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Adena Friedman
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Adena Friedman: The Woman Who Made History in the Male-Dominated Finance Industry

Adena Friedman: The Woman Who Made History in the Male-Dominated Finance Industry

In the world of finance, it’s pretty uncommon to hear about a woman who’s made a name for herself. However, Adena Friedman is one woman who has broken barriers and achieved significant milestones in the industry. She currently serves as the CEO of NASDAQ, the world’s second-largest stock exchange. Her success story is one to be admired, especially for women who aspire to make it big in the corporate world. In this post, we’ll look at some of her achievements and the steps she took to get where she is today.

Adena Friedman – Early Years

Adena started her career in the finance industry in the early ’90s, when she landed a job at Nasdaq as an intern. After completing her internship, she was offered a full-time position at the company, which marked the beginning of her long and illustrious career. She held various roles at Nasdaq and even worked for the company’s biggest rival, the New York Stock Exchange, before returning to Nasdaq in 2014 as its president.


One of her most significant achievements was overseeing Nasdaq’s acquisition of the Nordic exchange group in 2008. That deal helped Nasdaq become the largest exchange operator in the Nordic region. She can also be credited with bringing a fresh approach to Nasdaq’s business model, which helped the company stay relevant and competitive in the fast-changing finance industry.

Another notable accomplishment is Adena’s appointment as Nasdaq’s CEO, making her the first woman to lead a major U.S. stock exchange. This achievement is significant, given that the finance industry is predominantly male-dominated. Under her leadership, Nasdaq has continued to thrive and has become a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, with Adena herself championing women’s empowerment in the corporate world.

Adena is also an influential voice on the global finance stage, having been appointed to the International Advisory Board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council. Her active involvement in these international organizations has placed her in a unique position to drive change and create a more equitable and sustainable financial system.

Work Ethic

Aside from her impressive accomplishments, Adena is known for her dedication and hard work. She is a strong believer in always learning and improving oneself, and she encourages her team at Nasdaq to do the same. Her management style is inclusive and collaborative, which has helped build a positive corporate culture at Nasdaq.

Adena Friedman – Role Model

Adena Friedman’s success story is a testament to what can be achieved with hard work, determination, and a willingness to break barriers. Her journey from an intern to the CEO of Nasdaq is a source of inspiration for young women everywhere, who aspire to make their mark in the corporate world. As she continues to lead Nasdaq to new heights and advocate for diversity and inclusion, Adena has become a role model for women and men alike. Her story is a reminder that gender, race, or any other factor should never be a barrier to success.

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