The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is one of the most important stock exchanges in the world.

And starting in May, Stacey Cunningham, who started work there in the 1990s as an intern, will take over as NYSE’s president. Cunningham, who was previously NYSE’s chief operating officer, will become its 67th president.

It’s the first time in the exchange’s 226-year history that a woman has led the company.

Cunningham’s promotion comes at a time when top companies from the Fortune 500 face criticism about their lack of women in top leadership roles. Just 24 women hold executive positions in the world’s biggest companies in 2018, according to reports, a decline of 25% from 2017.

NYSE’s corporate parent is called Intercontinental Exchange (IE), which is a Fortune 500 company. The NYSE trades the stocks of nearly 3,000 public companies.

When Cunningham started at the exchange, it was predominantly male, according to reports. Today, there are still only four women executives at IE.

“Stacey represents a new generation of leadership for the NYSE Group,” Jeff Sprecher, Chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange and Chairman of NYSE Group and the New York Stock Exchange said in a press release. “I’m confident that Stacey, who started as a summer intern on the NYSE floor in 1994, will continue to propel this vital institution forward.”

Cunningham will succeed Tom Farley, who served as NYSE president from 2014 to the present.

What’s an exchange?

Exchanges are the actual places where stocks are bought and sold. They function as corporations, and there are exchanges all over the world. These include the London Stock Exchange, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, or Tosho, and Brazil’s BOVESPA.

The NYSE is headquartered on Wall Street, in New York.

The NASDAQ, located in Midtown Manhattan, is also an exchange where traders buy and sell the stocks that make up the NASDAQ index. The index is a purely electronic exchange. The NYSE combines an electronic exchange with live people who help execute stock trades.