Back in 1956, eight young women on Wall Street applied to become members of the Young Men's Investment Association, a social club for financial types. When they were turned down, they formed their own Young Women's Investment Association, which over the decades has morphed into the Financial Women's Association, with 900 members in New York and New Jersey.

Now, some women on Long Island are forming an FWA committee here.

A task force co-chaired by Davi Tserpelis, managing director of Syosset-based Hermes Business Corp., which helps small companies secure commercial loans, and Angelique Siegfried, a CPA at Deloitte Tax Llp, are at work on the project.

"We recognized a void in the Long Island market," Tserpelis said. Women in financial jobs, she said, are "educated, sophisticated, and they need to be around other women to support their efforts." The task force has had two meetings, and another is planned for Sept. 22 at the Westbury Manor. To be sure, there are other organizations on Long Island for women in the business world, Tserpelis said. But, she added, the committee will focus specifically on women in the financial industry. Men are welcome.

Members of the FWA, who number more than 1,000 worldwide, are a formidable force. According to its website,, 71 percent of members hold senior positions at their companies, and nearly half say their net worth is more than $1 million. FWA president Susan Ganz said the organization hosts more than 100 events a year.