Muriel Siebert (September 12, 1928 – August 24, 2013) overcame incredible odds and repeatedly faced down Wall Street’s male dominated networks to become a successful and respected leader in the world of finance. She began her own trading and research firm in 1967, and (though obstacles were created in concerted attempts to stop her) was the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
Starting in 1977, she served as New York State’s first woman Superintendent of Banking for five years. Under her watch, not a single banking institution failed.
Her key philanthropic causes were as an advocate for women in industry. According to Wikipedia, she was quoted as saying that “men at the top of industry and government should be more willing to risk sharing leadership with women and minority members who are not merely clones of their white male buddies. In these fast-changing times we need the different viewpoints and experiences, we need the enlarged talent bank. The real risk lies in continuing to do things the way they’ve always been done.”
Besides the Wikipedia link above, I highly recommend the New York Times piece by Enid Nemy. It’s one of many written to mark her passing, but I found it the most powerful and moving.