NEW YORK ( TheStreet -- Having your first job on Wall Street turn out to be with one of the most notorious inside traders of the day is less than auspicious beginning to a career but Doreen Mogavero wasn't going give up so easy.

Mogavero was working for Ivan Boesky in her twenties, trading futures, when the head of the firm was famously sent to prison for insider trading. Boesky was eventually sent to prison for three and half years and fined $100 million. Mogavero found herself out of job, but with a great education on ethics.

While working at a small firm following her days at Boesky & Co., she decided to set up her own shop. She partnered with a fellow female from the floor, Jennifer Lee, and the pair opened Mogavero Lee. To this day it's the first and broker based on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange that's 100% managed and owned by women. It wasn't exactly a smooth ride though.

"There was a lot of resistance in the beginning," Mogavero said in an interview with TheStreet.

Lee agrees, saying the two received less respect than men did and that it was difficult. Of course back then, floor traders physically muscled themselves into better positions. Luckily most of the positioning is done on computers these days.

The two have faced many challenges ranging from bathroom locations to calling on buy-side clients from the floor (an oddity at the time.)

For decades, only men worked on the floor, so there are no women's restrooms on the perimeter. There just weren't enough women to justify taking a bathroom away from the men, and the ladies had to take a circuitous route to the ladies lounge.

As for the clients, their first client from day one is still with the firm some 20 years later. Mogavero is most proud of the firm's stellar reputation. Mogavero Lee has been a member in good standing with the NYSE since 1989 and has maintained a clean record with the NYSE, the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA.

Mogavero got her start in 1974 as an intern working for her father William Earle, a trader at the American Stock Exchange and knew from that moment on she had found her life's calling. She sees technology as the biggest change for women on the floor.

"It leveled the playing field," she said. "A woman can push a button just as easily as a man." And while there were some roadblocks, Mogavero is quick to point out, that there were many supportive men at the stock exchange as well as her own family.

Not ready to rest on their laurels, Mogavero is now looking to broaden the firm's product line and get more global clients. She's headed to London to conferences to meet more potential customers.

"You've always got to challenge yourself, otherwise, it gets boring."

-- Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Debra Borchardt.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/wallandbroad.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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