Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Breaking Down The Walls

There is a reason why history is important.

Each of us are on this journey of life.  But it's the people who came before us that helped pave our way - even if we aren't aware of what they did or the challenges they faced.  And we are part of history with each day that passes - we are paving the way for the generations to come.

I'm not much of a history buff.  But I do enjoy learning about people.  And I guess that's why I've come to enjoy biographies lately.

I was recently supplied with a copy of "Breaking Down The Walls" by Norma Yeager.  Norma's life story is pretty inspiring.  She came from an era where women stayed home and raised the kids.  She faced some pretty scary lows as she raised her kids - poverty and isolation.  And eventually she had to enter the workforce.

As she said in the book - she learned that she was a woman who would break the window.  (You'll have to read the book to get that story- it's a defining moment.)

A description of the book as found on Amazon:

Young women in the 21st century have choices. They can marry or not; the doors of educational institutions and industry are wide open to them. They can do and be whatever they choose. But to keep moving forward, it is important to understand from where we have come. And Norma Yaeger's story helps put it is perspective. Like most young women in the 1950's, Norma Yaeger married young, had children, and depended on her husband to support their families. Unlike most women of the times, when things went awry and her husband failed to provide, Norma took it upon herself to make a better life for her and her kids. The stock market enthralled her. Never mind that she knew of no other women in the industry. Norma set out to get her NY Stock Exchange license. When she acquired it in 1962, it was not to break a barrier, it was to support her family. Norma had already conquered her deepest fears, broke and alone with three children in an isolated house in the Catskills. And she knew what thrilled her- staring at stock prices through a big window of brokerages. Wall Street was not ready for her. Women were not allowed to step foot on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The phase ""glass ceiling"" wasn't even invented yet. And equal pay for equal work was a term yet to be uttered. But Norma was unstoppable. She acquired the license, walked the floor of the Exchange, and fought for and got equal pay. As one of the pioneering women on Wall Street, Norma had a fascinating career, accomplished much, and paved the way for other women. But the glass ceiling is still only cracked, not yet broken, and she hopes that her story can be an inspiration to the women still pushing against it in all walks of life.

It's a fairly quick read - mostly because her story flows and is so intriguing.  She's a real woman.  A mom, a wife, facing hard times, dealing with a bad marriage.  She struggles through the same stuff each of us have struggled with.

Forget glass ceilings - the thing I really took from the book is that I'm someone who would break the window, too.

Quick read, inspiring, and only $10.  So go grab a copy or load it to your reader.  Appreciate how you got to be a woman who has choices.  You won't regret it!


1 comment:

Karen M. Peterson said...

That sounds like a good one. I'm going to have to check it out.