suzanne Shank is paving a path for U.S. companies to put women and people of color in power

‘The real work is yet to be done,’ says the Siebert Williams Shank CEO of getting more women and people of color to lead Wall Street and Fortune 500 companies

Suzanne Shank, co-founder and CEO of Siebert Williams Shank, wants to help more women and people of color gain top seats on Wall Street and at American corporations, hopefully in the next five years.

The Value Gap is a MarketWatch Q&A series with business leaders, academics, authors, policymakers and activists on reducing racial and social inequalities.

Suzanne Shank says she didn’t set out to change Wall Street.

But as a Black woman and a powerful investment banker, she has been doing exactly that, ever since a dinner with the late Muriel “Mickie” Siebert in 1996 ended with the two co-founding what is now Siebert Williams Shank, a broker-dealer and top underwriter of equity and debt financing, which also is women- and minority-owned.

After an unconventional start designing nuclear submarines, Shank spent nearly a decade working her way up on Wall Street. Ultimately, she set her sights on building Siebert Williams Shank — not as a place for women and people of color to have a peripheral seat in the world of high finance, but for them to start calling the shots.

“I felt if we didn’t do it, who would?” she said.

Shank, the firm’s chief executive and president, recently talked with MarketWatch for The Value Gap about her journey to the top of Wall Street, including her recent work helping Fortune 500 companies SPX, -2.95% look inward at injustices that can act as a barrier to financial, social and career success, and ensure their workplaces are diverse, equitable and inclusive.

“It really starts with a CEO,” Shank said. “The CEO has to set the tone and then everybody from the bottom up has to be accountable.”

By Joy Wiltermuth


March 8, 2022


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