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Is the banking 'boys' club' dead? Five female trailblazers in finance

December 17, 2013 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Pictured (Clockwise L-R): Inga Beale, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Janet Yellen and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Pictured (Clockwise L-R): Inga Beale, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Janet Yellen and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lloyd's of London announces first ever female boss will take over in January
  • Industry veteran Inga Beale will become CEO -- a first in the company's 325-year history
  • CNN takes a look at other financial trailblazers in world economy

Leading Women connects you to extraordinary women of our time. Each month, we meet two women at the top of their field, exploring their careers, lives and ideas.

(CNN) -- From Wall Street to the City of London, the world of finance has long been marred by a gender imbalance in the coveted C-suite.

But Lloyd's of London, the oldest insurance market in the world, took the sector by surprise when it named industry veteran Inga Beale as the next CEO -- the first ever female to take on the role in the organization's 325 year history.

On the heels of Lloyd's historic appointment, CNN names some fellow female financial trailblazers also making an impact on the world economy.

Lloyd's of London have announced the appointment of Inga Beale as chief executive -- the first female to hold the postition in the insurance market's 325-year history.
Lloyd's of London have announced the appointment of Inga Beale as chief executive -- the first female to hold the postition in the insurance market's 325-year history.
Courtesy Neal Houghton/Lloyd's of London

Inga Beale

When Inga Beale joins Lloyd's of London this January, she will become the first ever female chief executive to lead the insurance market in its 325-year-old history.

With a slew of international experience built up over her 30-year career, she most recently served as group chief executive of Canopius, a privately held Lloyd's insurer.

Beale also worked as the global chief underwriting officer at Zurich Insurance. Taking over from current CEO Richard Ward, she will be responsible for pushing through the tech modernization drive along with boosting growth in Latin America and Asia.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati was previously Indonesia's minister for finance prior to assuming the role of managing director and and COO for the World Bank in 2010.
Sri Mulyani Indrawati was previously Indonesia's minister for finance prior to assuming the role of managing director and and COO for the World Bank in 2010.
Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images/File

Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Since serving as Indonesia's minister of finance and coordinating minister of economic affairs, Sri Mulyani Indrawati has moved to the international stage with a senior leadership role at the World Bank.

Joining in 2010, she became the managing director and chief operating officer for the prestigious international finance institution where her role involves providing financial capital to developing countries -- the World Bank's ultimate goal of reducing world poverty.

Christine Lagarde has held the role of managing director of the IMF since taking over from Dominique Strauss-Kahn in 2011.
Christine Lagarde has held the role of managing director of the IMF since taking over from Dominique Strauss-Kahn in 2011.
Oli Scarff/WPA Pool/Getty Images/File

Christine Lagarde

As managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde has become a force majeure in the world of global finance.

In 2007, she became the first woman in France to serve as minister of finance, economy and trade -- experience which seems to have proven invaluable since assuming the top job from Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF in June 2011.

Janet Yellen became the official nominee for the next Fed chair when U.S. President Barack Obama announced her nomination on October 9, 2013.
Janet Yellen became the official nominee for the next Fed chair when U.S. President Barack Obama announced her nomination on October 9, 2013.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File

Janet Yellen

Upon Senate confirmation, Janet Yellen is poised to become the first female chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve when current head Ben Bernanke steps down in January.

She has extensive experience as a public servant -- she currently serves as Bernanke's deputy in a role she has held for the last three years. Her longstanding career in academia has also put her in good stead to assume leadership of the central bank.

Nigeria's finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attends a conference in Paris on December 4.
Nigeria's finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attends a conference in Paris on December 4.
Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images/File

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has had an impressive career serving as Nigeria's finance minister and then briefly Foreign Affairs Minister -- the first woman to hold either position.

A graduate of Harvard, she earned a Ph.D. in regional economics and development at MIT and then spent 21 years as a development economist at the World Bank working her way up to managing director.

As Nigeria's current finance minister, she has continued to work to fight corruption, bring transparency to the nation's finances and institute reforms to make the economy more attractive for foreign investment.

Read: 5 things you didn't know about Janet Yellen

Watch: World Bank boss' quest to end poverty

Read: Lagarde: Yellen is 'as good as you can get'

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