Thursday, August 21, 2008

It is hard to believe today the discrimination against women that persisted through most of the twentieth century.

In 1985 my mother's sister, Edith, passed away. The following story was told at her funeral

As well as being an accomplished violinist. an active volunteer at the Neighborhood House, she aced the classes at Reed College and went on to get a masters degree in sociology at Columbia University in New York.

We are now talking mid 1920's.

She applied to enter the PHD program in sociology at Columbia.

Her advisor laid it out straight. She had the tickets but there were no jobs available for women in the field at the doctorate level. There were limits to the the number of PHD candidates and he could not in good conscience take a spot away from a man.

She took a teaching job at Mills College. At the time one of the most prestigious all women's colleges in the country.

As classes were about to start, she received a telegram from Columbia University. The University had relented. There was a spot for her in the PHD program.

She approached the president of Mills College with the telegram.

The president handed back her teaching contract and put her on the train to New York. She had broken one glass ceiling as the first female doctoral candidate in sociology at Columbia University.


Blogger Mike Barer said...

Don't let me anybody tell you that you can't learn anything from reading a blog. That is a great story.

6:55 PM  

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