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THE OUTLOOK
FOR WOMEN
An/

CHEMISTRY
Bulletin No. 223-2
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
WOMEN’S BUREAU

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
L. B. SCHWELLENBACH, SECRETARY

WOMEN'S BUREAU
PRIEDA S. MILLER, DIRECTOR

Outlook
0

tn
Chemistry

Bulletin of the Women’s
for Women Bureau No. 223—2

U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1948

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government
Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. Price 20 cents

This bulletin is No. 22.3—2 in the following series on
THE OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE

No.
No.
No.
No.
No.
No.
No.

223-1
223-2
223-3
223-4
223-5
223-6
223-7

No. 223-8

The Outlook for Women in Science
The Outlook for Women in Chemistry
The Outlook for Women in the Biological Sciences
The Outlook for Women in Mathematics and Statistics
The Outlook for Women in Architecture and Engineering
The Outlook for Women in Physics and Astronomy
The Outlook for Women in Geology, Geography, and
Meteorology
The Outlook for Women in Occupations Related to Science

Note on Pagination.—Throughout the series, page numbers show both the volume
number and the page number in that volume. For example, page 24 in volume 3
is shown as 3-24; in volume 6, as 6-24.

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

Washington, December 22,19If/.
Sir: I have the honor of transmitting a description of the outlook
for women in chemistry which has been prepared as a part of a study
on the outlook for women in science. The extraordinary demand for
women with scientific training during World War II and the resulting
questions which came to the Women’s Bureau prompted us to under­
take this study. The paucity of published information on women in
science and the encouragement of the scientists and educators who were
consulted in the course of this study confirmed the need for the infor­
mation here assembled and synthesized. The study was planned and
directed by Marguerite Wykoff Zapoleon and completed with the
assistance of Elsie Katcher Goodman and Mary H. Brilla of the
Employment Opportunities Section of the Bureau’s Research Division.
Other members of the Bureau staff who helped to broaden the coverage
of this study through interviews in the field were regional representa­
tives Margaret Kay Anderson, Martha J. Ziegler, Rebecca G. Smaltz,
and another member of the research staff, Jennie Mohr. Corinne
LaBarre, research assistant, of the Western Personnel Institute, Pasa­
dena, Calif., furnished the information obtained from western colleges.
The part of the study here transmitted was written by Marguerite
Wykoff Zapoleon.
Respectfully submitted.
Frieda S. Miller, Director
Hon. L. B. SCHWELLENBACH,
Secretary of Labor.
2—III

FOREWORD
Much has been written about science and scientists, but little has
been told about the work women trained in science have done and can
do in the future.
Although these women are few in number when compared to men
in science or to women in such occupations as teaching and nursing,
their contribution to the national welfare, so strikingly demonstrated
in World War II, goes forward daily in the laboratories, classrooms,
offices, and plants in which they work.
The every-day story of where these women work, of what kind of
work they are doing, and of what other young women who join their
ranks in the future may do has been the subject of this report on the
outlook for women in science. Unlike the usual monograph which
describes an occupation in detail at a particular point in time, this
study, like the Women’s Bureau series on occupations in the medical
and health services which preceded it, is concerned primarily with
changes and trends.
Although more than 800 books, articles, or pamphlets were culled
for background information, the principal raw material for the entire
study of which this bulletin is a part came from such primary sources
as scientific organizations, employers and trainers of women scientists,
and men and women scientists themselves. Principal sources were as
follows:
Scientific organizations: The National Research Council supplied
useful directories of scientific laboratories and organizations.
Helpful criticism and direction to other authorities were ob­
tained from its Office of Scientific Personnel. Sixty separate
organizations of scientists supplied information on their women
members, by interview or correspondence.
Federal agencies: Unpublished information on personnel in
scientific fields was supplied by:
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics,
The National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel,
The United States Office of Education,
The United States Civil Service Commission, and
The United States Public Health Service.
In addition, 52 separate bureaus, offices, or other operating units
of the Federal Government known to employ scientists were
solicited for information regarding the number of women em­
ployed on jobs requiring scientific training and the type of work
2-V

2-VI

FOREWORD

they were doing. Detailed statistics over a period of years
were available from some agencies, while only fragmentary
data were obtained from others. The women’s military services
likewise supplied information on the wartime use of women
trained in science in the WAC, WAVES, and the Marine Corps.
Private industry: One hundred industrial firms were visited in
1945 and 1946 to obtain information, usually by interview with
the director of research or the personnel director, on the women
employed by any part of the organization in any capacity
requiring scientific training of college level. Prewar, wartime,
and postwar statistics were obtained where available, as well as
suggestions and comments. In many instances, some of the
women in scientific work were interviewed on the job. The
firms visited included:
Seventy-eight firms listed in the National Research Council’s
1946 directory of 2,443 firms having research laboratories.
The firms visited are listed in the directory as employing
24,816 persons as scientific or technical personnel in their
laboratories. This number represented 28 percent of the
total personnel of this type estimated as employed in all the
laboratories listed. In addition to t his numerical coverage,
an attempt was made to include among the 78 firms visited
small as well as large firms, plants in all parts of the United
States, and a variety of industries. However, the intricate
industrial organization, inter-relationships, and variety of
research revealed in the directory, added to the fact that
some firms did not report personnel statistics and none
reported women separately, made the selection of a true
sample complicated beyond its value for this purpose. The
firms visited were chosen rather as a clue to industrial firms
most likely to be engaged in the type of work in which
women trained in science are used. In all firms, informa­
tion was requested for the entire organization rather than
for the research laboratory only.
Eighteen commercial testing laboratories which offer testing
services to industry and individuals and which employed
women were also visited. Seven others contacted did not
employ women. These 25 laboratories represented 10 per­
cent of the 244 commercial testing laboratories listed in the
National Bureau of Standard’s 1942 Directory of Commer­
cial Testing and College Research Laboratories. Since per­
sonnel is not reported in the Directory, there is no clue to
the coverage of workers.

FOREWORD

2-VII

Three large additional industrial firms which employed
women in laboratory work but were not listed as having
research laboratories were visited, as was one biological
supply house.
Research institutions: Eight research institutions or centers, some
of them identified with a particular college or university, also
supplied information on women members of the scientific staff.
Colleges and universities: Statistical information on the number .
of women graduated with degrees in science, mathematics, and
engineering over a period of years from 1939-40 to 1946 was
obtained from 30 colleges and universities and from 9 engineer­
ing schools. Again an attempt was made to obtain wide geo­
graphical coverage and to cover different types of institutions,
such as women’s colleges. State universities, and small liberal
arts colleges. The information available from these sources,
too, varied. Placement bureaus, and heads of science depart­
ments as well as deans of women at these institutions and at
six other colleges contributed reports on the demand for women
trained in the sciences. The Western Personnel Institute made
possible the inclusion of data which it collected for the Bureau
from its affiliated colleges and universities in the far West.
Since no recent data were available on the number of women
teaching science in the colleges, a count was made in 1947 of
the women identifiable by name who were listed on science
faculties in the catalogs of 330 institutions of higher learn­
ing which were then available in the United States Office of
Education Library. These institutions were selected because
they are believed by the Lnited States Office of Education to
be representative in their enrollments of the 1,749 institutions
of higher education in the United States and, therefore, are
likely to have faculties equally representative.
Other sources: In addition, 97 individuals not included in the
afore-mentioned sources, most of them women scientists, con­
tributed information, suggestions, or helpful criticisms of the
preliminary manuscripts circulated before revision for publi­
cation.
While every effort has been made to obtain wide coverage, there
remain some dark corners still unexplored because of the range and
variety of these fields and the difficulty of obtaining information from
widely scattered sources. Perhaps this beginning will result in further
additions to our so-little knowledge.
o
772328°—48-

-2

CONTENTS
Page
Letter of transmittal 2-m
Foreword
2-v
Some positions held by women with degrees in chemistry2-xin
Prewar distribution__________________________________________________
2—1
Type of employment___ _ _
2-2
Type of employer--------- -----------------------------------------------------------2-3
Educational institutions
2—4
Government__
2-4
Industry
2-5
Other employers
2-6
Type of specialization__ :
2-6
Prewar demand and supply------------------------------------------------------2-9
Wartime changes______ . --------------------------------------------------------------- 2-11
Increase in demand--------------------------------------------------------------------- 2-11
In industry 2-11
In Federal Government, civilian and military 2-13
In research institutions 2-15
In teaching 2-15
Changes in distribution 2-16
Changes in supply1---------------------------------------------------------------------- 2-18
Emergency v'ar training 2-19
Regular degree courses 2-20
Supply at the close of the war_____ ____ _._________ __________
2-21
Earnings, hours, and advancement 2-22
Earnings------------------------ ------------------------------2-22
Hours 2-24
Advancement______________ __________:---------------------- ---------------- 2-24
Organizations 2-28
Early postwar employment 2-29
Industry 2-30
Federal Government----------------2-31
State and local government---------------------------------------------------------- 2-33
Research institutes and projects--------------------------------------------------- 2-34
Teaching 2-35
Chemical library and related work________________________________ 2-36
Postwar demand-----------------2-37
Postwar supply 2-40
Future outlooki_________________ _______ :--------------------- 2-41
Training for women chemists. ----------------------------- L-------------------- 2-43
Undergraduate training 2-43
Graduate training 2-45
Fellowships_— ------- ------------------------------------------------------------- 2-45
Some handicaps______________________ _______________ ________
2-47
Suggestions for young women who want to become chemists------------------ 2-51
2-1X

2-X

CONTENTS

Appendix:
Minimum education and experience requirements for application for be­
ginning Federal civil-service position as junior professional assistant
with option in chemistry___
Requirements for membership in the American Chemical Society_______
Minimum requirements for bachelor’s degree in chemistry from a school
approved by the American Chemical Society___ ____________________
Sources to which reference is made in the text

i>ag(f

2-55
2-55
2-56

2-57

Tables:
1. Type of occupation of men and women members of the American
Chemical Society 1941, compared with that of less experienced
group of women in chemistry 1938
2. Distribution of men and women members of the American Chemical
Society by type of employer reported in 1941
3. Percent distribution of chemists by type of employer in 1941 and
1943-..............-.................. — 4. Type of occupation of men and women chemists, 1943
5. Type of occupation of women members of the American Chemical
Society as reported for 1941 and 1943
6. Distribution of men and women undergraduate and graduate students
in chemistry and of those receiving the bachelor’s degree in chemis­
try, 1942 and 19447. Distribution by type of establishment of women with college training
in chemistry employed in 68 industrial establishments, 1946_____
8. Educational level of women with college training in chemistry em­
ployed in 68 industrial establishments, 1946
9. Comparison of postwar, wartime, and prewar employment reported for
some college women recently graduated in each period with bachelor’s
degrees in chemistry 2-46
10. Distribution of employed chemists, assayers, and metallurgists, by
region and sex, 1940
Illustrations:
1. Nutrition, medical, and industrial research• 2-xn
2. Laboratory assistant in chemical manufacturing company__________
3. Using physical chemistry techniques to analyze streptomycin com­
pound,
4. Biochemist analyzing new antibiotics 2-8
5. Conducting mineral analysis on feedstuffs...
6. Chemist determines particle size of DDT crystals in sample_________
7. Analytical research chemist performs experiment 2-25
8. Compounding perfume, in cosmetics chemistry research 2—27
9. Treating cotton fabric with mildew-resistant finishes 2-32
10. Women chemists engaged in synthetic rubber research 2-34
11. Assaying streptomycin by fluorescent measurement 2-38
12. Chemist in a research laboratory tests treated cotton yarn__________
13. Fine manipulations are required in a chemical laboratory 2-49
Indexi 2-61

2-3
2-4
2-16
2-17
2-18

2-21
2-30
2-31

2-51

2-6
2-7
2-11
2-14

2-44

Nutrition research

Courtesy Mellon Institute

Medical research

Courtesy Science News Service

Industrial research

Courtesy DuPont Company

2-XII

Figure 1.

Some Positions Held by Women With Degrees in Chemistry
“I work for a company that makes all kinds of equipment for the
identification of textile fabrics. Our laboratory has developed an
indelible marking ink which is invisible in daylight or artificial light,
but which shines out bright blue when viewed under ‘black light.’ My
job consists in preparing the ingredients of this invisible ink and also
the ink itself. I also do research on all types of problems involving
textile identification and marking, both invisible and visible.”
“I analyze fats and oils in a foods laboratory, determining the melt­
ing point, setting point, and iodine number.”
“As a senior control chemist in a cosmetics company, I do most of
the analyses of special nature as well as the regular soap analysis. I
make solutions for the laboratory and for various departments
through the plant. I assign work to and check the performance of
the junior control chemists who make crude glycerine analyses and
test raw materials and such finished products as powder and creams.”
As an organic chemist in a pharmaceutical firm, “I do research on
medical compounds of various types. At present, I’m working on
the problem of local anesthetics.”
“Serving on the faculty of a medical school I teach classes in pedi­
atrics and in addition, accumulate extensive data on blood chemis­
try, circulation and respiratory changes in fatigue. During peace­
time, my studies have been directed toward the management of heart
diseases in children; during the war, toward the study of the physical
fitness of soldiers in instances of delayed convalescence.”
“As a technician in the research and developmental laboratory of
a plant manufacturing glass products, I develop experimentally new
products or develop the application of standard processes (or varia­
tions of standard processes) to new products or products in service, or
perform experimental test work on general glass problems, as as­
signed.”
2—XIII

Chemist as Defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (46)
“Chemist (professional and kindred) 0-07.80. Performs analytical
and research work of a professional nature in the general field of
chemistry: makes quantitative and qualitative analyses to determine
chemical and physical properties of materials. Makes chemical tests
on manufactured goods, such as foods, drugs, plastics, dyes, paints, and
petroleum products, and develops new processes to improve products.
Supervises other workers in laboratory research or industrial control
activities and prepares technical reports.”
Chemist as Defined by the Council of the American Chemical
Society, 1944 (18)
“A chemist is one properly versed in the science that treats of the
composition of substances and the transformations they undergo.”
2-XIV

THE OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN IN
CHEMISTRY
Chemistry easily outstrips all the other sciences in its employment
of women, and also of men, if the applied sciences of engineering and
medicine are excluded. In 1946, between 5,000 and 6,000 women chem­
ists, with at least the bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in experience,
were employed in chemical laboratories or in related work in the
United States. The proportion of all chemists who are women is rela­
tively small, however, roughly 6 percent or 1 out of 16. In astronomy
and mathematics as well as in the principal biological sciences, the
percentage women form of all those employed is higher than in chem­
istry. However, the number of women in all these fields combined is
less than the number of women in chemistry (50).
Because World War II created an insatiable demand for chemists
and at the same time diverted into military service many of the men
available for laboratory work, women chemists were prized, and young
women were urged to train for chemical laboratory work.
At the end of the war, as men returning from service resumed tlieir
jobs in laboratories or their college training, women began to ask:
Will the demand for women chemists continue at wartime levels ?
Has the increase in the number of women in chemistry during the
wTar improved or reduced the employment chances of college
women training for chemical work ?
Are there certain chemical fields which offer greater opportunity
for women than others?
To answer these and similar questions, it is necessary first to look
backward to see how women chemists fared before the war.
Prewar Distribution
In 1940, according to the Bureau of Census, 1,654, or about 3
percent of the 57,025 chemists, assayers, and metallurgists employed
in the United States were women (44) ■ These totals do not include
many teachers of chemistry who were counted as teachers rather than
as chemists.
Where women chemists were employed and what kind of chemical
work they were doing was not reported by the Census. But an indi2-1
772328°—18-

2-2

WOMEN IX CHEMISTRY

cation of their duties is available from studies of two groups of women
chemists:
(1) Those well-trained and experienced enough to qualify for
membership in the American Chemical Society (almost half of
the women members in 1941 had a Pli. D., and one-third had a
master’s degree) (2);
(2) Some of the younger, less experienced women who were
graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry not long before
World War II (23).
Type of Employment

In both groups, teachers of chemistry were most numerous. More
than one-third of the more experienced women chemists were teach­
ing, most of them on college faculties; one-fourth of the younger group
were also teaching, the majority in high schools.
Research work absorbed the next largest group of the women mem­
bers of the American Chemical Society, almost one-fourth of them,
wdiile only one-tenth of the more recent graduates were in research.
One-fourth of the latter, however, were engaged in further study,
preparing themselves for later research, college teaching, or for a
related profession such as medicine. The women already in research
work were engaged mostly in basic scientific study not directly related
to industrial or other practical problems. In this, .they differed from
men chemists, for whom industrial research was the largest single
outlet.
The general belief that most women chemists in laboratories are en­
gaged primarily in the analysis or routine testing of raw materials,
finished products, or goods in process, while most men chemists are en­
gaged in research, is apparently true if all chemists are considered.
However, table 1 shows clearly that even before the war the proportion
of experienced women chemists who were engaged in analytical work
was actually lower than that of a comparable group of men. The
explanation may be found by looking at the less experienced group
of women. A much higher proportion of them, about one-fourth,
were doing analytical work, usually in hospital or other medical lab­
oratories rather than in industry.
The chief differences in the type of employment of men and women
chemists before the war were: the lower proportion of women in
industrial research, their lower proportion in administration, and
their higher proportion in teaching. (See table 1.) The higher
proportion of women chemists in chemical library and information
service was also significant.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-3

Table 1. Type of Occupation of Men and Women Members' of the American
Chemical Society 1941, Compared With That of Less Experienced Group of
Women in Chemistry 1938
Group 11
Group I

Women graduated
with majors in
Members i of American Chemical chemistry 1934-38
Society reporting 1941 occupation
reporting 1938
occupation in
chemistry

Type of occupation

Number
Men
Total_____

__________ ____

Percent

Women

Men

W omen

Num­
ber

Percent

14, 801

College
High school__________ ______ ___________
Other_____________________________
Research _ .......... .................................

671

100.0

100.0

719

100.0

2,184

232

14. 7

34.6

191

26.5

1,960
173
51

Teaching........ ............................... ..............................

198
28
6

13.2
1.2
.3

29.5
4.2
.9

21
170

2.9
23.6
m

5,092

150

34.4

22.4

Basic science__ _ _ _______ _
Industrial research __ _ _ ________ .
Medical research___ _______ ________

1,028
4,064
(>)

110
40
0)

6.9
27.5
(!>

16.4
6.0
(>)

Analysis and testing_________ ______ _____

2, 205

Medical _____________________
Industrial
_________________ _______
Library and information service _ ____
Technical secretarial service___ .
Further study ___________ _ __
Administration .
Allother

«
m

_ .
_

29
(9
837
2,119
2,335

88

10.0
(2)

20
52

2.8
7.2

47
42
28
84

14.9

13.1

185

25.8

m
(>)

m
(3)
m

72
(2)

m
h

155
30

21.6
4.2

.2
«
5.7
14.3
15.8

7.0
p)
6.2
4.2
12.5

23
28
184
(2)
36

3.2
3.9
25.6
(2)
5.0

1 Excludes male chemical engineers. It was possible to exclude the chemical engineering
group from the figures for men, since the 3.(145 male chemical engineers were reported
separately. However, it is possible that a maximum of 7 chemical engineers may be included
among the 671 women members reporting 1941 occupation.
1 Not reported separately.
Sources: For Group 1—1941 Study of the American Chemical Society (3). For Group 11—1939 Study
by Ethel L. French (23).

Type of Employer

More marked than the differences in the kind of work done by men
and women chemists before the war were the differences in the type of
establishments in which they worked. (See table 2.) Almost twothirds of the men members of the American Chemical Society, exclud­
ing those in chemical engineering, reported that they were employed
by private industrial firms in 1941; but only one-fourth, roughly, of
the women chemists were working in industry. For the women, Gov­
ernment and educational agencies were more important sources of em­
ployment. Less than 3 percent of both women and men chemists were
self-employed in consulting work. In this they differ from those en­
gaged in such professions as law and medicine, where private practice
predominates.

«

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-4

Educational Institutions.—The largest number of women chem­
ists, almost one-third, were employed in educational institutions,
mostly in colleges, where they comprised 10 percent of the chemistry
faculties, according to a 1939 survey by Ethel L. French (23). Their
proportion was lower (8 percent) among full professors of chemistry
and higher (17 percent) among instructors. The virtual requirement
of graduate work for college teaching positions was shown by the fact
that more than three-fourths of the chemistry faculty had their doc­
torates, and a meager 2 percent had only the bachelor’s degree. The
low proportion of women among graduate assistants and fellows, on
the one hand (8 percent), and their equally low proportion among full
professors, on the other, wei'e related, but which was cause and which
effect is debatable. The number of women teaching chemistry in high
schools before the war is not known.
Table 2. Distribution of Men and Women Members' of the American Chemical
Society by Type of Employer Reported in 1941
Number

Percent

Type of employer
Men

Women

Men

Women

Total___________

14.858

674

100.0

100.0

Educational institutions
Government__________
Private firms2
........
Research institutes...
Consulting:i... _______
All other______________

1,872
2,961
9,058
391
377
199

216
186
183
37
17
35

12.6
19.9
61.0
2.6
2.6
1.3

32.0
27.6
27.2
5.5
2.5
6.2

1 Excludes male chemical engineers. It was possible to exclude the chemical engineering
group from the figures for men, since the male chemical engineers were reported separately.
However, it is possible that a maximum of 7 chemical engineers may be included among the
women members reporting 1941 employment.
2 Includes private firm, company, corporation, or organization engaged in activities
other than those listed separately.
3 Laboratory, firm, or office.
Source: 1944 Study of the American Chemical Society (3).

Government.—Government ranked second to education and only
slightly higher than industry as an employer of women chemists
in 1941.
Principal employers were the State and local public health agencies
and public hospitals, which employed women chemists in medical
laboratories. About 50 women were employed in the Federal Govern­
ment as “chemists or metallurgists,” 3 percent of the total in that gr.oup,
if statistics for the end of 1938 obtained from the United States Civil
Service Commission are indicative (S3). No woman was appointed
as a chemist from Federal Civil Service registers in the year ended
June 30, 1940, but 123 men were so appointed, many as junior chemists

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-5

Most of the women chemists in the Federal Government worked in
the United States Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Human
Nutrition and Home Economics laboratories, but a few were in the
Food and Drug Administration, where they analyzed samples collected
by field inspectors from factories and warehouses. The National
Institute of Health also had a few women biochemists on its.staff, and
in the Patent Office several women chemists examined applications
for patents. The National Bureau of Standards and at least one of
the Army arsenals employed women in chemical laboratory work. A
few women chemists were also serving as librarians or doing technical
editing or writing in Government units specializing in scientific work.
Industry.—Private industry ranked with Government in its em­
ployment of women chemists who were members of the American
Chemical Society.
A picture of the industries and occupations which engaged women
trained in chemistry before the war has been obtained by the Women’s
Bureau from more than 100 industrial firms, including 78 listed by
the National Research Council as having research laboratories and 18
commercial testing laboratories (34). More than half of these firms,
actually 55, employed women chemists prior to World War II. Fortytwo had women chemists in their laboratories at the outbreak of the
war, although in seven of them women chemists were confined to desk
work as technical librarians, patent searchers, chemical secretaries, or
technical file clerks. Six additional firms had previously employed
w.omen in chemical laboratory or technical librarian work but had none
on the pay roll just before the war. In fact, two of these had intro­
duced women into their laboratories only during World War I and
had replaced them with men as they left, in some cases long after the
war. The exact numbers of women employed just before World War
II were obtainable from only half the firms included in the Women’s
Bureau survey, but the number usually ranged from 1 to 10 in each
establishment. Only a few of the larger corporations employed more
than 25.
The firms which employed women chemists in laboratory work rep­
resented a variety of industries including such widely differing ones
as: transportation equipment, textiles, leather, mail order, and ma­
chinery. However, more than two-fifths, 41 percent, of these firms were
chemical manufacturers. Food manufacturing firms and commercial
laboratories (which specialize in the testing of products for firms or
individuals without testing facilities of their own) ranked next.
This predominance of the chemical and food industries in the indus­
trial employment of women chemists was verified in the survey of the
American Chemical Society. Fifty-eight percent of the 183 women

2-6

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

members reporting employment in industry in 1941 were with chemical
or food firms. Petroleum and coal products ranked next, with 11
percent (-5).
Other Employers.—Research institutions employed some women
chemists before the war. The Rockefeller Institute, for example,
had 19 women technicians with a bachelor’s degree who had majored
or minored in chemistry. The Carnegie Institution of Washington
in its Department of Geophysical Magnetism employed one or two
women as analytical chemists. The Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh,
too, had a small number of women chemists on its staff.
Type of Specialization

Although women were found in almost every type of specialization
within the field of chemistry, they tended to concentrate in certain
types. In this, their distribution differed from that of men chemists.
Of 663 women members of the American Chemical Society who re­
ported their 1941 specialization, the largest number, 123, were in

i<r

4-J.J

Courtesy DuPont Company

Figure 2.—A laboratory assistant in a chemical manufacturing company.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-7

S,f#"*1

*"

Courtesy Merck and Company

Figure 3.—Using special techniques in physical chemistry to analyze the
composition of a streptomycin compound.

biological chemistry, sometimes called physiological chemistry. This
has to do with the chemistry of the life processes in man or in
plants and animals. Next in order were: organic chemistry (which
deals mainly with carbon compounds), physical chemistry (which is
concerned with the measurement of the physical properties of chem­
ical compounds), general chemistry, foods and kindred products, medi­
cal chemistry, and pharmaceuticals. For men members, the largest

2-8

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

fields of specialization were: physical chemistry, organic chemistry,
organic chemical technology, general industrial chemistry, petroleum
and its products, foods and kindred products, and pharmaceuticals (3).
The greater tendency of women to specialize in biochemistry and
organic chemistry was evident in teaching but only at the graduate
level (23). Women teaching undergraduate courses in chemistry in
colleges and universities had teaching assignments similar to those
of men, with more than half in inorganic chemistry, more than onefourth in organic, and one-sixth in physical chemistry. In graduate
schools the percent distribution for women was likewise similar to that
of the men except in organic and biological chemistry which together
accounted for 48 percent of the women’s and 36 percent of the men’s
teaching load.
Every one of the 8 women among 77 chemists who applied to the
Lalor Foundation for a postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry in 1937
were biological chemists. Practically all were concerned with physi­
ological or nutritional problems. This tendency for women to spe­
cialize in biological and organic chemistry may be due in part to the

> .
i

Courtesy Merck and Company

Figure 4.—A biochemist analyzing new antibiotics.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-9

curricula of the institutions in which they train, in part to the belief
that biology may be more generally useful to women, and in part
to a reflection of the demand for women chemists. One instructor
of chemistry in a woman’s college believes that women have a natural
interest in medicine on the theoretical but not on the practicing side.
Graduate work in biochemistry is therefore more to their liking than
the study of medicine itself.
Prewar Demand and Supply
Eighty, or 4.6 percent, of the experienced women chemists in 1940
were seeking work, according to the Census, roughly the same pro­
portion as those unemployed among the men (44)- Although the rate
of unemployment for chemists was less than that for all professional
and semiprofessional workers, it prompted the American Chemical
Society in its 1939 publication on Vocational Guidance in Chemistry
and Chemical Engineering to state:
Chemistry today like all professional fields is overcrowded. It should be
emphasized that steady employment is afforded to only the best qualified who
achieve excellence by diligent preparation. Unemployment is found generally
in tlie lowest levels, in spite of the increase in the number of new chemical indus­
tries and marked expansion of those already established (1).

In the same year, the research director of a large chemical corpora­
tion wrote in the Journal of Chemical Education:
* * * our schools are turning out chemically trained graduates at a rate
probably somewhat greater than the industry can absorb (29).

These statements describe an oversupply. Between the Census of
1930 and that of 1940, the number of chemists had increased by about
25 percent (43)- In 1940, 4,374 senior students in more than 500 col­
leges and universities were expected to receive their bachelor’s degrees
in chemistry, and more than 1,000 were working toward their master’s
or doctor’s degrees (14). (This did not include the more than 2.000
candidates for degrees in chemical engineering.) The total, 5,470,
equaled almost 10 percent of all employed chemists in 1940; the bach­
elor group alone was equivalent to about 8 percent. By comparison,
although the difference in length of training must be kept in mind, the
5.097 graduated by medical schools in 1940 equaled 3 percent of all
practicing physicians.
At the doctorate level, too, the production of chemists was greater
than in comparable fields. Actually, the number of doctor's degrees
granted in chemistry in the decade ended in 1939-40 exceeded the
number granted in any other single department, with those in educa­
tion and English ranking next in order, according to an American
772328°—48-

■4

2-10

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

Council on Education survey (27). In that period almost 4.000 persons
received the doctor’s degree in chemistry in addition to more than
500 in biochemistry. Almost two-thirds of these chemists and more
than half of the biochemists who reported their employment at the
time of the study were engaged primarily in research. Less than onethird were primarily in teaching. This means that the employment
of chemists at the doctoral level before the war depended more upon
the demand for research than upon the demand for educational or
other services. In this it represented one extreme in comparison with
other fields in which the doctorate is offered. The other extreme was
English, in which 5 percent were primarily in research and almost
90 percent in teaching.
Separate statistics on the number of women receiving the doctorate
were not available, but just before the war the number of women grad­
uated each year with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry has been estimated
at about 500 (65). This would be about 11 percent of all graduates
with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry in a single year, which checks
almost exactly with the percentage women were among the co-educa­
tional college majors in chemistry as shown in the 1939 study by Ethel
L. French (23). Idle first comprehensive figures on women graduates
with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry are for the war year of 1942,
■when the United States Office of Education reported that 835 women
received such degrees, 20 percent of a total of 4,116 bachelor’s degrees
in chemistry (56).
Although reports from placement bureaus and comments from
women chemists indicate that women graduated with majors in chem­
istry found jobs in which their training was useful, one woman
chemist in 1939 described the situation as follows:
During the past few years women chemistry graduates have found it diffi­
cult to secure employment in positions for which their training had supposedly
qualified them (23).

Perhaps this discouraging state was responsible for the slight de­
cline of some 200 in the number of women chemists between 1930 and
1940 (43). During this period, teaching, medical laboratories, and
such nonlaboratory jobs as technical library, editing, and secretarial
work wTere the principal outlets for women. Openings for them in
industrial laboratories were rare and seldom occurred outside phar­
maceutical laboratories. Women interested in chemistry were ad­
vised to seek work in fields related to home economics (textiles or
foods) or to biology (in medical laboratories or pharmaceutical
firms). They were advised to take special training in home economics,
biology, or nursing to improve their chances for employment.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-11

Courtesy Ralston Purina Co., Inc.

Figure 5.—A woman with a major in chemistry conducting mineral
analysis on feedstuff's.

Wartime Changes
Increase in Demand

World War II transformed this picture suddenly. As early as 1942,
and rising to a peak in 1943-44, the demand for women trained in
chemistry became not only fantastic in relation to the supply avail­
able but virtually nondiscriminating. According to reports from the
colleges, the poorest student in chemistry had an almost infinite choice
of jobs. A southern school which had never had any calls for wo­
men graduates in chemistry before the war reported 353 openings in
1944. An experienced woman chemist, interested in changing posi­
tions in 1944, was interviewed by 71 employers at a meeting of the
American Chemical Society at which an employment clearing house
was conducted for members (7). Previously unheard-of calls for girls
with a course in high school chemistry to work as laboratory assistants
were received by high school placement bureaus, as early as 1942.
In Industry.—In Cleveland, the number of women employed in local
industrial laboratories in 1944 was declared to be “little short of miracu­
lous.” Half or more of the analytical laboratory and metallurgical
laboratories personnel of one large metal plant in 1944 were women
{17). In Detroit, the technically trained women on the staff of one

2-12

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

local company had increased 450 percent, and one-fifth of its testing
and chemical research staff were women (32).
By far the largest increase was in chemical manufacturing. First,
the munitions plants, which normally employ few women because of
the hazards involved, began to hire women as chemists, laboratory
technicians, and assistants. A number of women teachers of chemistry
were recruited for these plants to train the routine testers, many of
whom had had little or no college chemistry. Synthetic rubber labora­
tories followed suit.
The rapidly growing plastics industry also employed women, espe­
cially those with specialization in organic chemistry, as plastic substi­
tutes were developed for certain metals and other scarce products or
parts (40). An enormous increase in the number of women employed
in laboratory work in paper mills, which normally employ few women,
was revealed in a 1943 survey covering approximately half of the total
employment in this industry. The number of women fully qualified as
chemists had increased from 5 in 1941 to 41 in 1943. Below the skill
level of the chemist, 500 women were employed as laboratory testers
and 47 as laboratory inspectors, as compared with 13 testers and no
inspectors 2 years earlier (12).
In oil refining the increased need for high-octane gasoline and other
petroleum products created an overwhelming demand for careful con­
trol work in the laboratory. Almost all the oil companies hired large
numbers of women with high school education or some college work
(preferably with courses in chemistry), who were trained to do routine
testing but were not in any sense chemists. However, a smaller number
of college graduates in chemistry or teachers of chemistry were hired
to supervise them and to handle the more difficult control problems.
In the metal industries, where women have been traditionally few
both in the plant and in the laboratory, women were sought for labora­
tory work. An iron mining company, with its staff of ore analysts
cut in half, trained women with college chemistry to make determina­
tions of iron, manganese, phosphorus, and other chemicals in the ore
to grade it for steel-making. In steel mill laboratories, women were
trained to run analyses of molten samples of the steel brought from
the furnaces at various stages in its manufacture. As in other labora­
tories, a Women’s Bureau representative found in a wartime survey
of the steel industry that the testing processes were broken down, so
that much of the routine testing could be done by women without
degrees in chemistry working as laboratory aids. Devices for the
routine testing of the hardness of steel and of carbon content were
operated by women, and they assisted the chemists in preparing samples
for inspection (55). Later a number of women were trained to take

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-13

readings on tlie spectograph and to make the appropriate calculations
of wave lengths to identify metals.
The highly publicized increased use of women in chemical labora­
tories was verified by the reports obtained by the Women’s Bureau
from the 100 firms visited in its special survey of laboratories. Eiglitytwo of these firms employed women, with at least some college chem­
istry, in their laboratories during World War II, compared to 42 at its
outbreak. An additional 4 firms employed women high school gradu­
ates as laboratory assistants but had none with college background.
The increase in the number of firms using women was greatest for com­
mercial testing laboratories and for firms engaged in the manufacture
of paper, metal, glass, and petroleum products.
In any one firm, however, the wartime number of women with col­
lege degrees in chemistry employed in laboratory work was more
likely to be under 20 rather than over, except in very large corpora­
tions. Only at the lower level of routine testing in oil refining, in
munitions, and in similar work where high school women were used
were the numbers larger, often in the hundreds. Many of these non­
chemists were trained on the job or in brief Engineering Science and
Management War Training courses to do such laboratory operations as
filtering, weighing, matching of colors, and specimen polishing, and
to operate laboratory equipment and record data.
In Federal Government, Civilian and Military.—The wartime demand
for chemists in Federal Government service, as in industry, was over­
whelming, especially at the lower professional grades. The United
States Civil Service Commission in 1942 opened examinations for
chemists, for junior chemists, and for chemical aids. The juniorchemist announcement predicted: “Unusual opportunities for women
throughout the United States.”
Part of the demand was new and came from the War and Navy
Departments and such war agencies as the Office of Scientific Research
and Development, the Office of Emergency Management, and later,
the War Production Board and the Office of Price Administration,
which used chemists on problems of allocation of chemicals and on the
pricing of chemical products. Part of it stemmed from war projects
assigned to established agencies like the National Bureau of Standards
and the Bureau of Mines. Some of it was caused by the need to replace
young men chemists who were drafted.
The total number of women chemists employed by the Government
at the peak of the war is not known. But statistics from 12 separate
bureaus, administrations, and offices indicate that these alone em­
ployed approximately 250 women chemists, including 10 to 15 metal­
lurgists, as compared with a probable maximum of 50 for all agencies

2-14

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

mm

Courtesy U. S. Department of Agriculture

Figure 6.—A chemist in a Federal laboratory determines the particle
size of DDT crystals in a sample under test.

before the war {53). These figures do not, of course, include the scien­
tific or laboratory aids with experience or training below- the level of
the junior chemist. The. Bureau of Mines, alone, employed almost 150
women as such aids in its laboratories and pilot plants during the
war, and the Chemical Corps of the War Department employed more
than 100. Since many other agencies have no separate records of the
number of women chemists employed and since others group the chem­
ists under a general heading like “physical science personnel,” the pic­
ture painted by these partial statistics is far from complete.
In military service, some women were also assigned to chemical
laboratory work. In the United States Marine Corps Reserve, 12

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-1 5

women were chemical laboratory technicians, and 1 was a chemical war­
fare specialist. Among the jobs filled by members of the Women’s
Army Corps, were those of chemist, chemical laboratory assistant, and
chemical noncommissioned officer (63).
In the WAVES, some women with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry
were used on work requiring a science background, such as radio,
radar, and electronics work. Some tested electronic tubes and other
materials and equipment; others, as assistant engineers, wrote specifi­
cations, assisted in the distribution and surveys of spare parts, which
required technical knowledge, or they assisted in research, especially on
calculations and compiling of technical data. One, who had had brief
experience with a paint company, worked on paint finishes for electrical
equipment that would be proof against moisture and fungi. A few,
after 4 months’ training in a Naval Air Navigation School followed by
6 weeks’ training in a Celestial Link Trainer School, became instructors
who taught Navy cadet pilots celestial navigation and related subjects.
Some also became medical technicians, working, for example, on the
collection of blood and its processing for serum.
In Research Institutions.—Much of the war research work of the
Government, such as the development of new war materials and proc­
esses for manufacture, was contracted out to universities and other
research institutions. This resulted in the increased employment of
women chemists at many universities, such as the University of Chicago
and Columbia University, as well as at research centers, such as the
Rockefeller Institute and Carnegie Institution. At the latter, for ex­
ample, about 20 additional women, most of them with bachelor’s or
master’s degrees in chemistry, were hired as research and laboratory
assistants to assist scientists in metallurgy and metallography. A
number of women worked on chemical projects connected with atomic
research. One woman chemist, working at a woman’s college with a
few assistants, carried out research on antimalarials. In research insti­
tutions, as in industry, no single project employed large numbers of
women chemists.
In Teaching.—As some young college instructors and high school
teachers of chemistry were drafted and others took work in industry or
Government, the demand for women chemistry teachers in colleges and
secondary schools increased. By 1943 the shortage of high school
chemistry teachers was widespread, as compared to the oversupply
that existed before the war (60). Chemistry ranked fourth in the
list of fields in which college vacancies were most numerous in the
fall of 1942. Only in medicine, engineering, and economics were the
shortages greater (58).

2-16

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

Changes in Distribution

The effect of the wartime demand on the distribution of chemists
by type of employer was already evident at the end of 1943. (See
table 3.) An increase in the employment of chemists in manufactur­
ing industries and in the Federal Government and a decrease in State
and local government employment and in that in educational institu­
tions as compared with 1941 was revealed in a Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics survey which included a sample of nonmembers as well as
members of the American Chemical Society.
Within the manufacturing group, there were also changes in the
distribution of chemists. The proportion of chemists in textiles de­
clined, while in food industries it remained the same, and in paper
and allied products it increased. By far the highest proportion,
however, in both years was in the chemical industries, which in 1943
absorbed more than 28 percent. Petroleum and coal products, -with
approximately 8 percent, iron and steel and nonferrous metals and
their products, foods, rubber products, paper and allied products, and
textiles ranked next in order (45).
Table 3. Percent Distribution of Chemists by Type of Employer in 1941 and 1943
Percent distribution
Type of employer
1941
Total.. ...___________ ______ ______
Manufacturing firms.
____
Other non public organizations.. _________ _
_
Government:
Federal Government___ _______
State, county, municipal, and other public authorities________
Educational institutions_____ ____ _____ ________
Not working... _______ ____

1943

100.0

100.0

58.6
9.5

64.0
8.3

5.5
17.0
9.3
.1

7.4
13.4
6.9

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 1944 Survey U5).

Separate figures on all women chemists are not available, but a
study of the members of the American Chemical Society indicates
that the changes in distribution by employer were similar in nature for
men and women members, though the employment increase in industry
and in the Federal Government was slightly more marked for the
women (3).
Although the wartime demand for women chemists was extremely
varied, differences persisted in the type of work performed by women
chemists as compared with men. These differences in 1943 are sum­
marized in table 4 for 70,000 chemists covered in the Bureau of Labor
Statistics survey.
Although, like the men, approximately one-third of the women were
engaged in research or development work, a much higher proportion

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-17

were in basic science research and a much lower percentage in indus­
trial research and development. Analysis and testing, which claimed
almost another one-third of the women chemists, absorbed less than
one-fourth of the men. College and university teaching, graduate
study, and technical service were the other types of employment in
which the proportion of women chemists to their total was higher
than that of the men. On the other hand, in technical administration
and production, the reverse was true.
Table 4. Type of Occupation of Men and Women Chemists, 1943
Number

Percent

Type of occupation
Men

Percent
women
are of
Women total

Total

Men

Women

70,019

67,104

2,915

100.0

100.0

4.2

23, 305

22,397

908

33.3

31.2

3.9

Industrial research _____ ___________
___ 15, 802
Basic science research,.
3,338
Development................. . ......................................... 4,165

15,386
2, 960
4,051

416
378
114

22.9
4.4
6.0

14.3
13. 0
3.9

2.6
11.3
2.7
5.4

Total
Research and development

__________________

16,656

15, 750

906

23.5

31.1

Teaching.............................................................................

8,814

8, 285

529

12.3

18.1

6.0

College and university...............................................
Secondary schools _________ ______ __________

4, 520
3,999
295

4,109
3,882
294

411
117
1

6.1
5.8
.4

14.1
4.0

9.1
2.9
.3

10,447
1, 436
1,360
5,369
2,632

10, 297
1,329
1,279
5,333
2,434

150
107
81
36
198

15.4
2.0
1.9
8.0
3.6

5.1
3.7
2.8
1. 2
6.8

1.4
7.5
6.0
.7
7.5

Analysis and testing_______ __________________

Administration, technical_________ _ __________
Technical service
_______________ _ _
Postgraduate study
Production
Allother_____ ________ ____ ______

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 1944 Survey (46) including previously unpublished data on numbers
of women chemists.

At first thought one might explain the differences by the fact that
fewer women had the doctorate, but a relatively higher proportion of
them were in the two fields in which the doctorate is most common:
college teaching and basic research. Almost 60 percent of all the col­
lege teachers and basic research science personnel in chemistry had
the doctorate. At the other extreme, a relatively high proportion of
them were also in the field in which the doctorate is seldom found,
e. g., in analysis and testing, where only 2 percent had a Ph. D. or Sc. D.
Women chemists, then, appeared to form two groups. For those with
the doctorate, the chief outlets seemed to be in basic science research
and teaching; for those with the bachelor’s degree, control work and
testing. Complete statistical evidence of wartime shifts in the nature
of work done by women chemists is lacking; but, for some 700 to
800 women members of the American Chemical Society who in 1944
reported their employment in 1941 and 1943. an indication of the
changes that took place in the work done by the more experienced
women chemists is available. (See table 5.)
772328°—48------------ 5

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-18

The increase is marked in all the groups reflecting industrial de­
mand: industrial research, analysis and testing, and administration.
In all of these, women increased not only numerically but in their pro­
portion of the total chemists. In teaching, especially in high schools,
and in graduate study, although they declined in numbers, women
gained in the percent of the total they formed, as large numbers of men
were drawn into military and other war service. Women still com­
posed more than half the chemists engaged in technical library science,
although they declined both in numbers and in percent of the total, as
laboratory work became available.
Table 5. Type of Occupation of Women Members of the American Chemical
Society as reported for 1941 and 1943
Number

Percent

Type of-occupation
1941
Total. -

____ _____

1943

1941

1943

Percent women
are of total
1941

1943

671

811

100.0

100.0

3.5

3.8

Teaching______________________

232

221

34.6

27.2

8.4

9.9

College_________________
High school______ ________
Other........... ............ .............. .

198
28
6

194
24
3

29.5
4.2
.9

23.9
2.9
.4

8.4
13.6
10.2

9. 4
18. 6
8.1

Research_______

_______

_

150

258

22.4

31.8

2.5

3.6

Basic science___________________________
Industrial research_____ _____

110
40

121
137

16.4
6.0

14.9
16.9

9.4
.8

9.9
2.4

Analysis and testing__________________
Library and information service.......... . ..........
Postgraduate study________________ _____
Administration_________________ ... ..
Allother______________
_________________

47
42
28
84

40
12
52
88

7.0
6. 2
4.2
12.5

4.9
1. 5
6. 4
10.9

57.3

54. 8

.9
2.1

1,1
1.8

Source: American Chemical Society, 1944 Survey (3).

Changes in Supply

As early as the spring of 1944, the American Chemical Society urged
the President to safeguard the reservoir of trained chemists and
physicists threatened by the draft, from which occupational defer­
ments of chemists had been general up to that time. Magazines and
newspapers in late August 1944 and thereafter were filled with protests
at the drafting of scientific personnel up to the age of 26 including
graduate and undergraduate students in the sciences. The draft con­
tinued, although on April 2,1945, a bill was introduced into the Con­
gress calling for the deferment of students and trained scientists and
the discharge from the Army of technically trained enlisted men.
Shortages lasting until 1950 and 1955 were predicted, particularly at
the doctorate level.
The 3,200 women with college degrees in chemistry who registered
with the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel in

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-19

April 1944 and the additional 3,500 who graduated from 1942 to 1944
could not bridge this gap, which was ever-widening under the pres­
sure of increasing industrial demand {49) {51) {56). Women with­
out a college degree but with some training or experience in chemistry
helped fill the need. Almost 2,000 women of this type registered with
the National Roster in 1944 {49). Laboratory work was subdivided
as much as possible to utilize the skills and knowledge of the most ex­
perienced chemists by broadening their supervision over those with less
training. The increase in administrative work reflects this attempt.
(See table 5.)
For the most routine jobs high school graduates, with or without
chemistry, were trained. But, those with chemical training were
preferred, since they were more quickly oriented to the need for preci­
sion, the careful handling of equipment, and the scientific atmosphere
that characterize even the simplest laboratory.
Emergency War Training.—Many universities offered especially
adapted courses to train for war needs. For example, the University
of Cincinnati in its College of Liberal Arts offered a 12-month, 48credit program to prepare women to work as chemical aids. Inorganic
chemistry (qualitative and quantitative), organic chemistry, mathe­
matics, and English were included in this course. To train laboratory
technicians for work in medical laboratories, a similar program sub­
stituting courses in biochemistry and in industrial and pathogenic
bacteriology for mathematics and English was also announced as part
of its “War Service Training Institute.” A special 2-year certificate
course for women in chemical engineering was opened by its College
of Engineering. Ohio State University under its National Service
Curriculum for Women offered four quarters of intensive training
in chemistry, mathematics, and physics, plus a period of practical
laboratory experience.
Special shorter courses of several months’ duration were offered in
the field of chemistry in many universities under the federally-financed
Engineering, Science, and Management War Training program. En­
rollments in such courses totaled 38,838. Almost half were in courses
in analytical chemistry; organic chemistry, chemistry fundamentals,
physical, biological, and inorganic chemistry ranked next in that
order {69). No statistics are available on how many women took
courses in chemistry. In November 1943, however, women made up
more than half the enrollments in analytical chemistry courses, al­
though they comprised only 20 percent of all Engineering, Science,
and Management War Training enrollments at that time. The courses
given in chemistry in more than 200 universities or technical schools
were usually related directly to the needs of a particular wartime

2-20

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

industry or Government agency, and the instructors were often indus­
trial men. At first most of the courses trained for work in munitions or
explosives chemistry; later, work in synthetic rubber, petroleum refin­
ing, and plastics were emphasized.
An Engineering, Science, and Management War Training course in
analytical chemistry at Bryn Mawr College illustrates this program.
Approximately 100 girls in all were trained in four consecutive groups.
A year- of high school chemistry was required for entrance to the 40hour-a-week course which lasted 10 weeks. The first and last groups
were placed in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the second and third
groups largely in war production plants in Philadelphia, with a few
going into the Yard.
Reports from scattered individuals and college placement bureaus
indicate that those who took such courses were satisfied wTith the
training and the jobs they received. Apart from the satisfaction
derived from performing a war service, women found them of per­
manent value either as an introduction to more complete training or
as a supplement to a background already obtained through regular
courses. For example, one young woman, after graduating in 1941
from a woman’s college, did analytical chemical work for 8 months in
the control laboratory of a drug company. She then took Engineer­
ing, Science, and Management War Training courses in engineering
mathematics and chemical engineering and at the war’s end was in
charge of the analytical work on paints in a research laboratory of a
chemical plant. For others, these brief courses supplied opportunity
for checking through first-hand experience their aptitude for and
interest in chemistry. However, the courses were not designed to
offer the basic background needed by women who intend to become
chemists. Women who depended on such courses to qualify them for
retention in a laboratory when college graduates again became readily
available were usually disillusioned.
In-service training in laboratory work was given by many plants
as well as by Government agencies where the number of new workers
justified a more formal program than the usual “breaking-in” of a
novice by an experienced member of the staff. For example, Army
Ordnance gave special chemical and metallurgical courses to women
selected for laboratory work {62). An oil company in Texas trained
college women in 4 groups of 10 each. They completed a 2-week
course of 2 hours of lectures supplemented by 6 hours of laboratory
practice under the supervision of expert chemists who had had teach­
ing experience {25).
Regular Degree Courses.—Women, of course, were encouraged to
enter regular courses leading to a degree in chemistry, which in most
colleges were accelerated by eliminating or reducing vacation periods,

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-21

so that a 4-year course was completed in 2or 3 years. In July
1942, Federal loans were made available to women as well as men
who were within 2 years of completing their professional training in
chemistry. So few applied for these loans, available in six other
fields as well, that the program was discontinued in 1943.
By 1944, the effect of the war on the supply of degree students in
chemistry was evident in the 50 percent decline in the number of
undergraduate students majoring in this field. (See table 6.) The
number of women had increased by only 10 percent, but their propor­
tion to the total number had grown from less than one-fourth to almost
one-half of the undergraduate students majoring in chemistry. In
1944, women who received a bachelor's degree in chemistry totaled
1,237, more than double the prewar number. At the graduate level
the change was drastic. Both men and women students declined in
number by about half from 1942 to 1944.
Table 6. Distribution of Men and Women Undergraduate and Graduate Students
in Chemistry and of Those Receiving the Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, 1942
and 1944
Percent

Number

1942

1944

Percent
change
1942-44

1942
Undergraduate students:

Bachelor’s degrees conferred:

Graduate students:

1944

25, 692
20, 063
5,629

12, 280
6, 085
6, 195

100.0
78.1
21.9

100.0
49.6
50.4

-52.2
-69.7
+ 10.1

4,116
3, 281
835

3, 711
2,474
1,237

100.0
79.7
20.3

100.0
66.7
33. 3

-9.8
-24.6
+48. 1

3,437
3,045
392

1,722
1,521
201

100.0
88.6
11.4

100.0
88.3
11.7

-49.9
-50.0
-48.7

Sources: Statistics on Students: U. S. Employment Service, National Roster of Scientific and Specialized
Personnel (51) and (52).
Statistics on Degrees: U. S. Office of Education (56) and (57).

In high schools the trend was similar. In spite of the wartime em­
phasis on science and the increase in high school enrollments in physics,
enrollments in chemistry followed the general decline in total high
school enrollments that took place from 1941 to 1943. The number of
girls taking high school chemistry in most types of school systems, how­
ever, increased (16).
.
Supply at the Close of the War

At the close of the war, in 1945, chemists with at least the bachelor’s
degree or its equivalent in experience probably numbered about 75,000.
This figure was reached by adding a 4,000 allowance for additional
graduates in 1944 and 1945, minus withdrawals for death or retirement,
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimate of 71,000 civilians employed

2-22

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

in chemistry, exclusive of chemical engineering, at the end of 1943 (T5).
In addition, there.were at least 10,000 chemists in military service and
about the same number of persons with partial training or experience
in chemistry below the bachelor’s level. From 5,000 to 6,000 of all
chemists were women, who formed more than 6 percent of the total in
1945, as compared with 3 percent before the war.
Although the statistical evidence of the increased opportunity for
women chemists in wartime and the resulting increase in their numbers
is convincing, many women chemists warned against over-enthusiasm.
One woman chemist called attention to the prejudice which she as­
serted continued to exist. Another commented on the high earnings
in wrar industries, but warned that the work was routine and offered
little opportunity to learn. She said, “Your employer regards you
as something he picked up on the bargain table; and your men asso­
ciates regard you as an intruder in their domain” (65). A number
questioned the “wonderful opportunities” resulting from the war,
observing that these opportunities were chiefly in control laboratories
and that few women were given greater opportunity to do original
research.
Earnings, Hours, and Advancement
Earnings

The war did not remove the differences in the earnings of men and
women chemists. They persisted in spite of salary increases. The
disparity that existed before the war was evidenced in a report of the
American Chemical Society. In 1941 the median earnings of women
who were regular members of the Society and had 5 years of experience
in the profession were $1,776 a year ($148 a month), as compared with
a median of $2,328 a year ($194 a month) for male members with com­
parable length of experience. The highest average for women mem­
bers was among those with 32 to 36 years of experience, for whom the
median was $3,960 a year ($330 a month), as compared with $5,364 a
year ($447 a month) for men of comparable experience {%).
A similar study at the end of 1943 showed the wartime increase
in earnings. The lowest median base salary for women in 1943 was
$1,884 a year ($157 a month) for beginners, higher than the 1941
median for women with 5 years of experience. The highest was $4,512
per year ($376 a month) for women with 38(4 years of experience.
The earnings of men had also increased. The median for men beginners
exceeded that of women without experience by $192 a year ($16 per
month). The differential between the medians for men and women in­
creased with length of experience until it reached $1,980 a year ($165
a month) in the group with 28% years of experience (3).

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-23

The 1943 median income (including overtime fees and bonuses)
for all chemists, regardless of experience and including members and
nonmembers of the American Chemical Society, was $3,280 a year
($273 a month) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The
median base salary without overtime pay was $2,916 a year ($243 a
month). The comparable median base salary rate for all women
chemists was $2,040 ($170 a month).
Earnings varied not only with sex and with length of experience
but with education and type of work. Chemists with doctor’s degrees
had a median base salary in 1943 that was $1,032 a year ($86 a month)
higher than that of chemists with bachelor’s degrees. Administrative
posts paid best, with a median of $4,020 a year; and secondary school
teaching and analysis and testing paid the least, with medians of $2,616
and $2,520 respectively (45).
Although openings for women chemists dropped oil at the end of the
war, reports from those placing college graduates indicate that be­
ginning salaries which had increased during the war were not lowered.
Most industrial laboratory jobs as well as technical library or secre­
tarial work for recent college graduates were offered in 1946 at salaries
ranging from $1,560 to $2,080 a year ($130 to $175 a month). A few
paid as high as $2,300 to $2,400 ($192 to $200 a month). Holders of
a master’s degree were usually started at $300 a year more; those with
a doctor’s, at $1,000 a year more than those with only the bachelor’s
degree. On the west coast two chemical companies were paying women
technicians the same salaries as men, ranging from $2,076 to $3,468
a year ($173 to $284 a month). Women chemists with 5 to 10 years
of experience were earning $3,000 to $3,500 a year ($250 to $292 a
month). The Federal salary at the beginning professional level in
chemistry in 1947 was $2,644 ($220 a month). (For minimum re­
quirements see p. 2-55.) The highest possible maximum for chemists
in the Federal service was $9,975 ($831 a month).
Hospitals were offering the new graduate up to- $2,000 ($167 a
month), although $1,500 to $1,800 ($125 to $150 a month) was more
usual and $1,200 ($100 a month) not uncommon. Kesearch projects
in medical schools, colleges, and research institutions varied widely in
offerings depending upon the financing of the project or programs;
$1,500 to $2,700 was the usual range for those with the bachelor’s
degree.
College teaching assistant ships (usually half-time) at $800 and
$1,000 ($89 to $111 a month for an academic year of 9 months) and
instructorships open to women were still hard to fill with well qualified
persons. The American Chemi.cal Society reported the same salary

2-24

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

range for chemistry faculty positions in 1944 as for 1939: instructors
began at $1,800 to $2,500 ($200 to $278 a month for 9 months); teachers
with 10 years’ experience received $3,000 to $5,000 ($333 to $556 a
month for 9 months), and top salaries ranged from $4,000 to $10,000
($444 to $1,111 a month for 9 months) (5) (,)). The median salary for
high school teachers in 1946-47 was $3,594 in cities over 100,000 ($359
a month for 10 months) and $2,774 ($277 a month for 10 months) in
cities of 30,000 to 100,000, an increase of some $700 over the prewar
median (33).
An analysis of the income of chemists over a period extending from
1926 to 1943 indicates that the “real earnings of the younger chemists
with less experience have increased markedly in recent years, while the
older chemists have gained little in real earnings” (24). Scattered
reports on earnings obtained incidentally in the Women’s Bureau study
support the application of this statement to women chemists.
Hours
The hours of chemists vary with their type of employment. Chem­
istry teachers, for example, have schedules comparable to those of
other teachers. Those doing routine testing in public health and
other medical laboratories have regular hours and a week ranging
from 40 to 48 hours. In industrial and research laboratories of all
types, hours vary more widely, because some control and research
work requires constant, 24-hour attention. In such cases, chemists
in the laboratory usually work on 8-hour shifts. During the war,
when factories were in constant operation, shift work in laboratories
increased. Most women did not want night work, and most employers
were reluctant to employ them on the night shift, even though legis­
lative restrictions on their employment at night were generally waived
as a war measure. Most laboratory work, however, does not require
24-hour attention, and regular hours are scheduled.
Advancement

If advancement is measured in terms of earnings, technical admin­
istrative posts, such as those of directors of research and of laboratory
directors, represent the top. Chemists in these positions are by far
the highest-paid group. That a few women attain such posts is
evident from the 1943 distribution of women chemists which showed
5 percent of them in this type of work. The fact that 15 percent of
the men chemists were technical administrators indicates that women
are less likely than men to advance to such positions (45).
Women chemists in administrative work located by the Women’s
Bureau were for the most part directors or assistant directors of
chemical laboratories or division chiefs. Others in supervisory posi­

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-25

tions tvere section heads or “group leaders” (supervising a team of
chemists and assistants on a particular research project or type of
analysis). One, however, tvas technical director for both laboratory
and plant in a chemical firm in the Middle West. Another was an
assistant bureau chief in the Federal Government.
Alumnae reports from the colleges show that women chemists are
serving in small numbers as directors of research in industrial estab­
lishments and as heads of chemical laboratories in some hospitals and
health research centers. A few women administer their own busi­
nesses as consulting chemists. The first woman to become a consulting
chemist 30 years ago applied her metallurgical and gemology training
to problems of jewelry manufacturing (6i). Refrigeration chemistry,

*'

Courtesy University of Cincinnat

Figure 7.—An analytical research chemist performs an experiment rela­
tive to the development of an analytical method to be used in an
industrial laboratory.
722328°—48-----------6

2-26

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

paper chemistry, and cosmetics chemistry are other fields in which
outstanding women have succeeded as consultants.
The research chemist ranks next to the administrator in earnings
(45)-. The woman with a Ph. D. in chemistry who does not go into
teaching is likely to become a research chemist. As such, she will
piobably have a small laboratory of her own in which to carry on
independent research, with perhaps one or two assistants. Or she
may be assigned to assist someone even more highly trained, on certain
aspects of a research problem. Her advancement is measured in terms
of earnings and depends on her ability to produce results. Openings
for such work for women in the past have been relatively greater in
research institutions and colleges than in industrial research.
In college teaching, advancement is evidenced by higher rank and
increased salary. Although a Women’s Bureau study of 330 college
catalogs revealed that the majority of women chemists on college
faculties have not attained a rank higher than that of instructor,
14 women in 1946 had reached the rank of full professor in chemistry,
and 41 others were associate or assistant professors in these colleges'
which, according to the United States Office of Education, were repre­
sentative in their enrollment of the 1,749 institutions of higher educa­
tion in the United States. At least one woman has become president
of a woman’s college after serving on the chemistry faculty.
This evidence that women can and do advance to posts of responsi­
bility m industry and Government and in educational and research
institutions does not contradict the fact that although their range of i
jobs is wide, women tend to be concentrated in the lower-level positions.
In the Federal Government, for example, the majority are found at the
two lowest professional levels, called “P-1” and “P-2.” Only in the
Patent Office were there as many women chemists at the P-4 and P-5
levels as at P-1 and P-2. However, in all the agencies combined they
langed through all grades up to P—7. No women chemists were in the
two highest grades of P-8 and P-9. In industry, although again the
range was great, concentration was at the lower levels. The techni­
cians, research assistants, and laboratory assistants outnumbered bv far
those who qualified fully as chemists.
The higher turn-over among women is usually given as the major
reason for their relative lack of advancement. That “men don’t like to
work under a woman” was given as a reason for not promoting women
to group leader or other supervisory positions. However, where
women were found in supervisory positions involving men in industry,
Government, and research institutions, the results were reported to be
satisfactory. Enough women were found in top administrative jobs
involving supervision of both men and women in so-called men’s fields
such as sanitary control and rust prevention to indicate that such

WOMEN IN CMEMioTKY

2-27

prejudice is not inevitable and can be overcome. Their success, of
course, indicates the ability to get along with people and willingness to
accept responsibility as well as ability to handle the job itself.
In industry, the possible channels of advancement are more numerous
for men than for women, and this is given as another principal reason
for the slower advancement of women. Only a few of the men chemists
remain in the central laboratory of a chemical manufacturing firm, for
example, for more than 5 or 6 years. These few are those interested in
and qualified (by graduate training usually) for research. The others
are dispersed to the plants, where they may ultimately become plant

m.

3BNBMR&

Courtesy Standard Oil Co. (N. J.)

Figure 8.—Compounding perfume for use in brilliantine, in cosmetics
chemistry research.

2-28

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

superintendents, or to the sales department, where their technical
knowledge is utilized in sales promotion or selling. Some may be
trained to purchase raw materials or to assist in the selection of per­
sonnel. A woman chemist, on the other hand, is seldom channeled out
of the laboratory as a prospective candidate for such plant, sales, pur­
chasing, or personnel work. Even in such industries as cosmetics and
foods, where her sex might be-considered an advantage, she is seldom
considered as a potential candidate for sales openings unless she herself
has the drive to suggest the idea and convince the management of its
soundness. If she remains in the laboratory, her advancement depends
largely upon the amount of her graduate training and upon her per­
sonal adjustment to the unique environment of the laboratory in which
she works. The attitude of the head of the laboratory, as well as her
own, is an important factor in easing or making more difficult her
acceptance as a chemist rather than as a woman.
Organizations
The principal organization of chemists and one of the largest single
professional organizations of scientists is the American Chemical
Society. Founded in 1876, by the end of 1946 it had grown to ap­
proximately 48,000 members, of whom 6 percent or almost 3,000 were
women. (See p. 2-55 for membership requirements.) About onefourth of all members are chemical engineers or workers in related
fields, but only a few of the women are engineers. In 1943, for example,
there were only 13 (3). A higher proportion of those with graduate
training are found in the society than among chemists generally.
In 1943, 30 percent of the nonengineering members of the American
Chemical Society had the bachelor’s degree only, while 43 percent had
the doctorate (3).
Although women attend all the regular meetings of the American
Chemical Society, the Women’s Service Committee of the American
Chemical Society arranges one or more sessions of special interest
to women chemists attending the annual meetings of the Society, at
which the Garvan Medal is awarded annually to an American-born
woman chemist in recognition of distinguished service to chemistry
(9).
Although no woman has ever served as an officer of the national
organization, women have served on the Council of the American
Chemical Society and as chairmen of sections, for example in Detroit
and the Connecticut Valley. The chairman of the important New
York Section of the Society in 1946 was the first woman to serve in
that capacity in that Section. In the Chicago Section of the Society,
which has about 160 women members, a woman was on the board of

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-29

directors in 1946, and a number were serving on committees. This is
also true of the Northeastern Section.
The Society includes a large majority of the college teachers of
chemistry but very few secondary school teachers. The latter usually
belong to such teachers’ organizations as the National Science Teach­
ers’ Association, or the New England Association of Chemistry Teach­
ers, or the Central Association of Science and Mathematics Teachers.
The American Institute of Chemists, the American Society of Bio­
logical Chemists, the American Institute of Nutrition, the Association
of Consulting Chemists and Chemical Engineers, the American Asso­
ciation of Textile Chemists and Colorists, the Association of Vitamin
Chemists, the Society of Chemical Industry, the Electrochemical
Society, and the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists are
among the numerous national organizations to which chemists who
qualify may belong. The American Society of Biological Chemists
has the largest number of women members. Iota Sigma Pi, composed
of women students and faculty members in the field of chemistry,
was organized before World War I and in 1942 had 2,600 members.
Statistics on the number of men and women chemists who are
members of the Technical and Scientific Division of the United Office
and Professional Workers of the Congress of Industrial Organizations
are not available, but at least three women chemists and one woman
biochemist were affiliated with the Washington, D. C., chapter of this
union in 1946. In March 1942, the National Labor Relations Board
ruled in connection with a case involving the forerunner of that group,
the International Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and
Technicians, that professional employees should not be forced into a
bargaining unit composed of skilled and unskilled workers as well as
professional workers (37). Union membership, then, on the part of
chemists is optional, no matter where they are employed, and in 1947 it
was believed to be small compared with the number of members in
professional societies.
Early Postwar Employment
More than a year following VJ-day, indications were that the num­
ber of women chemists had more than tripled as compared with 1940,
and that their proportion among all chemists had doubled. At the
end of 1946, 6 percent of the members of the American Chemical So­
ciety and almost 7 percent of the chemists registered with the National
Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel were women (50). Al­
though a decrease in the employment of women chemists in industry
and Government took place as the demands of war ceased, and the
new recruiting of additional women practically ceased, the decline in

2-30

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

the employment of women in chemistry was relatively small leaving
a large net increase over the prewar years.
Industry

Seventy-two of the industrial establishments covered by the
Women’s Bureau, for example, employed college women in chemical
laboratory work following the war, as compared with 83 during the
war, and 42 before the war. This was about 10 percent below the war
peak but a 70 percent increase over 1941. Commercial testing labora­
tories and aircraft plants were the two types of firms in which the
decrease was most marked.
In addition to the decline in numbers represented by the 11 firms
which following the war no longer employed women trained in college
chemistry, almost half, 32, of the firms that continued to employ women
had fewer on their pay rolls than they had had at the war peak. How­
ever, for the establishments where exact comparisons were possible, the
drop from the war peak was less than 10 in all cases. On the other
hand, 8 firms, most of them manufacturers of drugs or other chemicals,
employed more college women trained in chemistry than they had dur­
ing the war. All but 3 of the 72 firms employed more in the early
postwar period than before the war. The size of the increase, like
the volume of the decline from the war peak, however, could not be
measured exactly since complete statistics were not available.
For 68 of the 72 industrial firms employing women with college
training in chemistry following the war, detailed statistics on post­
war employment were obtained (table 7). Almost 900 women were
employed in chemical work in these laboratories, all but 56 of them
in laboratory work. An estimated 400 to 450 additional women were
employed in the 4 laboratories from which separate statistics on
women chemists were not available; these included two very large
employers.
Table 7. Distribution, by Type of Establishment, of Women with College Train­
ing in Chemistry Employed in 68 Industrial Establishments, 1946

Type of establishment

Number of
establish­
ments

Women with college
chemistry employed
in chemical labora­
tory or related work
Number

Percent

Total............................................................. ..........................................

68

894

100.0

Chemicals.
..
. ___________________ ___ ____ _
Chemicals, except drugs and medicines_____________ ____ ____
Chemicals, drugs and medicines_____ _______________________
Products of petroleum and coal _________________ ______ ________
Foods .
Commercial and research testing laboratories
All other____________________________ _____________________ ___

21
14
7
5
10
13
19

478
390
88
131
96
53
136

53.5
43.6
9.9
14.7
10.7
5.9
15.2

Source: Women’s Bureau, 1945-46.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-31

Almost one-fourth of those employed had some college chemistry
but lacked a degree in chemistry. Of those who had degrees, about
nine-tenths had the bachelor's degree only; less than 10 percent had
had enough graduate work in chemistry to qualify for a doctor’s or
master’s degree. (See table 8.)
Table 8. Educational Level of Women With College Training in Chemistry Em­
ployed in 68 Industrial Establishments, 1946
Educational level

Number

Percent

894

100.0

22
27
605
22
218

2.5
3.0
67.7
2.5
24.3

Source: Women’s Bureau, 1945-46.

The number of different titles by which these women were called ran
well over 50, including: pig iron chemist, textile technician, vitamin
assayist, spectographer, microphotographer, research engineer, and
junior technologist. The most common, however, was the simple title
of “chemist,” sometimes qualified by a letter or number, such as “chem­
ist, grade II,” to indicate differences in experience or training and in
remuneration. Almost half of the women with the bachelor’s degree
bore this title. The next largest groups among the bachelors were
“analysts,” “junior chemists,” and “technicians.” A sizable number
of those without a college degree in chemistry were also called tech­
nicians, although the most common title of those with only partial
college training in chemistry was “laboratory assistant.” This term
was also applied to some with bachelor’s degrees.
Of the 56 women in nonlaboratory work, half were technical li­
brarians or assistant technical librarians. One-fourth were secre­
taries to technical officials or had other clerical titles. Patent or
literature searching, editing, sales promotion, and purchasing were
other categories included.
Federal Government

At the end of 1946, the employment of women chemists in the Fed­
eral Government, as in industry, was below the war peak but much
higher than before the war. In none of the reporting agencies was
the number of women chemists fewer than before the war.
More than 300 women with college training in chemistry were em­
ployed in 1946 in 12 separate departments or agencies from which
detailed statistics were available. Three-fourths of them carried the
professional civil-service title of chemist or metallurgist; the remain-

2-32

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

mwa

Courtesy U. S. Bureau of Human
Nutrition and Home Economics

Figure 9.—Treating cotton fabric with mildew-resistant finishes.

ing number were laboratory aids or assistants. The 224 with pro­
fessional titles represent the minimum number, since not all agencies
were covered, and some could not supply figures on laboratories in the
field.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-33

The National Bureau of Standards and the Food and Drug Admin­
istration were the largest employers of women chemists; the War
Department and the United States Department of Agriculture ranked
next. The United States Public Health Service, the Patent Office,
the Navy Department, the Geological Survey, the Tennessee Valley
Authority, and the Bureau of Mines also employed women chemists
or metallurgists, from 6 to 12 in each agency. Laboratory aids with
college training in chemistry were employed in largest numbers in
the War Department, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the National
Bureau of Standards. Principal decreases as compared with the war
peak, as might be expected, were in the Chemical Corps and Ordnance
of the War Department. There was an increase, however, in the
number of women chemists employed in the Food and Drug Adminis­
tration because of the expansion of activities necessary to test and
analyze the new antibiotic drugs such as penicillin and streptomycin.
The demand for additional chemists in the Federal service dropped
off gradually following the cessation of hostilities. Examinations
have, been announced since the summer of 1945, but these were pri­
marily to provide a means for those who entered Government service
during the war to establish permanent civil service status. However,
all the principal Government agencies employing chemists have re­
quested the examinations, and there will undoubtedly be some appoint­
ments from the outside, probably more than during the prewar years
but fewer than during the war years.
The United States Civil Service Commission early in 1947 indi­
cated that few people besides those already employed on war service
appointments were taking and passing the civil service examination.
The beginning chemist or the junior professional assistant examina­
tions are the usual channels for entering Government service as a
chemist. Chemists may also possess the requirements specified in the
announcements for Food and Drug Inspector and Patent Examiner.
Some may also become chemists in the Government by working upward
from the occupation of laboratory aid, and others may enter at higher
grades.
State and Local Government

The number of women trained in college chemistry employed in
local and State governments is greater than the number in the Federal
service. Most of them are medical technicians in public health lab­
oratories engaged in routine blood and other tests used in arriving
at medical diagnoses, although some assist on research projects. All
have at least 2 years of college, and many have a college degree in
chemistry. Many have also taken special training in medical tech­
nology at a hospital school approved by the American Medical Asso­

2-34

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

ciation. Laboratory technicians in medical laboratories of all types
have been discussed in an earlier Women’s Bureau bulletin. In 1942,
at least 50 women who were registered medical technologists were in
public health laboratories (54). In July 1945 the United States Public
Health Service found a total of 585 women employed as laboratory
technicians in 38 of the States and in 80 percent of the full-time local
health departments. They amounted to two-thirds of all such tech­
nicians; only one-third were men. However, only 15 percent of the
full chemists employed in the same laboratories were women. They
numbered 30 out of a total of 200. Altogether the women trained in
college chemistry in public health laboratories, if technicians are in­
cluded, may be estimated at between 700 and 800. Here, too, employ­
ment is known to be greater than before the war.
Research Institutes and Projects

In addition to the women employed iu medical research in public
health laboratories, there are a much greater number employed at
such medical research foundations as the Rockefeller Institute and
on the many research projects at medical schools and hospitals. In
1946 the Rockefeller Institute, for example, employed 43 college
women who had a major or minor in chemistry, including 2 with
Ph. D.’s in chemistry. Those with the bachelor’s degree were tech­
nicians who assisted M. D.’s and Ph. D.’s on research projects, except
for 3 who formed the publications staff' of the Institute.

\

'

Courtesy Mellon Institute

Figure 10.—Women chemists engaged in synthetic rubber research at
Mellon Institute.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-35

Other research foundations such as the Carnegie Institution, the
Mellon Institute, and the Batelle Memorial Institute have women
chemists on their staffs. Although the Carnegie Institution in 1946
in its Department of Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor employed only
1 woman chemist and 13 women research assistants and technical
assistants whose training was chemical or biological, Mellon Institute
had 3 women fellows in its department of research in pure chemistry,
1 woman fellow in chemical physics, and 15 in applied science (SI).
Most of these fellows had doctor’s or master’s degrees. In addition,
more than 100 women served as aids to the research personnel, their
grade varying from those of research associate and assistant to that
of technician (31). Batelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, in
December 1945 employed five women with bachelor’s degrees in chem­
istry as technical laboratory assistants and seven as research engineers.
Hundreds of smaller research institutes or projects, established for
the most part in connection with colleges or universities and financed
by private, industrial, or government funds, employ women chemists
as regular staff members or on fellowship or scholarship arrange­
ments. The Ellen H. Richards Institute at Pennsylvania State Col­
lege, named for one of the first women to achieve distinction in chem­
istry, for example, is engaged in the chemistry and physics of prob­
lems in foods and nutrition, textiles and clothing, and household equip­
ment. Its work is supported by the Department of Health of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other agencies of government,
foundations, various trade associations, and private industry. The
National Research Council in 1946 listed almost 300 colleges and uni­
versities offering research service to industry (SJ)).
Although most of the wartime research projects at the University
of Chicago, Columbia, and other universities which were financed by
the Federal Government have been discontinued, some are proceeding
on a smaller scale under the Atomic Energy Commission. Much of
the peacetime technical research of the Army and Navy co-ordinated
by the Joint Board for Research and Development is farmed out to
colleges, including such institutions as Northwestern University, where
a 2-year program of chemical research in the field of inorganic solids
is financed by the Signal Corps. Although some of these research
projects employ no women and others employ only a few, some of
the larger ones engage a substantial number.
Teaching
Chemists differ markedly from other scientists in their type of em­
ployment because industrial employment engages so high, and teach­
ing so relatively low, a proportion among them. In 1946, as before
the war, almost two-thirds of the members of the American Chemical

2-36

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

Society were in industry, while one-fourth of the total were divided
fairly evenly between teaching and government (20). In teaching,
the number approached 6,000.
Among women chemists, teaching has always been a relatively im­
portant outlet especially for holders of the Ph. I). Recognition of
outstanding performance seems to be achieved more readily by women
chemists in teaching than in other fields. Almost two-thirds of the
82 women listed in the 1937 Chemical Who’s Who were in college
teaching (26). The wartime decrease in supply of those with ad­
vanced degrees, a shortage which is expected to last until 1950, in­
creased the opportunities for women (38). A study of the catalogs
of 330 institutions of higher education in the United States, included
in a United States Office of Education enrollment sample, revealed
approximately 400 women on chemistry faculties in the year follow­
ing the war. If these institutions are as representative of the faculties
in all institutions of higher education as'they are of their enrollments,
there were almost 1,700 women chemists on college faculties in 1946,
ranging in rank from graduate assistants to full professors.
Opportunities for women in the teaching of chemistry in secondary
schools continued to be much greater than before the war. Although
the urgency of the wartime demand had disappeared, the specialist in
science education in the United States Office of Education in 1947
believed that the long-time trend toward an increase in applied science
courses in high schools is increasing women’s chances for employment.
Although men teachers may be available, women are more likely to
be chosen, for example, to teach courses in “consumer science” or
“household chemistry” than to teach a college preparatory course in
chemistry.
Chemical Library and Related Work

As the volume of chemical literature has increased and as labora­
tories have grown, an increasing number of chemists have been
employed in special libraries established by industrial, government,
educational, and research organizations for the use of their personnel.
Besides their usual duties of ordering and cataloging incoming books,
pamphlets, and periodicals, these librarians prepare bibliographies
and special summaries of published data pertaining to current prob­
lems on which the laboratory staff is working.
In a small laboratory the librarian will do all of these things and
may also search for patents taken out on processes or devices related
to those on which the laboratory is working. She may edit reports or
publications of the staff, or do some writing herself. She may also be
in charge of the technical files. However, in larger research units,
there are assistant librarians as well as specialists in these related fields.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-37

A technical clerical staff may supervise the filing and secretarial work;
there may be one or more patent searchers, preferably with some legal
or engineering training, to do the patent work. For the preparation
of reports and publications there may be an editorial or publications
staff which edils, arranges, and sometimes plans the reports and publi­
cations of the technical staff.
Between 5 and 6 percent of the women chemists found employed in
industry in 1946 in the course of this study were engaged in work of
this sort. More than half of these were classified as librarians or
assistant librarians. One-fourth were secretaries or technical file
clerks. One-eighth were on patent searching. Facility in languages
along with chemical knowledge and training in the specialized tech­
niques of the work are important on these related jobs. The caliber
of this work is indicated by the fact that a good number of women
holding the master’s and doctor’s degrees were found especially among
the patent searchers and librarians. (See Bulletin 223-8 for the out­
look for technical librarians.)
Postwar Demand
The demand for women chemists, as illustrated so spectacularly
during the war, varies with the demand for men chemists. Most of the
evidence indicates that the demand will increase in the long-run, after
a temporary decline from the war peak. The factors contributing to
the increase are as follows:
(1) Increases in industrial research, in which chemists and
engineers predominate. Almost 2,500 industrial research labora­
tories are listed in the 1946 directory of the National Research
Council as compared with 297 in 1920. More than 21,000 chemists
were employed in such laboratories in 1946 (34).
(2) Continued growth of the principal industries in which
chemists are employed, such as the chemical industries, including
drugs and medicines; petroleum and coal products industries;
foods industries. More than half of the executives in a recent
Fortune poll indicated the chemical industry as the one which
they would advise a young man looking for a start after the war
to make his first choice (22).
(3) Greater emphasis on synthetic products in the development
and manufacture of which chemistry is essential. Plastics, syn­
thetic rubber, synthetic yarns and textiles are examples.
(4) Expansion of medical research in which chemists work with
other scientists and physicians in the field of biological or phys­
iological chemistry.

2-38

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

Courtesy Merck and Company

Figure 11.—Assaying streptomycin by fluorescent measurement.

(5) Increasing use of powerful drugs and medicines which re­
quire not only laboratory work in their manufacture but labora­
tory analyses as they are used.
(6) Increasing expenditures of the Federal Government for
research on medical, industrial, agricultural, and military prob­
lems involving chemistry. In 1947, 2,700 chemists were so em­
ployed by the Federal Government (30). The proposed National
Science Foundation would further encourage chemical research
in nonprofit research organizations.
(7) Discoveries stemming from war research which encourage
research into their application; new uses for radio-active sub­
stances produced as atomic fission byproducts, for example.
(8) Addition of public health laboratories at State and local
levels.
(9) Growing public interest in such protective inspection of
chemical products as that under the Food and Drug Administra­
tion.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-39

(10) Increased popular interest in chemistry affecting the de­
mand for teachers, lecturers, writers, editors.
(11) Greater enrollments in courses in chemistry in colleges,
technical schools, and high schools, requiring additional in­
structors.
On the negative side, there are only a few factors tending to de­
crease the demand. These all fall under the classification of more
efficient utilization of the knowledge and skills of chemists such as:
the concentration of research facilities to encourage specialization
and make profitable the use of better equipment; the splitting up of
jobs to provide for more assistance by nonprofessional workers to
those with unusual' skills; and the development of a variety of mechan­
ical devices for computing, sorting, testing, and analyzing, which
save time and labor in the laboratory. However, such utilization,
while it may temporarily reduce the need for additional workers,
conserves the powers of the chemist for creative work, which is the
well-spring of new sources of employment in the industry.
Perhaps the best barometer of the current and future demand for
women recently graduated with degrees in chemistry are the schools
which train them and often assist in their placement. Fifteen widely
scattered colleges and universities were unanimous in their postwar
comments on the demand for their women graduates in chemistry.
All reported a definite drop in quantity of openings in 1947 as com­
pared with that during the -war, but indicated that all’ their graduates
were easily placed. Although industries were not actively recruit­
ing, girls who applied at industrial laboratories were well received
and often hired. The demand for biochemists and for women for
medical research was particularly active; pharmaceutical companies
were among those recruiting women for beginning laboratory jobs.
An increasing number of calls for. nonlaboratory placements were
being received. Technical librarians, patent searchers, and chemical
secretaries were being actively recruited. In 1947, teaching assistantships were still hard to fill with qualified women, although interest in
graduate work was picking up, and private preparatory schools were
accepting girls with only the bachelors degree for science teaching.
All reported a continuing demand for the woman with her Ph. D.
As the head of the chemistry department in a midwest State university
remarked, “There has always been and always will be a good demand
for women Ph. D.’s especially in biological chemistry and in modern
analytical chemistry.”
The 1946 employment of 85 women recently graduated with the
bachelor’s degree in chemistry, as reported by their colleges, is con­
trasted in table 9 with the wartime employment of 229 women gradu­

2-40

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

ated during the war years and with the prewar employment of 186
women of similar background. The evidence indicates an immediate
postwar increase in graduate work, corresponding roughly in percent­
age to the postwar decline in industrial laboratory work. However,
the proportion in industrial laboratory jobs and in Federal employ­
ment was much higher than before the war. The sharp wartime
decrease in the proportion entering medical laboratory work and
teaching apparently had ceased. However, the proportion under­
taking the study of medicine or nursing was still on the decline in
the early postwar period.
Postwar Supply
The tremendous postwar increase in college enrollments makes
any prediction of the supply in a particular field such as chemistry
difficult, since most of the students in 1916 were veterans enrolled in
beginning or survey courses who had not yet chosen a major field.
Although, shortly after the end of the war, the Army education pro­
gram reported that GI interest in chemistry did not appear to be
very high (21), enrollments in chemistry increased sharply, accord­
ing to the National Research Council. They did not double, however,
as they did in engineering.
The number of women studying chemistry was reported to have
increased proportionately, as compared with the prewar years, in all
colleges on the accredited list of the American Chemical Society which
replied to a questionnaire sent out by the editor of Chemical Indus­
tries. Forty-three percent said they expected this trend to continue,
while 57 percent disagreed. Some believed that the trend would be re­
versed. Others said it would depend on employment possibilities for
women (15). In 1946, 404 women were expected to graduate from
chemistry programs accredited by the American Chemical Society.
(See p. 2-56 for requirements for a degree from an accredited pro­
gram.) This was almost half the total graduates of such programs
and almost twice as many as in 1944. That the increase was numerical
as well as proportional is likewise indicated by the marked increases
in numbers of women majoring in chemistry reported by 15 of the 25
colleges from which the Women’s Bureau obtained separate figures on
degrees granted in chemistry to women during the years since 1939. In
one west-coast university, women candidates for bachelor’s degrees in
chemistry in 1945 numbered 61 as compared with 28 in 1941; an eastern
institution reported 21 in 1945 as compared with 6 in 1941; a southern
school had 17 in 1946 and only 2 in 1941. In 10 of the institutions
reporting, however, there was no noticeable change. Graduate degrees
in chemistry in all institutions reporting showed little change except

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-41

in one large eastern institution where 41 master’s degrees were granted
in 1945 as compared with 11 in 1939.
Shortages of chemists at the doctoral level, accumulated during the
war, were estimated in 1945 at 790 in the report to the President of
the United States by the director of the Office of Scientific Research
and Development {61). A year after the end of the war, local draft
boards were instructed to give serious consideration to requests for the
occupational deferment of teachers and graduate students in the
physical sciences as well as to key scientific and technical personnel
in industry {39).
One industrial employer regarded the supply of chemists ample ex­
cept for Ph. D.’s and for beginners just out of college. According to
him, there has never been an oversupply of Ph. D.’s in chemistry. But
lack of wartime graduates at the bachelor’s level, he feels, was offset
by the salvage of many chemists trained earlier who had been working
in other fields during the depression.
The head of a chemistry department of a State university thinks
that, “There is never a great danger of an oversupply since mathe­
matics through calculus, physics, German, and French soon drop them
out.” This, of course, refers to students who take the course which
meets the requirements of the American Chemical Society. Such re­
quirements tend to limit the supply. There is also increasing competi­
tion from other growing sciences such as physics for those with the
scientific mind and the academic ability required.
Future Outlook
Chemists, themselves, were optimistic about the future. When asked
to give their opinions of their postwar employment prospects in the
1944 survey of the American Chemical Society, about half of them, 51
percent, anticipated no change. Forty-two percent expected to better
their status. Only 7 percent thought that postwar conditions would
become worse (3). That this optimism has been justified was indicated
at the September 1946 meeting of the Society, when each of the 600
candidates seeking employment had an average of 6 or 7 interviews
with employers {36).
A 1946 survey of the Chicago Section of the American Chemical
Society by Dr. Iloylande D. Young also disclosed that a year after the
war women chemists held more key positions in Chicago industry
than ever before, although most of them were engaged in analytical
work, in literature searching, or library work {66). Although they
were more often in foods, health, and medical research than in other
types of laboratories, women were found in every type of chemical in­
dustry from petroleum to cosmetics. Administrators, teachers, and

2-42

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

authors were included as well as textile chemists, biochemists, food
chemists, and physical chemists doing laboratory work.
Of the 72 industrial employers interviewed by the Women’s Bureau
for this study who were employing women chemists in 1946, 50 ex­
pected to continue to employ women in their laboratories. Eighteen
expected no lay-offs but predicted that women would be replaced with
men as they left voluntarily. Four anticipated lay-offs of women be­
cause of returning servicemen or reductions in staff.
As to the more distant future there is difference of opinion. Among
college placement personnel, for example, some expect a continuance
of the current demand which makes it relatively easy to place all
women graduates and allows for a variety but not an overwhelming
number of choices. Some expect an increasing demand and an in­
creasing supply of women graduates in chemistry. Only one expected
difficulty in the future in finding laboratory jobs for women gradu­
ates; another predicted that in 4 or 5 years nonlaboratory jobs would
again be the chief employment outlets, except for the Ph. D. One
expressed the opinion that the job break-downs in industrial laboratory
work would continue, and that in the future there would be an in­
creasing demand for girls with a minimum amount of science, high
school or partial college, for example, to- work under the supervision
of a highly trained supervisor, thus adding to the demand at the
bottom and top levels' and reducing the demand for those in between.
In line with this, some high schools, graduates of which were being
employed by pharmaceutical firms, have established special courses
in chemistry which include laboratory techniques as applied to the
drug industry. A few have worked out a cooperative training pro­
gram, under which school and work in the industrial laboratory are
alternated. The employment of those with only high-school training
outnumbered that of college women trained in chemistry in the in­
dustrial establishments visited by the Women’s Bureau, but it was in
the high school group that the greatest postwar decline took place. Keports from college and high-school-placement bureaus following the
war indicated that the demand for girls with only high school chem­
istry or a little college chemistry had practically ceased. This corre­
sponds with an earlier prediction of the American Chemical Society’s
employment clearing house that there would be a postwar dislocation
of hundreds of poorly and partially trained chemists and technical men
with only 1 or 2 years of college training (13). A woman chemist pre­
dicted that women with such training would become a postwar problem
and “a ‘menace’ to the college graduate if they are considered chemists”
(17). Adequate training is especially important for women who are
a minority in this field, especially in industrial chemistry. The re­
moval of other handicaps is also important.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-43

Training for Women Chemists

Except in high-school teaching (where few chemistry teachers have
more than 25 hours of chemistry, and a bachelor’s degree in education
is the common preparation) a bachelor's degree with a major in chem­
istry is the usual minimum amount of education required to become
a chemist.
Undergraduate Training.—Most, of the 4-year colleges in the United
States offer either the bachelor of arts, or the bachelor of science de­
gree, or both, with a major in chemistry. However, only 141 colleges
were listed by the American Chemical Society in December 1946 as
qualified to offer full professional training in chemistry. (See p. 2-56
for requirements for bachelor’s degree from an approved school.)
Eight women’s colleges and most State and municipal universities are
included on the list as well as a number of other coeducational
schools (6).
Graduation from an approved school is preferred by most indus­
trial and Government employers, who state that those hired with only
the minimum requirement for a bachelor of art* degree in chemistry
usually do not have enough background to be generally useful. One
Government personnel officer, for example, says that persons appointed
in normal times to beginning chemical positions usually have had 50
to 60 hours in science in their college work, although only 30 hours
are required by the Civil Service Commission for application. On
the other hand, one industrial employer said he preferred a bachelor
of arts to a bachelor of science degree because those with the science
degree tended to be too specialized, and he preferred a broader cul­
tural background. However, there is little doubt that a large per­
centage of employers give preference to persons with the B. S. degree.
In addition to the wide variation in the types of schools offering
degrees in chemistry and in the number and nature of the chemistry
courses required for the bachelor’s degree, there are fields in which
specialized schools have developed: textile institutes and schools of
textile technology for example. A bachelor’s degree in textile chem­
istry is awarded at 7 schools, and a 3-year diploma course is offered at 2
additional schools (41) ■ Women are admitted to most of these courses.
Most women who go into the textile field, however, become interested
in it through courses in schools of home economics.
A bachelor’s degree from a school of home economics is not accept­
able for most chemical jobs in industrial laboratories, since not enough
chemistry is required, and the chemistry taken is often applied more
directly to foods and textile problems than the basic courses in chem­
istry usually are. However, in certain types of laboratories, especially
in foods and textile work, home economists are used on control work.

2-44

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

Courtesy U. S. Department of Agriculture

Figure 12.—A chemist in a regional research laboratory of the U. S.
Department of Agriculture tests samples of treated cotton yarn.

They also do experimental or developmental work in foods, laundry,
and textile products where practical knowledge combined with some
chemistry is more important than advanced chemical training. In
research in nutrition, textiles, foods, and some medical laboratories,
there are many women with undergraduate degrees in home economics
who later took their master’s or doctor’s degrees in chemistry. There
are also women whose academic training has been entirely in the field
of chemistry, who have taken special courses or obtained practical
experience in home economics. There is a similar relationship in med­
ical laboratories, where one finds women physicians, bacteriologists,
medical technologists, and chemists each supplementing their back­
ground in their original field of specialization through additional
courses or by experience in the other fields represented in the laboratory.
Cooperative training under which work in school and in a labora­
tory is alternated in a 5-year degree program is offered at a number of
schools including the University of Cincinnati, Drexel Institute of
Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Northwestern
University.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-45

Graduate Training.—In 1934 the American Council on Education
listed 67 institutions which offered the doctor’s degree in chemistry
(11). The National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel’s
1946 directory of colleges offering graduate degrees lists 50 as offering
the doctorate in chemistry and an additional 30 as offering a doctor’s
degree in the physical sciences (48). Thirteen of the 80 do not admit
women students, and 2 do not admit men. The Committee on Pro­
fessional Training of the American Chemical Society was studying
doctoral training in chemistry early in 1947. Information obtained by
questionnaire from 76 departments of chemistry awarding the Ph. D.
and from more than 550 chemists who went directly into industry after
receiving their doctorates has been prepared for a report (8).
Graduate training in any science is expensive, not only in actual cost
but in terms of the temporary loss of earning power of the student.
Because the work span of the average woman is shorter than that of
the average man, women, particularly, are discouraged from making so
heavy an investment in the future.
Fellowships.—College teaching fellowships or “assistantships” have
been the most usual method of encouraging talented young men and
women to continue their study. These vary with the college which
offers them but usually carry a stipend of $800 to $1,500, which the
recipient earns through working halftime as an instructor or as a
research assistant. The remaining time is spent in study which is
generally tuition-free. Until the war. women had less chance than
men of obtaining choice assistantships except at women’s colleges.
Only 9 percent of the 368 graduate assistantships studied by Ethel L.
French in the 1939 survey, referred to earlier, were held by women
(23). But when the war amplified their opportunity for obtaining
assistantships, few women took assistantships because openings in in­
dustry and government were even more attractive. In the early post­
war period, good assistantships still outnumbered well-qualified can­
didates, although a pick-up in interest was reported. (See also
table 9.)
Several hundred undergraduate and graduate scholarships were
also studied in the 1939 survey, which found that 76 percent of the
undergraduate and 69 percent of the graduate fellowships were open
both to men and to women (23). (The average money available to the
student per year was $140 on an undergraduate and $407 on a gradu­
ate fellowship.) Although women held 39 percent of the undergradu­
ate scholarships, they held only 15 percent of the graduate scholarships.
Memorial fellowships of varying amounts and fellowships awarded
by industrial firms for predoctoral research, usually in a specialized
field, are other forms of assistance open to the graduate student who

2-46

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

Table 9. Comparison of Postwar, Wartime, and Prewar Employment Reported for
Some College Women Recently Graduated in Each Period With Bachelor’s
Degrees in Chemistry
Number
Employment

Total
Industrial laboratory____________________ _
_ _ __
Graduate work, often combined with teaching or
research assistantship_______
__________
Medical laboratory_____
_____
Research institute or college research project_____ _
Medical, nursing, or therapy training________ __
Government, Federal___
_
Teaching:
College (see also graduate work)_______ ______
Other_______________________ 1______________
Technical librarian_____ ... _
Non-chemical work
Military service......... .............. .................................
Museum___ . . ____
_____________________
Secretary _______
______ ______ ___________
Writer or assistant editor___ "

Post­
War­
war—
1946 I time

Percent
Pre­
war

Post­
war—
1946

War­
time

Pre­
war

85

229

186

31

126

29

36.5

55.0

15.6

27
7
7
4
4

36
17

35
35

31.8

6

8.2

19

33

4.7
4.7

15.7
7.4
4.8
8.3
4.4

18.8
18.8
3.2
17.8
.5

2

■-4
3
2
1

8
2.3
9 _______
8
1.2
11
1.2
-...
1.2

____
1.8
1.3
.9
.4

4.3
4.8
4.3
5.9

-

1----------------

-

6 ---------4 ----------

i
l
l

11

10

1

100.0

8.2

.

_

-----------

100.0

.6

3.2
2.2

Source: Women’s Bureau, 1945-46-

wants to obtain a doctorate. In 1946, a National Research Council’s
listing showed that more than 300 companies were financing approxi­
mately 1,800 fellowships, scholarships, or grants for research, with
chemistry ranking first as a subject field {28). Often the awarding of
the industrial fellowship is left entirely to the institution at which the
research is carried on, and the sex of applicants is not specified. Ap­
proval by the donor is sometimes provided for, following initial selec­
tion by the university. Fifteen of the duPont de Nemours fellow­
ships in chemistry have been awarded to women since 1943, when
women were first made eligible under the program which originated in
1918. These provide $1,200 a year for each recipient of a graduate
fellowship who is single and $3,000 a year for a single postdoctoral
fellow (19). Women have also held fellowships of the American
Viscose Co. and of many other corporations.
Sixty predoctoral fellowships have been made available by the
American Chemical Society to chemists “whose training was inter­
rupted by the war.” No women were among the 60 to whom awards
were made in 1946-47. although they are eligible. The fact that there
is a need for this sort of assistance was shown by the 568 applications
received for the 60 fellowships {10). Five of the 190 postdoctoral
fellowships in chemistry awarded by the National Research Council
from 1919 to 1938 went to women {35).
In 1947, financial aid through fellowships or assistantships was
easily available at the graduate level to outstanding candidates. The
war period, during which there were few candidates, enabled the col­

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-47

leges to accumulate reserves to serve as a bulwark against later needs.
Women should avail themselves of these and other opportunities to
obtain the maximum training possible, if they are to supply the leader­
ship and make the contributions to chemistry that so far only a few
have made. They also need to overcome some of the other handicaps
that face them in this field of work.
Some Handicaps

Higher turn-over among the women was given by most of the em­
ployers of chemists interviewed by a representative of the Women’s
Bureau as their chief criticism of women chemists. “When they
marry and leave us, our investment is lost,” said one. In a West
Virginia control laboratory where 12 women just graduated from col­
lege with degrees in chemistry were placed in 1912, 9 left by the end
of the first year, 6 of them to marry men in the laboratory. Although
this took place during the abnormal war period, it was described by one
employer as an illustration of an ever-present problem.
A personnel director of a chemical company, having been asked
many times by women chemists who applied for work during the war
period, “Is the work permanent?”, once countered, “Are you perma­
nent?” The applicant became somewhat flustered, admitting she was
engaged to be married as soon as her fiance would be released from
military service. His whereabouts would determine whether or not she
could remain with the company following her marriage. This aura
of impermanence which surrounds many women applicants may not
interfere with, in.fact it may encourage, their employment on jobs
that are likely to become tiresome and on which a high turn-over
is expected. But, it definitely handicaps women in obtaining jobs of
responsibility on which continuous service is expected.
The woman with the Ph. D. is more often able to rid herself of this
initial handicap because she has already made a considerable invest­
ment of her own in chemistry and is more likely to remain in the field.
However, the majority of women chemists are not Ph. D.’s, and the
responsibility for progress in this field lies with the bachelor’s degree
group. Some suggestions as to what can be done along this line are
given on page 2-51.
Insufficient notice on leaving and requests for time off without con­
sideration for the work of others were the chief criticisms given by
employers about the women employed in the laboratory, particularly
the younger ones. The abnormalities of the war period undoubtedly
both caused and exaggerated faults of this kind, but their continuance
in peacetime on (he part of a few handicap other women in employ­
ment and promotion.

2-48

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

The nature or location of the work is sometimes given as a rea­
son for not employing more women. A chemical employer says,
“Our laboratory men have to climb into tank cars and get samples
and we don’t like to have women doing that.” The United States
Bureau of Mines, although it employs some women, reports that the
laboratory men must go underground often and that much of the
work is rugged and arduous. One oil company prefers laboratory
men who are available for travel to rough and remote places, in other
countries if necessary; another indicates that its plants are, for the
most part, in isolated places, where women would not choose to work.
Only one director mentioned that the work in the laboratory was too
heavy for a woman, since the containers from which samples were
taken had to be handled by the laboratory men.
Obviously, many of these reasons disappear if the laboratory itself
is large enough for some specialization. As one director of research
put it: “In a larger laboratory where jobs are broken down, contacts
are within the division rather than with the sales department or the
plant and one doesn’t have to sling a wrench.”
The obtaining of plant samples by chemists in industries in which
the plant workers are usually all men, as in dye works, tanneries,
paper mills, heavy chemicals, etc., is not an insurmountable handicap
to the employment of women. The wartime use of women in ship­
yards and steel mills indicated that men in the plant accustom them­
selves quickly to the presence of women in the plant. But it is easier
for a woman who has had actual plant experience, engineering train­
ing, or comparable practical experience to handle the plant aspects
under such conditions without self-consciousness.
The attitudes of men workers in the laboratory were also mentioned
as a handicap to women chemists. Some employers reported: “The
men don’t like to have girls in the laboratory.” However, the ma­
jority of the laboratory directors said that men and women worked
well together. In one Government laboratory the men at first objected
to the introduction of women during the war, but later their initial
fears were soon forgotten. One head of laboratories in a drug com­
pany prefers a mixed laboratory where women and men complement
each other. He says that women are more practical, neater in work­
manship, not as bored with routine; that men are better housekeepers
and better at the higher level jobs. One or two reported that the
appearance of the laboratory and of the men had improved with the
introduction of women.
Scattered comments on differences between men and women chemists
were as follows:
Men are more temperamentally suited to the failure of tests, take their failures
more objectively.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-49

Women are not as imaginative and eager to do something new. They are less
likely to present new ideas and when they do, are more likely to take a rejection
of it personally.
Women are better than men on research involving extensive data-keeping and
are more reliable, also, on routine tests.

Although women in general are believed to be more dexterous, the
head of one of the principal Government laboratories says that women

Courtesy E. I. DuPont de Nemours Company

Figure 13.—Fine manipulations are required in a chemical laboratory.
This college graduate weighs powder on delicate scales in a control
laboratory.

2-50

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

are not as good at fine manipulations because they need training in
laboratory mechanics. However, once they are trained, they always
use the right tool.
The more varied choice of positions for men chemists, already men­
tioned earlier, and the fact that most of the women wanted to work
within 25 to 50 miles of their homes are other reasons given for the
relatively small numbers of women chemists in laboratory work.
The tendency for women to seek work near their homes limits their
chances for employment, since opportunities are not equally good in
all parts of the United States. How much of this preference is
prompted by choice, how much by necessity is not known. But other
studies of the Women’s Bureau indicate that the responsibilities of
single as well as married women for financial aid or for services to
the other members of their families are considerable, often resulting
in a lack of mobility which limits the individual's choice of jobs and
makes her a less desirable employee on jobs where travel or transfer
may be involved.
Some types of chemical work, of course, are done in every large
community. Hospitals, medical schools, and public health labora­
tories, as well as such ubiquitous industries as dairies and bakeries
employ chemists. However, quantitatively, because of the concentra­
tion of large manufacturing industries, there are greater opportuni­
ties in some parts of the country than in others.
Before the war, according to the Census, almost three-fourths of
all chemists were employed in the Northeastern or North Central
States; the South ranked third and the West last d The proportion of
women among chemists in the various sections of the count ry was high­
est in the Northeastern States and lowest in the South (44). (See table
10.)

This prewar concentration of employment opportunities for chem­
ists in the Northeastern and North Central States is confirmed in the.
1944 study of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This study showed
almost the same proportion (40.4 percent) of chemists in the North­
eastern States as did the 1940 Census. The South’s percentage was 3
percent higher than before, 20.1 percent. The proportion in the North
Central States had declined to 29.4 percent and in the Western States
1 The regions as designated in the Census are as follows :
Northeastern States—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire. New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont:
North Central States Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin :
South Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland. Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South
Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia ;
West Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico Oregon
Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-51

to 9.1 percent. The State of New York alone employed 13.5 percent
of all chemists, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois ranking next
(44) (45).
Table 10. Distribution of Employed Chemists, Assayers, and Metallurgists,
Region and Sex, 1940
Number
Region
Total
The United States_____

___

Men

Women

by

Distribu­ Percent
women
tion of
are of
total
total

____ _____

.57,025

55,371

1,654

100.0

2.9

Northeastern States__ -____ ____ __ ... _ _____
North Centra] States___________________ ________
South. _
__________ ___
_______
West,
____ ____

23,287
17,792
9, 767
6,179

22,472
17,324
9, 547
6.028

815
468
220
151

40.9
31.2
17.1
10.8

3.5
2.6
2.3
2.4

Source: U. S. Census (41).

Suggestions for Young Women Who Want to Become Chemists
In any occupation, one finds optimists, pessimists, and the realists
whose experience and temperament enable them to evaluate the ad­
vantages in relation to the disadvantages. Because chemistry has
been in the main a man’s field, there are those who say, as one head of
a chemistry department in a State college has—
Advise girls interested in chemistry to stay out. But if they insist, advise them
to prepare for a field in which women have an advantage rather than a handicap.

According to this advice, only the girl with a driving interest, com­
bined presumably with ability in chemistry, should be encouraged to
become a chemist, and she should be steered toward foods, textile, or
cosmetics chemistry; biochemistry; analytical chemistry; or toward
work as a technical librarian, patent searcher, or technical secretary.
Spectroscopy and microchemistry are more recently emerging special­
ties in which women have an advantage.
A woman chemist, on the other hand, wrote optimistically in 1945:
The woman who enters the industrial chemical field today has just as much
assurance as a man of obtaining profitable and interesting employment. Her
career will be determined by the quality of her initiative and courage.

The majority of the employers, college representatives, and women
chemists interviewed in connection with this study predicted a steadily
increasing and widening opportunity for women chemists but stressed
the importance of being well-qualified. By well-qualified they meant
better qualified than a man would need to be for the identical job,
in order to offset the handicaps already discussed. The basic qualifica­
tions for success in chemistry are fully described in publications of
the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel (47) and

2-52

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

of the American Chemical Society (5). Only those mentioned as being
especially important for women, therefore, are included in this bulletin.
The head of an important Government laboratory said that, if he
were advising his daughter to prepare for work as a chemist, he would
tell her that she:
must attain manual dexterity in handling equipment equivalent to the stand­
ards of men;
must learn to look at a problem in its broadest aspect;
must learn the habit of hard work in absorbing and thinking through concepts
and formulae.

Two employers, one in Government and one in industry, likened the
good chemist to a good cook. Imagination, the use of a variety of
ingredients, exactness, the ability to keep many pots cooking at the
same time, resourcefulness—all these are needed by cooks and chemists.
The cook who lets the stew burn while she talks to her neighbor is like
the chemist who can’t set up and control more than one experiment at
a time.
Women chemists almost all mentioned the desirable traits of coop­
erativeness, adaptability, and a serious attitude toward one’s job as
ranking equal in importance to training and experience not only in
obtaining employment for oneself but in smoothing the path of those
who come after.
A woman should not seek a research or other responsible job, if she
does not intend to work for more than two or three years. On the
other hand, if she is interested in chemistry as a career and intends
to keep up with it come what may, she should give evidence of this
interest through further study, through participation in professional
organizations, through discussion with colleagues, through writing.
Only in this way can she counteract the erroneous notion that all men
show a more serious attitude toward their work than do all women.
Whether she falls in the short-run or long-run interest group, she
should maintain certain ethics in relation to her work.
The three women who left a laboratory in a foods company one
after another after only a few months of service have closed that
position to women as long as the present head of the laboratory is
in charge. The technical secretary who left a metal products company
without notice to take a 3-months’ trip with her husband on his return
from military service left in the laboratory a resentment that will
affect the chances of women not only in her former job, but through­
out the laboratory. Two women chemists who left a testing laboratory
with only a few days’ notice in 1945 were replaced by men, although
the head of the laboratory was a woman. Women in scientific work
must recognize the obligation not only to perform the job well but to
accept the responsibilities that go with such employment.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-53

Regarding training, a number of suggestions were made. Many
employers commented that most women applicants didn’t have enough
courses in chemistry. Women chemists and placement directors
stressed the need for more mathematics and physics along with chem­
istry. Training in report-writing and in oral reporting was recom­
mended. Typewriting and stenographic skills were also suggested
as being useful on laboratory as well as nonlaboratory jobs. For
research, for technical library work, or for literature searching,
German, French, and Russian were mentioned as desirable languages.
One woman urged a knowledge of engineering subjects for those
who plan to go into industrial laboratories because of their need for
understanding of processes. A director of research of a large foods
company advised:
Teach them what industry requires. Those from small colleges especially have
uo Idea of industrial processes or what industry is about.

Another aspect of this gulf between college training and the job in
industry or Government is illustrated by a placement director who
reported difficulty in placing in industry young women graduating
with the bachelor’s degree in chemistry who want to do research but
don’t want to do factory or routine work first. She noted, however,
that those who have had contact with industry have a different atti­
tude. A girl, for example, whose uncle was director of research in
an oil company willingly started on a calculating job as part of the
learning process. Obviously, visits to the type of laboratory in which
one may wish some day to work, talks with women chemists, and, better
still, some actual work experience in various types of chemist-employ­
ing establishments will help to bridge the gap between textbook and
practice that the engineer is compelled to bridge to qualify for his
engineering degree. A few laboratories employ women during the
summer months when vacations temporarily reduce their regular staff,
offering an opportunity for a try-out both to the college women and
the firm.
The increased enrollments of women in chemistry in the war years
has shown that there is a potential supply of women who will become
chemists, if the opportunities for employment are encouraging. They
also indicated, however, that these opportunities have not been great
enough to induce many girls, as compared with boys, to consider chem­
istry at an early age as a possible career. One prominent woman chem­
ist attributes the small number of women with doctorates to the fact
that some professors discourage women, because they are afraid they
cannot place them. Even more serious is the diversion that takes
place in the high school, when the average daughter is discouraged
from taking mathematics, physics, and chemistry, while the son is

2-54

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

customarily urged to do so. The chemical set under the Christmas tree
invariably goes to the boy in the family, although later the girl may
be found to enjoy it as well. Girls, then, and young women, later,
need full opportunity to demonstrate and to develop their interest, if
we are ever to know to what extent the small number of women in
chemistry is due to biological factors and how much it is influenced
by environment and custom. Meanwhile, there is room for more
women in chemistry, that is, women who can be truly described as
“well-qualified.”

APPENDIX
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements for Application for
Beginning Federal Civil Service Position as Junior Professional Assist­
ant With Option in Chemistry ($2,644 a Year)
(As taken from Civil Service Announcement No. 75, issued October 14, 1947, closed
November 4, 1947) 1

Applicants must have successfully completed one of the following:
A. A full 4-year course, in a college or university of recognized
standing, leading to a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. This study
must have included courses in chemistry consisting of lectures,
recitations, and appropriate practical laboratory work totaling
at least 30 semester hours; or
B. Courses in chemistry, in a college or university of recognized
standing, consisting of lectures, recitations and appropriate prac­
tical laboratory work totaling at least 30 semester hours; plus
additional appropriate experience or education which, when com­
bined with the 30 semester hours in chemistry, will total 4 years
of education and experience and give the applicant the substan­
tial equivalent of a 4-year college course.
In either A or B above, the courses must have included analytical
chemistry, both quantitative and qualitative, and in addition, any two
of the following: (a) Advanced inorganic chemistry; (b) biochem­
istry; (c) organic chemistry; (d) physical chemistry.
Requirements for Membership in the American Chemical Society (1)

Full Membership.—An adequate collegiate training in chemistry or
chemical engineering, or its equivalent, and 5 years of graduate train­
ing or experience in some form of chemical work. Only 2 years of
postgraduate study or experience are required from those who have
studied in a department of chemistry or chemical engineering ac­
credited by the ACS and who have been certified by the head of the
department as having completed the course recommended by the
society.
junior Membership.—Adequate basic training but insufficient gradu­
ate study and/or experience for member, senior grade, or inadequate
training but engaged in chemical work.
1 For more complete and later information, consult latest announcements of the Civil
Service Commission posted in first-and second-class post offices.

2-55

2-56

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

Minimum Requirements for Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry From a
School Approved by the American Chemical Society

The minimum course requirements in chemistry for the bachelor’s
degree consist of four basic year courses in general chemistry (which
may include qualitative analysis), analytical chemistry, physical
chemistry, and organic chemistry, together with at least one advanced
course. These courses must meet the following general re­
quirements :
1. General chemistry1 which may include qualitative analysis (30
weeks including three lecture or recitation hours and four to six
laboratory hours wTeekly).
2. Quantitative analysis (30 weeks, including not less than 8 hours
a week of which 2 will be devoted to discussion of principles—should
include some training in qualitative analysis, if not covered in another
course).
3. Physical chemistry1 (30 weeks, including three lecture or reci­
2
tation hours and three laboratory hours weekly).
4. Organic chemistry (30 weeks, three lecture or recitation hours
and five to six laboratory hours weekly—must include organic prep­
arations work and should include qualitative organic analysis unless
special course in that offered).
5. Advanced chemistry3 (30 weeks, including two lecture or reci­
tation hours and three to four laboratory hours for 15 weeks. May be
in: inorganic, analytical, physical, organic chemistry, or bio­
chemistry) .
The minimum training for professional chemists must also include
the following:
1. Physics—at least one year (30 weeks including three lecture or
recitation hours and three laboratory hours weekly).
2. Mathematics—2 years of college work (including 1 year of
differential and integral calculus).
3. Foreign languages—a reading knowledge of scientific German
is required. Russian or French is advised as a second language.
4. English composition—1 year (including writing of some techni­
cal papers or reports).
5. Humanities at least the equivalent of one-half year’s study in
subjects in fields other than those prescribed.
1 High-school algebra and geometry are prerequisites.
2 Quantitative analysis, a year of general physics, and a year of differential and integral
calculus are prerequisites.
3 Three years of chemistry prerequisite.

SOURCES TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN THE TEXT
(1) American Chemical Society. The American Chemical Society. What it is
and does. Washington, D. C., the Society (undated). 11 pp.
(2) ------ The economic status of members of the American Chemical Society.
Approved report of the Committee on Economic Status. Prepared by
Andrew Fraser, ,Tr. Washington, D. C., the Society, 1942. (Reprinted'
from Chemical and Engineering News, Vol. 20; Nos. 20, 22, 23, 24. 1942.
p. 4, and table 3, p. 5.)
(3) ------ Professional chemical workers in war and peace. An analysis of
the economic status of the members of the American Chemical Society,
1941 to 1943. By Andrew Fraser, Jr., based on a survey conducted by the
Committee on Professional and Economic Status, 1941 to 1943. Washing­
ton, D. C., the Society, 1944. 42 pp. (Reprinted from Chemical and Engi­
neering News, vol. 22. Nos. 10, 13, 16, 19.)
14) ------ Vocational guidance in chemistry and chemical engineering. Wash­
ington, D. C., the Society, 1939. 16 pp.
(5) --------- Vocational guidance in chemistry and chemical engineering. Wash­
ington, D. C., the Society, August 1944. 19 pp.
(6) --------- Committee on Professional Training. List of institutions qualified
to offer professional training for chemists. Washington, D. C., the Society,
December 1946. (Reprinted from Chemical and Engineering News
24 : 3301-3302, December 25, 1946.)
(7) American Chemical Society News. Cleveland employment clearing house.
Chemical and Engineering News 22 : 712, May 10, 1944.
(8) —•— Progress report No. 14 of the Committee on Professional Training.
Chemical and Engineering News 24-3301-3305, December 25, 1946.
(9) American Chemical Society Official Reports. Awards administered by the
American Chemical Society. The woman’s award in chemistry. Chem­
ical and Engineering News 24: 2660-2662, October 10,1946.
(10) American Chemical Society Predoctoral Fellowship Awards. Chemical and
Engineering News 24:1485-1486, June 10, 1946.
(11) American Council on Education. Report of Committee on Graduate In­
struction. Washington, D. C., the Council, April 1934. 43 pp.
(12) American Paper and Pulp Association. Report of Sub-Committee of the
Industrial Relations Committee on “Women in the paper industry.” New
York, N. Y., the Association, 122 East 42d Street, April 26, 1943. Mimeo.
(13) Anderson, Forrest A. Getting the right job. Chemical and Engineering
News 21:1331-1333, August 25, 1943.
(14) Billings, Erie M. 1943-44 survey of chemistry and chemical engineering
students. Made for the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized
Personnel in cooperation with the American Chemical Society. Chemical
and Engineering News 21: 294-295, March 10, 1943.
(15) Chemical education plans for postwar. Chemical Industries 57:833-835,
November 1945.
(16) Chemistry and physics enrollments. Education for Victory 2:22, May
20, 1944.
(17) Cleaveland, Marion. Women chemists in Cleveland war industries. Chem­
ical and Engineering News 22: 438-439, March 25, 1944.
2-57

2-58

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

(18) Definition of a chemist. Adopted by the Council of the American Chemical
Society, April 3, 1944. Chemical and Engineering News 22:613, April
23, 1944.
(19) duPont (E. I.) de Nemours & Co., Inc. duPont Fellowship Plan. Wilming­
ton, Del., the Company, 1946. 8 pp.
(20) Emery, Alden H. American Chemical Society official reports for the year
1946. Report of the Secretary and Business Manager. Chemical and
Engineering News 25 : 519, February 24, 1947.
.(21) Few servicemen enroll in G. I. chemistry courses. Chemical and Engineer­
, ing News 23: 2056, November 10, 1945.
(22) Fortune management poll. Fortune 29 : 8-43, May 1944.
(23) French, Ethel L. A survey of the training and placement of women chem­
istry majors in women’s and co-educational colleges in The chemist at
work. By Roy J. Grady and John W. Chittum and others. Easton, Pa.,
Journal of Chemical Education, 1940. pp. 351-366 (table 1). Also in
Journal of Chemical Education 16: 574-577, December 1939.
(24) French, Robert W. The changing economic status of chemists, 1926-1942.
Chemical and Engineering News 24: 1649-1655, June 25, 1946.
(25) Gulf pleased with efficiency of women employees. Oil and Gas Journal
42: 36, 38, December 16, 1943.
(26) Haynes, William, Ed. The chemical who’s who. Vol. 11:1937. New Haven,
Conn., Haynes and George Co., 1937. 543 pp.
(27) Hollis, Ernest V. Toward improving Ph. D. programs. Washington, D. C.,
American Council on Education, 1945. 204 pp. (Table XI for types of
work being performed, pp. 86-87.)
(28) Hull, Callie and Timms, Mary. Research supported by industry through
scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Chemical and Engineering News
24: 2346-2358, September 10, 1946.
(29) Landis, W. S. Women chemists in industry. Journal of Chemical Educa­
tion 16:577—579, December 1939. (Also ch. XLIV in The chemist at
work. By Grady, Chittum, and others. 1940.)
(30) Leggin, Al. President’s Research Board report gives statistics on Govern­
ment scientists. Chemical and Engineering News 25:1489, May 26,1947.
(31) Mellon Institute enters the postwar era. Chemical and Engineering News
25:1265-1270, May 5, 1947.
(32) Miner, Helen I. Women chemists play role in Detroit production. Chemical
and Engineering News 21: SO-83, January 25, 1943.
(33) National Education Association, Research Division. Salaries of cityschool employees, 1946-47. Washington, D. C„ the Association, February
1947. 23 pp. (Research bulletin vol. XXV, No. 1.)
(34) National Research Council. Industrial research laboratories of the United
States, 1946. By Callie Hull. Washington, D. C., the Council, 1946. 415
pp. (Bulletin No. 113, 8th Edition. July 1946.)
(35) ------ National research fellowships 1919-1938. Physical sciences, geology
and geography, medical sciences, biological science. Washington, D. C., the
Council, 1938. 95 pp.
(36 ) 9,000 convene at Chicago for 110t.h American Chemical Society meeting.
Chemical and Engineering News 24:2456-2457, 2459-2461, September
25, 1946.

SOURCES

2-59

(37) Professional status of chemists. Science 95:268, March 13,1942.
(38) Quill, Lawrence L. Some problems affecting chemical education. Educa­
tion 65 : 422-429, March 1945.
(39) Selective Service deferment certification. Chemical and Engineering News
24: 2010, August 10, 1946.
(40) Sherman, Joseph V. Plastics set pace for chemical growth. Barron’s
National Business and Financial Weekly 26: 21-22, September 16, 1946.
(41) Textile Foundation. Opportunities for trained men and women in the
textile and related industries. Kent, Conn., the Foundation, undated,
probably 1945. 11 pp.
(42) U. S. Civil Service Commission. 57th annual report. Washington, I). C.,
TJ. S. Government printing office, 1941. 146 pp. (table 2).
(43) U. S. Department of Commerce, U. S. Bureau of the Census. 16th Census, •
1940. Population. Comparative occupation statistics for the United
States, 1870 to 1940. By Alba M. Edwards. Washington, D. C., U. S.
Government printing office, 1943. Table 2, p. 49.
(44) ------------16th Census, 1940. Population. Vol. III. The labor force.
Part L U. S. Summary. Washington, D. C., U. S. Government printing
office, 1943. Table 58, p. 75.
(45) U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Factors affecting
earnings in chemistry and chemical engineering. By Cora E. Taylor,
under the supervision of Harold Goldstein. Washington, D. C., U. S.
Government printing office, 1946. 22 pp. (BLS bulletin No. 881.)
(46) ------ U. S. Employment Service. Dictionary of occupational tiles. Part I.
Definitions of Titles. Revised edition. Washington, D. C., U. S. Govern­
ment printing office. (In process.)
(47) ■— ---------National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel. Chem­
istry as a profession. Washington, D. C., U. S. Government printing office,
1946. 20 pp. (Vocational Booklet No. 2.)
(48)------------ ------ Directory of colleges and universities offering graduate de­
grees and some form of graduate aid. Washington, D. C., the Roster, Jan­
uary 1946. 42 pp.
(49)------------------- Distribution by professional field—sex and extent of educa­
tion, April 1, 1944. Washington, D. C., the Roster, 1944. 4 pp.
(50)------------ ------ Distribution of Roster registrants, December 31, 1946.
Washington, D. C., the Roster, 1947. 5 pp. Multi.
(51)------------------- Faculty members and students in institutions of higher edu­
cation, December 1942. Washington, D. C., the Roster, June 15, 1943.
Final report. Chart. Multi.
(52)------------------- Report on survey of full-time civilian college students as of
January 1944. Washington, D. C., the Roster, 1944. 12 pp. Multi.
(53) ------ Women’s Bureau. Employment of women in the Federal Government
1923 to 1939. Washington, D. C., U. S. Government printing office, 1941.
60 pp. (Bulletin No. 182.)
(54)------------ The outlook for women in occupations in the medical and other
health services: medical laboratory technicians. Washington, D. C., U. S.
Government printing office, 1945, 10 pp. (Bulletin 203, No. 4.)
(55)------------ Women's employment in the making of steel, 1943. Washington,
D. C., U. S. Government printing office, 1944. pp. 16-17. (Bull. 192-5.)

2-60

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

(56) (U. S.) Federal Security Agency, U. S. Office of Education. Biennial
surveys of education in the United States. Volume II, chapter IV.
Statistics of higher education, 1039-40 and 1941-42. Washington, D. C-,
U. S. Government printing office, 1944. Table 10, p. 55.
(57)--------- — Biennial survey of education in the United States 1942-44. Sta­
tistics of higher education 1943-44. Chapter IV. By Henry G. Badger
under the direction of Emery M. Foster. Washington, D. C., U. g. Govern­
ment printing office, 1946. 75 pp.
(58)------------ Effects of the war upon college personnel. By Henry G. Badger
and Benjamin W. Frazier. Washington, D. C., the Agency, June 1943.
14 pp. Multi. (Circular No. 217.)
(59)------------ Engineering, science and management war training. Final re­
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office, 1946. 149 pp. (Bulletin 1946, No. 9.)
(60) ------------ - Teaching as a profession. By Benjamin W. Frazier. Washingtion, D. C., U. S. Government printing office, 1944. 34 pp. (Pamphlet No.
95.)
(61) U. S. Office of Scientific Research and Development. Science, the endless
frontier. A report to the President by Vannevar Bush. July 1945.
Washington, D. C., U. S. Government printing office, 1945. 184 pp.
(62) (U. S.) War Department, Army Service Forces. Guide to training women
for work with the Army Service Forces. Washington, D. C„ the Depart­
ment, April 15, 1944. 26 pp. Multi. (Civilian Personnel Information
Bulletin No. 3.)
(63) ------------ Special Training Branch. Statement of pre-enlistment training
needs of the WAC. Washington, D. C., the Department, June 16, 1944.
6 pp. Mimeo.
(64) Women in science. Women’s Work and Education 6:1, December 1935.
(65) Woodford, Lois W. Opportunities for women in chemistry. Journal of
Chemical Education 19:536-38, November 1942.
(66) Young, Hoylande D. Part played by women in chemistry in Chicago. Chi­
cago, Illinois, August 1946. 5 pp. (Typed manuscript.)

INDEX
[The numeral 2, indicating the volume in the series, is not shown in the page references of
the index]
Page

Administration (see also heads
of laboratories)____________
2,
3, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26, 41
Advancement______ ____ 24-28, 33, 47
Aid, laboratory_12, 14, 19, 31, 33, 35
American Association of Textile
Chemists and Colorists_____
29
American Chemical Society___
2,
3, 4, 5, 6, 9,11,16, 17, 18, 22, 23,
28, 29, 35-36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45,
46, 55, 56.
American Institute of Chemists29
American Institute of Nutri­
tion
29
American Medical Association- 33-34
American Society of Biological
Chemists _________________
29
Architects__________________
29
Assistantships 4, 23, 39, 45, 46
Association of Consulting Chem­
ists and Chemical Engineers29
Association of Official Agricul­
tural Chemists------------------29
Association of Vitamin Chem­
ists ---------------------------------29
Astronomy _________________
1
Bacteriology19, 44
Biochemistry5, 7, 8, 9, 10,
19, 29, 37, 39, 42, 51, 55, 56
Biological sciences___________
1
Biology----------------------------- 9, 10, 35
Central Association of Science
and Mathematics Teachers_
29
Chemistry:
Analytical________________
2,
6, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 25, 31,
33, 39, 41, 51, 55, 56.
Cosmeticsxm, 26, 27, 41, 51
Foods (see also nutrition)_win,
5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 30, 35, 37, 41, 42,
43, 44, 50, 51, 52.
Inorganic-------------------- 8,19,35, 55
Medical. (See medical lab­
oratory work.)
Organic----- xm, 7, 8, 12, 19, 55, 56
Petroleum________________
6,
8, 12, 13, 16, 20, 30, 37, 41
Pharmaceuticals
xm,
7, 8, 10, 20, 30, 33, 37, 38, 39, 42
Physical----------- 7, 8, 19, 42, 55, 56
Physiological. (See biochem­
istry.)

Page
Chemistry—Continued.
Textiles
xm,
5, 10, 16, 29, 31, 32, 35, 37, 42,
43, 44, 51.
Vitamin29,31
Clerical work, scientific or tech­
nical (see also secretarial
work)5, 31, 36, 37
Consulting work 3, 4, 25, 26, 29
Earnings 22-24
Editing, scientific or technical10, 31, 34, 36, 37, 39,
Educational requirements for
beginning Civil Service posi­
tions
55
Electrochemical Society______
Engineering __________________
15, 29, 31, 35, 37, 40, 48,
Chemical___ 3, 4, 9,10, 22, 28, 29,

5,
46

29
1,
53
55

Heads of laboratories24, 25
Home economics,__________ 10, 43, 44
Hours__________ ___________
24
Information specialist________ 2,18
International Federation of
Architects, Engineers, and
Technicians_______________
29
Iota Sigma Pi_______________
29
Lalor Foundation____________
8
Lecturing___________________
39
Librarian, scientific or techni­
cal_______ 2, 3, 5, 10, 18,
23, 31, 36, 37, 39, 41, 46, 51, 53
Literature searching (see also
librarian, scientific or techni­
cal)31, 41, 53
Mathematics 1, 19, 29, 41, 53, 56
Medical laboratory work_____
2,
3, 4, 10, 15, 19, 23, 24, 33, 34, 38,
40, 41, 44, 46, 50.
Medicine 1, 2, 3, 9, 15, 40, 44, 46
Metallurgy _________________
1,
4, 12, 13, 15, 20, 25, 31, 33
Microchemistry:_____________
51
Museum work_________________
46
National Research Council___
5,
35, 37, 40, 46
National Science Foundation_
38
National Science Teachers As­
sociation ______________
2-61

29

2-62

INDEX
Page

Page

New England Association of
Chemistry Teachers________
29
Nursing---------------------- 10, 40,
46
Nutrition 8,
29, 35, 44

Teaching-------------. 1, 2, 3, 10, 12, 15,
17, 18, 20, 35, 36, 39, 40, 41, 46
College-------------------- 2, 3, 4, 8, 15,
17, 18, 23, 24, 26, 29, 36, 39, 46
High School2, 3, 4,
15,17,18, 23, 24,29, 36,39, 43
Private schools____________
39
Therapy------------------------------46
Training, scientific (see also
educational requirements)_
9,
10, 18-21, 28, 31, 33, 37, 40, 41,
42, 43-47, 48, 50, 53.
Engineering, Science, and
Management War Train­
ing------------------------------- 13,19,20
High School----------------------11,
12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 36, 42

Organizations, scientific_ 28-29,

52

Patent work_____ 5, 31, 36, 37, 39, 51
Personnel work______________
28
Photography (microphotog­
raphy)
31
Physics-------------- 18, 21, 35, 41, 53, 56
Physiology---------------------------7, 8
Purchasing__________________ 28,31
Sales work28, 31
Scholarships and fellowships_______ 35,
45—47
Secretarial work, scientific or
technical _________________
3,
5, 10, 23, 31, 37,39, 46, 51
Society of Chemical Industry_______ 29
Spectroscopy13,
31, 51
Student aid. (See assistantships, scholarships and fel­
lowships.)

United Office and Professional
Workers of the Congress of
Industrial
Organizations,
Technical and Scientific Di­
vision
29
Women’s military services. 14-15, 46
Writing, scientific or technical.
5,
39,42

CURRENT PUBLICATIONS OF THE WOMEN S BUREAU
FACTS ON WOMEN WORKERS—issued monthly. 4 pages. (Latest statistics on
employment of women ; earnings; labor laws affecting women ; news items of
interest to women workers; women in the international scene.)

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND TRAINING FOR WOMEN
The Outlook for Women in Occupations in the Medical and Other Health Services,
Bull. 203:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

Physical Therapists. 14 pp. 1945. 100.
Occupational Therapists. 15 pp. 1945. 100.
Professional Nurses. 66 pp. 1946. 150.
Medical Laboratory Technicians. 10 pp. 1945. 100.
Practical Nurses and Hospital Attendants. 20 pp. 1945. 100.
Medical Record Librarians. 9 pp. 1945. 100
Women Physicians. 28 pp. 1945. 100.
X-Ray Technicians. 14 pp. 1945. 100.
Women Dentists. 21 pp. 1945. 100.
Dental Hygienists. 17 pp. 1945. 100.
Physicians’ and Dentists’ Assistants. 15 pp. 1945. 100.
Trends and Their Effect upon the Demand for Women Workers. 55 pp.
1946. 150.

The Outlook for Women in Science. Bull. 223: (In press.)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

The Outlook for Women in Science.
The Outlook for Women in Chemistry. (Instant publication.)
The Outlook for Women in the Biological Sciences.
The Outlook for Women in Mathematics and Statistics.
The Outlook for Women in Architecture and Engineering.
The Outlook for Women in Physics and Astronomy.
The Outlook for Women in Geology, Geography, and Meteorology.
The Outlook for Women in Occupations Related to Science.

Your Job Future After College. Leaflet. 1947.
Training for Jobs—for Women and Girls. [Under public funds available for
vocational training purposes.] Leaflet 1. 1947.

EARNINGS
Earnings of Women in Selected Manufacturing Industries, 1946. Bull, 219. 14 pp.
1948. 100.

EMPLOYMENT
Employment of Women in the Early Postwar Period, with Background of Pre­
war and War Data. Bull. 211. 14 pp. 1946. 100.
Women’s Occupations Through Seven Decades. Bull. 218. (In press.)
Women Workers After VJ-Day in One Community—Bridgeport, Conn. Bull. 216.
37 pp. 1947. 150.
2-63

2-64

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

INDUSTRY
Women Workers in Power Laundries. Bull. 215. 71 pp. 1947. 200.
The Woman Telephone Worker [1944], Bull. 207. 28 pp. 1946. 100.
Typical Women’s Jobs in the Telephone Industry [1944], Bull. 207-A. 52 pp.
1947. 150.
Women in Radio. Bull. 222. 30 pp. 1948. 150.
LABOR LAWS
Summary of State Labor Laws for Women. 7 pp. 1947. Mimeo.
Minimum Wage
State Minimum-Wage Laws and Orders, 1942: An Analysis. Bull. 191. 52 pp.
1942. 200. Supplements through 1947. Mimeo.
State Minimum-Wage Laws. Leaflet 1. 1948.
Map showing States having minimum-wage laws. (Desk size; wall size.)
Equal Pay
Equal Pay for Women. Leaflet 2. 1947. (Rev. 1948.)
Chart analyzing State equal-pay laws and Model Bill. Mimeo. Also com­
plete text of State laws (separates). Mimeo.
Selected References on Equal Pay for Women. 9 pp. 1947. .Mimeo.
Hours of Work and Other Labor Laws
State Labor Laws for Women, with Wartime Modifications, Dec. 15, 1944.
Bull. 202. (Supplements through 1947. Mimeo.)
I. Analysis of Hour Laws. 110 pp. 1945. 150.
II. Analysis of Plant Facilities Laws. 43 pp. 1945. 100.
III. Analysis of Regulatory Laws, Prohibitory Laws, Maternity Laws.
12 pp. 1945. 50.
IV. Analysis of Industrial Home-Work Laws. 26 pp. 1945. 100.
V. Explanation and Appraisal. 66 pp. 1946. 150.
Map of United States showing State hour laws. (Desk size ; wall size.)
LEGAL STATUS OF WOMEN
International Documents on the Status of Women. Bull. 217. 116 pp. 1947. 250.
Legal Status of Women in the United States of America.
United States Summary, January 1938. Bull. 157. 89 pp. 1941. 150.
Cumulative Supplement 1938-45. Bull. 157-A. 31 pp. 1946. 100.
Pamphlet for each State and District of Columbia (separates). 50 ea.
Women’s Eligibility for Jury Duty. Leaflet. 1947.
WOMEN IN LATIN AMERICA
Women Workers in Argentina, Chile, and LTruguay. Bull. 195. 15 pp. 1942. 50.
Women Workers in Brazil. Bull. 206. 42 pp. 1946. 100.
Women Workers in Paraguay. Bull. 210. 16 pp. 1946. 100.
Women Workers in Peru. Bull. 213. 41 pp. 1947. 100.
Social and Labor Problems of Peru and Uruguay. 1944. Mimeo.

WOMEN IN CHEMISTRY

2-65

RECOMMENDED STANDARDS for women’s working conditions, safety and
health:
Standards of Employment for Women. Leaflet 1. 1946. 50 ea. or $2 per 100.
When You Hire Women. Sp. Bull. 14. 16 pp. 1944. 100.
The Industrial Nurse and the Woman Worker. Sp. Bull. 19. 47 pp. 1944.
100.

Women’s Effective War Work Requires Good Posture.
1943. 50.
Washing and Toilet Facilities for Women in Industry.
1942. 5(1.
Lifting and Carrying Weights by Women in Industry.
1942. 12 pp. 50.
Safety Clothing for Women in Industry. Sp. Bull. 3.
Supplements: Safety Caps; Safety Shoes. 4 pp. ea.
Night Work: Bibliography. 39 pp. 1946. Multilith.

Sp. Bull. 10.

6 pp.

Sp. Bull. 4. 11 pp.
Sp. Bull. 2.

Rev.

11 pp. 1941.
1944. 50 ea.

100.

WOMEN UNDER UNION CONTRACTS
Maternity-Benefits under Union-Contract Health Insurance Plans.
19 pp. 1947. 100.

Bull. 214.

HOUSEHOLD EMPLOYMENT
Old-Age Insurance for Household Employees. Bull. 220. 20 pp. 1947. 100.
Community Household Employment Programs. Bull. 221. 70 pp. 1948. 200.
REPORTS OF WOMEN IN WARTIME: 16 reports on women’s employment in
wartime industries; community services ; part-time employment; equal pay; rec­
reation and housing for women war workers.
Changes in Women’s Employment During the War. Sp. Bull. 20. 29 pp. 1944.
100.
Women’s Wartime Hours of Work—The Effect on Their Factory Performance
and Home Life. Bull. 208. 187 pp. 1947. 350.
Women Workers in Ten War Production Areas and Their Postwar Employment
Plans. Bull. 209. 56 pp. 1946. 150.
Negro Women War Workers. Bull. 205. 23 pp. 1945. 100.
Employment Opportunities in Characteristic Industrial Occupations of Women.
Bull. 201. 50 pp. 1944. 100.
Employment and Housing Problems of Migratory Workers in New York and
New Jersey Canning Industries, 1943. Bull. 198. 35 pp. 100.
Industrial Injuries to Women [1945], Bull. 212. 20 pp. 1947. 100.
REPORTS ON WOMEN WORKERS IN PREWAR YEARS: Women at work (a
century of industrial change) ; women’s economic status as compared to men's;
women workers in their family environment (Cleveland, and Utah) ; women’s
employment in certain industries (clothing, canneries, laundries, offices, govern­
ment service) ; State-wide survey of women’s employment in various States;
economic status of university women.
THE WOMEN’S BUREAU—Its Purpose and Functions. Leaflet. 1946.
Women’s Bureau Conference. 1948. Bull. 224. (In press.)
Write the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor, Washington 25, D. C.,
for complete list of publications available for distribution.

o


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102