Share Prices & Company Research


24 March 2023

50 Years of Women at the London Stock Exchange – Rachel’s Story

Opening doors for women in finance

A lunch was held in March 2023 to mark 50 years of women at the London Stock Exchange. Rachel Mallinson, who became the first female member of the Leeds Stock Exchange, was among those invited. She joined Redmayne Bentley in 1984 as a partners’ assistant after completing an accountancy degree at the former Leeds Polytechnic, later becoming a stockbroker.

She credits her upbringing on a farm as having equipped her with the skills to adapt to such a trailblazing role. To this day she remains involved in farming and is a keen supporter of young farmers. Rachel shares her thoughts on her career and why she would encourage more women to consider stockbroking.

1: When did you first begin working in the stock exchange? Did you realise you were a trailblazer & were there any challenges?

I felt enormously proud because I was the first female member of the stock exchange in Leeds in 1987.
It was different in those days and a lot has changed since then but I always felt very welcome.

I am sure I had a bit of a curiosity value because I was a woman, but what I remember more than anything was what a busy time it was because it was at the time of the privatisation of companies like British Gas.

2: What role did Redmayne Bentley play? 

They were supportive, and it is true to say I have always felt supported by the firm, they have been brilliant to me. I have always worked in the Leeds office and although a lot has changed over the years, what I enjoyed about the job all those years ago, remains the same today and that is dealing with clients and the relationships you build.

3: Do you have any standout memories of those early days?

The former Leeds Stock Exchange was based in an office in the centre of Leeds at the time. Brokers in the city would take their certificates and transfers there and they would then be transported down to London.

I remember that the days were long but hugely enjoyable. I used to enjoy meeting new clients and discussing what was happening in the markets.

4: If you could pick one thing that has really changed for the better since those days what would it be?

Without question the advances in technology that have allowed us to trade on computers. Previously, you had to ring the London Stock Exchange and if you did not have anybody on the actual floor, it could be difficult getting through on the telephone because they were so busy.

5: Would you encourage other women to follow you and consider a career in stockbroking? Why? Do you have any advice/guidance for women who do? 

I would most definitely encourage anybody – regardless of gender – to consider a career in stockbroking. No two days are the same and I think it really helps to have a keen interest in people because that helps you to build relationships with clients. 

More than anything though I would encourage people to follow their dreams, because that is what I did, and I haven’t looked back.
50 Years of Women at the London Stock Exchange – Rachel’s Story
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