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Breaking Down the Walls: 50 Courageous & Successful Years at the Forefront of the Women's Movement by Norma Yaeger is a poignant and courageous memoir about a woman’s fight to find her purpose and overcome the barriers in a male-dominated society…and how she succeeded.
When Norma acquired her New York Stock Exchange license in 1962, she didn’t know of any other women in the industry. The Stock Exchange didn’t even allow women to step foot on its floor. But having just escaped poverty in NY’s Catskill Mountains, and determined to support her children, Norma wasn’t going to let the exclusionary traditions of the financial industry stop her from becoming a stockbroker.
During her long career she founded a mutual fund and two security brokerage firms that transacted millions of dollars of trades every day. She made fortunes and folded companies, all while raising five children. Persevering to achieve the work-home balance, Norma rose through the ranks and opened doors for young women.
The true story of a 20th century pioneer, Breaking Down the Walls is a window into the reality of being a woman, a wife and a mother in the middle of the century. Moreover, it is an inspiration to 21st century women who will realize viscerally just how far we’ve come—and be reminded of how far we have yet to go.
This is a version of the American Dream that is rarely told—one that includes aggressiveness and ethics, toughness and tenderness. It is a story integrity and of joy in fighting the good fight, a story of strength of character. And it is the story of a woman at the forefront of the women’s movement…before that movement even had a name.