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Milestones: The Women's Bureau Celebrates Nov 2 65 Years of Women's Labor History U.S. Department of labor The Women's Bureau , Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2016 with funding from University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries https://archive.org/details/milestonesthewom00wash Statement from Secretary of Labor, William E. Brock he Women's Bureau was created by Congress as part of the then-young Department of Labor in 1920, the year women won the right to vote. Its first director was Mary Anderson, a Swedish immigrant who had worked for $1.50 a week as a domestic. With a staff of 20 and a yearly budget of $30,000, the new Bureau documented abysmal working conditions of women in the places jobs were then available to them - canneries, laundries, cotton mills, garment factories, offices, department stores and, as domestics, in homes. In 1985, as the Women's Bureau celebrates its 65th anniversary, things are vastly different. Women workers - who now number 44 percent of the labor force - still have special problems, but the problems have changed. Now, the Women's Bureau is less concerned with long hours and debilitating conditions. Equal pay and equal access to jobs traditionally dominated by men are among today's top concerns. Instead of ending child labor, today's Women's Bureau is trying to promote more child care - by employers for their women workers. I am proud of the dedication and accomplishments of our Women's Bureau. I share fully their commitment to helping solve the problems of women in our labor force and helping them achieve full equality with men workers in every field. T William E. Brock ay the same as night, night the same as day. D And all I do is sew and sew and sew. May God help me and my Jove come soon, That I may leave this work and go." - Yiddish folk song sung in the sweatshops of New York City, early 1900's. 2 The Women's Bureau Is T he Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor is the only agency at the Federal level of Government with a congressional mandate to promote the welfare of working women. From its position in the Office of the Secretary of Labor, the Bureau participates in departmental policy making and program planning. It provides legal and economic updates on the status of working women, and serves as a coordinating body in the Department of Labor for programs affecting women. The Bureau has offices in the 10 Federal regions across the Nation. Headed by regional administrators, they implement the Bureau's programs and policies, develop programs addressing local needs and disseminate information and publications. Both national headquarters and regional offices work cooperatively with women's organizations and commissions for women, the private sector, unions, and program operators; educational and social service agencies; and government at all levels. Congress established the Bureau in 1920, responding to mounting public concern over the long hours, poor conditions, and low wages of working women at the tum of the century. The Women's Bureau was charged with investigating these conditions, documenting them, and recommending tandards for improvement. Since then, the Bureau has devoted itself to identifying and meeting the ever-changing needs of American working women. In celebration of the Bureau's 65th Anniversary, this publication tells the history of the Women's Bureau through the lives of the women who have served as its director, and through the voices, hands, and faces of American women at work. Their story is one of dreams, challenges, struggles, and achievements, of conflict and cooperation. The story of the American woman worker is also the story of this Nation, as it, too, sought to test its limits and fulfill its potential during the past 65 years of experimentation, change and growth. Our national history has been enriched immeasurably by the expanding contributions of women - half the population - to its economic, social, and political life. The Women's Bureau continues to pioneer new opportunities for American women to make their mark on our collective future. 3 Statement from Director Lenora Cole Alexander on the 65th Anniversary of the Women's Bureau am proud to be the ninth woman entrusted with implementing the congressional mandate with which the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor was charged 65 years ago: "to formulate standards and policies which shall promote the welfare of wageearning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment." This original statement of our mission has served the Bureau and working women so well that it has not been changed since 1920. When Congress passed the 1920 KenyonCampbell Bill which brought the Bureau into being and gave it permanent status, it could not have anticipated its eventual impact, nor the impact of women workers on American life. But Mary Anderson, its first director, certainly must have nurtured some fairly prophetic visions. A "heavyweight" woman of "admirable obstinacy," she put a minimal staff and budget to work for the women beside whom she had toiled as an immigrant in the shoe factories of America at the tum of the century. She was a woman of action - and of great humility. Remembering her appointment some 44 years later, she remarked, "Well, I of course wasn't the kind of person that could do any research or anything of that kind . . .but I did know what we needed." She dispatched investigators to the most sordid places where women worked in inhuman conditions, and began the Bureau's tradition of churning out report after report to document and testify for "what we needed." One of the Bureau's major historical contributions is the impressive body of reports documenting in detail who the "working woman" was, why she worked and where, for what pay, in what conditions and with what problems she grappled in the performance of her job and home-related duties. The Bureau's fact-finding missions helped to establish an accurate and persuasive record of changing realities to challenge the popular myths and traditional stereotypes which have so often prevented working women's issues from being rationally discussed and effectively addressed. I 4 Although the Women's Bureau was never empowered with enforcement, it has always testified for and supported the Federal or State legislation and programs that have changed the lives of American workers - male and female - at crucial periods in our national history. Equally as important as educating policymakers and employers about working women's needs has been the Bureau's tradition of informing women themselves about their rights, their options to organize and participate in unions, about new opportunities for training and employment and how to take advantage of them. We are also proud of the educational programs that have been initiated, funded, designed, or implemented by the Bureau often in cooperation with other bodies - in response to the ever-changing needs of our constituency. Examples are the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers of the 1920's and 1930's, industrial training programs for women during World War II, affirmative action programs for minority women in the 1970's and today's career counseling and skilled trades apprenticeships for young women and our special programs for older women and displaced homemakers to facilitate their entry or reentry into the job market. Why should there be a Federal agency devoted to the concerns of a single sex? Although recogniz.ed as a necessity in an era when public opinion recogniz.ed the abuses experienced by women factory workers, in later eras, the Bureau's unique mandate for women has come under fire. As women, along with men, gained improved wages and working conditions, they sought equality - rather than special protection - under the law. From its inception, the Women's Bureau has fought for a consideration of women's employment as an economic and human welfare issue, including larger policy areas affecting American society as a whole. But, even as real improvements were won for workers of both sexes, each decade has produced new variations on the "sweatshop," where women work in fear and despair. Our original congressional mandate kept the Bureau on the lookout for such unacceptable exceptions and encouraged it to keep women's issues alive during those times in American history when the country was least willing or able to pursue them. Today, we can look back on the fruits of our labor, but also on those recurring problems that continue to warrant our best thinking. Proud as we are of its past accomplishments, we also must admit that the goals of this agency remain as much a vision as an accomplishment. Women still seek an end to sex-based discrimination in training for and access to a wider range of occupations and better paying jobs. We still seek safe working environments and fair hiring, personnel, and benefits policies, no matter where or for whom we work. Equal pay for equal work is still only a dream for many women. Women still earn, on the average, less than two-thirds as much as men. We remain heavily concentrated in the lowest paying jobs, despite some impressive inroads in traditionally male professions and occupations. Minority women remain at the bottom of the ladder in the wage/occupation categories while bearing the heaviest responsibilities as solesupporters of dependents. Traditional social attitudes are still embedded in many employee benefit policies, despite the dramatic changes in earning and family responsibilities undertaken by women alone, or shared with their spouses. We still seek recognition in policies - not only in words - for our economic need to work, for the human needs which arise from the multiple roles women continue to fill as workers, mothers, wives, and single parents and for our potential and proven capabilities in assuming greater responsibilities in our society as a whole. What has changed - greatly - since 1920 are the social , economic, legal , and political contexts in which working women's issues have developed, the range of working environments and occupations in which women may be found , and the demographic characteristics of the female labor force. Working on behalf of women workers today requires that we address a vastly wider range of different needs and a proliferation of sub-issues - different manifestations, if you will - of the basic issues all working women have held in common throughout the decades. The Women's Bureau has been anticipating, identifying, and responding to these changes for 65 years. While the Bureau and a few other groups trod a lonely path in the early years, the Bureau was joined in the pursuit of its goals by a much broader field of active organizations and community bodies as time went by. Thanks to such cooperative efforts, working women today 5 have a much greater choice of alternative approaches, support, action, and solutions in the pursuit of their aspirations than ever before. The Bureau has always refused to consider women as a special interest group. Women constitute one-half the population, a population with some special characteristics, but whose activities and welfare ultimately have a powerful impact upon our entire society. Because of its focus on the changing patterns of women at work in America, the history of the Women's Bureau necessarily charts the major political, social, economic and demographic changes of the past 65 years of this American century. The Bureau was born out of an industrial revolution, the early struggles of the women's and labor movements and the First World War. Throughout its lifetime it has meshed with national and international trends, integrating women's concerns into the formulation of broad ranging policies and programs. 6 An unflagging dedication to its original mandate and its flexible, cooperative approach have helped the Bureau to survive and lead. It has shifted its priorities thmughout the decades to those areas where it uniquely could serve women best. It has willingly acted as a catalyst for the creation of new groups with which to share its duties as partners in progress for women. The Women's Bureau has been the protector of women laborers in the 1920's and the Depression, an advocate for female war-time workers in the 1940's, a proponent of key legislation in equal employment and civil rights matters in the 1950's and 1960's, an initiator and supporter of national and local affinnative action programs in the 1970's, and a forger of new links between the public and private sectors to enhance women's employment opportunities across the country in the 1980's. The Bureau's future roles will be defined by the needs of women workers. ■ Today, the Women's Bureau remains committed to its mandate. It continues to anticipate new needs and to seek innovative, effective responses. It remains the only agency at Federal level of Government with a congressional mandate to promote the welfare of working women. Using its strategic position in the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Labor and 10 Federal regions across the Nation, the Bureau elicits the cooperation, support and action of a diverse network of other Federal agencies, State, regional and local authorities, labor unions, women's and social service organizations, the corporate world, private foundations, professional associations, educational institutions, and international bodies. This 65th birthday celebration must include a sincere expression of gratitude and appreciation for the contributions of these "coworkers" to our work. We at the Bureau believe that the high degree of interaction and cooperation achieved over the decades is itself a testimony to the success of our mutual endeavors. The Bureau has enjoyed its share of success, as well as experiencing the struggles, erosions of achievement, recoveries, reassessments, and sense of renewal that anyone reaching the wise age of 65 might hope to look back upon. But this senior citizen is not about to retire; there is still too much work to do and no one as well-qualified as the Women's Bureau to do it. On behalf of the Bureau, I invite you to join us in forging a new era in women's employment. ct-tL_~ Lenora Cole Alexander 7 8 A Contrast ,n Profiles M any achievements are reflected in the following account of the history of the Women's Bureau - a major volume in the history of women at work in America. A few statistics sketch a striking contrast in profiles between the women who worked in 1920 and today's working women. When the Bureau was founded, the working woman was most likely to be single, in her twenties, and generally went to work out of expediency to help her family in times of economic hardship. She did not expect to work for many years, nor to acquire the same skills, seniority or wages as working men. She was most likely to be found in "women's jobs," such as factory or other operative work, clerical, private household, or agricultural work, requiring little education and skill. Only one out of five of her contemporaries probably graduated from high school. Less than onefourth of all women between the ages of 20 and 60 were working, and only 18 percent of women ages 35-64 were employed. The female labor force totalled about 8.25 million, of which approximately one-third were to be found in factories. Women represented less than 20 percent of the total American labor force. Today, 50 million women workers make up nearly 44 percent of the nation's civilian work force. While the total labor force grew by 21 percent between 1975-84, women made up more than 62 percent of the growth. Well over half of all women age 18-64 are working, and women are most likely to be working between the ages of 25-54 (70 percent). The typical woman worker today is a working mother, and she is increasingly likely to be widowed , divorced, or married to a man making less than $15,000 per year. At the age of 35, she can expect to work for another 25-31 years. The average working woman is a high school graduate with some college or post-secondary training, but 41 percent of all women workers now hold college degrees. She is most likely to be working in a clerical job, nursing, teaching below the college level or in retail sales - all relatively low paying occupations. But women have dramatically increased their participation in nontraditional areas, significantly in management and administration (34 percent female in 1984), as well as in the professions, police protection, and skilled trades. Women are also venturing into sole-proprietorship as entrepreneurs - some three million by 1984. Today,' some women can be found in all of the 514 individual occupations identified in the 1980 census. 9 Mary Anderson appointed by President Woodrow W ilson, served 1920-1944. T he first "up from the ranks" labor woman to head an executive department of the Federal Government, Mary Anderson led the Bureau for nearly 25 years, continuing efforts begun in her youth to win better wages, hours, and working conditions for women. She served five presidents and more important, the ranks of women workers which swelled from 8.25 million in the year she assumed her position, to some 19.61 million by 1945. An immigrant from Sweden, she arrived in the U.S. in 1889 at the age of 16 and took her first job as a dishwasher in a Michigan lumberjack boarding house for $1.50 per week. Moving and changing jobs, seeking better pay and conditions, she eventually became a skilled shoe worker earning $14 a week. She was the first worker at her plant to join a union and eventually became president of the Shoe Stitchers Local 94 of the International Boot and Shoe Workers Union. After 18 years in the shoe trade, Mary Anderson spent 8 years travelling across the country organizing women in the trades into union for the Women' Trade Union League 10 (WTUL). While attending the Versailles Peace Conference as a WTUL representative, she drew President Wilson's attention to the need for a clause in the International Labor Organization's constitution that would give women the right to participate in its work. Later, she became the first woman to do so. At the outbreak of World War I, Miss Anderson was appointed assistant director and, eventually director of the newly formed temporary agency in the War Department, Woman-in-Industry Services (WIS), established to "insure the effective employment of women while conserving their health and welfare." In July of 1918, WIS was transferred to the Department of Labor. In 1920, responding to decades of lobbying by women's organizations, Congress gave WIS permaneni peacetime status as an agency of the Department of Labor, to be known as the Women's Bureau. Under her directorship, the Bureau investigated and reported on working women, their environments, conditions and needs, setting standards eventually incorporated into labor laws at the State, and finally, Federal level. She was largely responsible for the inclusion of women in the Federal Wage and Hour Law of 1938 (currently known as the Fair Labor Standards Act). Mary Anderson combatted exploitation of women in all forms, demonstrating an "admirable obstinacy" which has inspired Bureau staff ever since. Having witnessed the slippage in ground gained by women workers after the First World War, she fought for and succeeded in winning more skills training, wider job opportunities, and better pay and work conditions for women who responded in unprecedented numbers to the call for workers in World War II. Before retiring in 1944, she wrote and spoke extensively on the need to plan for reconversion of wartime women workers into peacetime contributors to the national economy. She had no illusions about the difficulties women would continue to face, writing in 1944: "Calm recital of facts and figures will scarcely allay rising fear in some quarters that women will take jobs from returning soldiers. Nor will statistical statements prevent unjust and unfounded discrimination against women workers. Facing the special problems of women and formulating specific solutions must be the line of action. Otherwise, in the transition period of sudden demobilization of both military and industrial forces, with large numbers of jobless persons competing for work, women will be the victims of a catchas-catch-can _'~ation. Another complication looms as a result of women's migration in the past two years from less to more essential jobs, from civilian to war industries: Many women, having burned their occupational bridges behind them, may try in vain to go back to their former fields unless given special assistance . . . Full employment of our productive resources . . .is essential to save the country from a worse depression than the one that began in 1929. . . full employment means women as well as men . . . To evaluate women's services on a cheaper basis than men's or to permit women to compete with men as workers on lower wage levels is neither sound nor just. I prefer to state the equal-pay policy. . .in the terms advocated by the Women's Bureau from its beginning - that wage rates should be based on occupation and not on sex." ("The Postwar Role of American Women;' American Econormc Review Supplemen~ Vol. XXXIV, No. 1, March 1944). After her retirement, "the dean of Federal women," continued to give the Women's Bureau valued guidance and to promote better conditions for working women by lecturing, writing, and testifying before Congress and international bodies on their behalf. She also served as Chairman of the National Committee on Equal Pay. But, Mary Anderson left a legacy to all workers. In 1962, at the age of 90 and shortly before her death, she was honored with the Department of Labor's "Award of Merit" in recognition of her significant contribution toward furthering the work of the Department to "foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners in the United States." Perhaps for this champion of workers and women an even more meaningful reward was living to see passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act shortly before her death in 1964. 11 Frieda S. M iller, appointed by President Harry S. Truman, served 1944-1953. hen Mary Anderson prepared to retire, she said she would not have been willing to do so without the assurance that "the right kind of woman" would succeed her. The person was found, Frieda S. Miller, whom Miss Anderson described as "ideal for the job." Born in Wisconsin, Miss Miller earned a bachelor's degree at Milwaukee Downer College/Wisconsin and pursued four years of graduate study in economics, sociology, political science, and law at the University of Chicago. She then joined the newly established department of social economy at Bryn Mawr College as a research assistant and became secretary of the Philadelphia Women's Trade Union League, holding the position through the post-World War I period. This brought her into close contact with the American labor movement and women workers in particular. She was active in the Worker's Education Bureau of America, erving on its executive board until 1924. Frieda Miller travelled as a delegate to the 1923 International Congress of Working Women W 12 in Vienna. She spent a year in Europe studying labor conditions in England, Germany, and Austria. On her return in 1924, she put these experiences to work as a factory inspector for the Joint Board of Sanitary Control of the women's gannent industry in New York, . gathering and compiling statistics on conditions in the industry. She joined the staff of the New York City Welfare Council in 1927, followed by an appointment as director of the Division of Women in Industry and Minimum Wage of the New York State Labor Department, where she helped strengthen laws affecting the hours, wages, and working conditions of women. Appointed Industrial Commissioner of New York State in 1938, she replaced Frances Perkins who left the post to become the first woman cabinet member as Secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1943, she went abroad as a special assistant to Ambassador to England, John G. Wmant, building upon international experience gained at Pan-American and International Labor Conferences during the previous decade. As Director of the Women's Bureau, she united her experiences and capabilities to continue the work begun by Miss Anderson, focusing upon postwar employment prospects for American women. Commenting on the immediate postwar period some 20 years later, she said, "The arresting fact about the employment picture for women was not the exodus of those who left the labor market after the war. . .but rather the continuation in gainful employment of the millions whose services were needed by the economy, and who, in turn, depended upon their pay envelopes to cover living expenses." (Women's Bureau archives.) Child care and household employment became pressing issues for those who remained in the work force. "More than half of the present total of 18.5 million women workers are married. In about a fourth of the families where the husband is employed, the wife is also in the labor force. Five million women workers have children under 18. Four million women are heads of families. Under these circumstances, unless satisfactory arrangements can be made for the care of children by obtaining competent household help through child-care centers or in some other way, family life suffers and absenteeism among working mothers rises as they struggle with home responsibilities and emergencies. . .(but) conditions in domestic employment have for the most part been left to be determined by the individual decisions of housewives and women seeking work. This field of employment is roughly speaking, at the stage of development where industries such as the needle trades were half a century ago," she wrote in 1952. ("Household Employment in the United States," International Labour Review, Vol. LXVI, No. 4, October 1952.) Frieda Miller also used her international contacts to share information and cooperate in the new initiatives of labor and women's organizations in Europe, the Philippines, and the Americas. These international efforts were given new impetus by the establishment of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 1946. Miss Miller continued to seek new directions for American women workers and linkages with their counterparts abroad until her resignation in 1953. P eacetime and wartime wages for women have a common denominator women earn Jess than men." - Eliz.abeth Christman, Women's Bureau staff member and National Women's Trade Union League organizer, 1942. 13 Alice K. Leopold, appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, served 1953-1961. T he third director of the Women's Bureau presided over what many look back upon as the doldrums in the history of the women's movement and of working women's issues in particular - the Fifties. But Alice K. Leopold's own background and the types of studies conducted during her directorship point to some teady, if unpublicized, progress and changes that would lead to new momentum in the decades ahead. Mrs. Leopold was the first married woman to hold the directorship. She had a background in retail management - as personnel director of two large department stores, Hutzler Brothers in Baltimore and B. Altman & Co. in New York - rather than in the industrial environment that characterized her predece or . She had also held elective, not merely appointed State government positions, gaining practical experience of the political and legi lative proces es from the in ide as Secretary of State for Connecticut and a member of the Connecticut legislature. All of these differences symbolized changes in the profile of the American woman worker and suggested some new possibilities. Women had only gained the right to vote in 1920, when the Bureau was founded; now its director was a seasoned politician, with additional experience as secretary and project chairman of the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations; a manager, not just an employee; and a wife and mother, too. Mrs. Leopold's tenure also suggested that women, while ever in economic need of work, might also enjoy some psychological and intellectual rewards from their employment just like men. She stated in a speech before a 1955 conference, "The Effective Use of Womanpower": "Not only can men and women work together side by side, but in this era, our Nation needs this kind of working partnership. The contributions of both men and women to the economy are necessary if our Nation is to maintain its high level of productivity, its great capacity to use new methods, its high standard of living and of good working conditions. . . people, whether men or women, work for the same reason. They work for their economic survival. Hopefully, they work at jobs that interest them, that give them a feeling of accomplishment." Mrs. Leopold received additional duties as special advisor to the Secretary of Labor on _________-- - ........ ....,.........-_,,..... - SMAl i. policies relating to employment standards for women, serving also as Chair of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on woman power. During her directorship, the Women's Bureau documented changes in women's occupations, publicized employment and training opportunities in insurance, professional accounting, mathematics and statistics, legal work, physical and biological sciences, and technologies, and highlighted the phenomenon of increasing numbers of women in higher education by surveying the first jobs taken by new women graduates. Other studies reported on child care and maternity benefits for working women, and investigated the needs and provisions for "older" women workers. By the time Mrs. Leopold resigned in 1961, the stages was set for the next two decades which would see the most profound changes in American social and labor relationships since the Great Depression. 15 Esther Peterson, appointed by President John F. Kennedy, served 1961-1964. om in Utah, the descendant of pioneers and Swedish immigrants, Esther Peterson brought to the Women's Bureau a broad and deep background in education, labor, and women's affairs. Her varied experiences in the U.S. and abroad helped her fulfill the expanding responsibilities of the Women's Bureau in the early 1960's. With a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and a master's from Columbia University, Mrs. Peterson began a teaching career that spanned 12 years, including 6 years at the Windsor School, Boston, where she also taught garment workers at the YWCA. She then alternated teaching with her family responsibilities until 1939. During thi period, she joined the National Consumers League, and remained an active member, serving on its board of directors for 15 years. Between 1939 and 1944, Mrs. Peterson served as assistant to the director of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. By 1945 she had become the union's legislative representative in Washington, a po t he held until moving overseas with her B 16 husband, a foreign service officer. While living in Sweden and in Belgium, Mrs. Peterson participated in several international conferences, establishing relationships with women leaders of the labor movement in Europe. She was one of the organizers and teachers of the first International School for Working Women held in LeBreviere, near Paris. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1957, Esther Peterson was named legislative representative of the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO, serving in this post until appointed Director of the Women's Bureau in 1961. She commented shortly after assuming her new post, "We don't intend to slip back into any of the old notions about women's place. Their place is where they can do the most good . . ." Later that same year, the President also named her Assistant Secretary of Labor for Labor Standards. But the major event for Mrs. Peterson and the Bureau's constituency in 1961 was the establishment of the first President's Commission on the Status of Women, on which she served as executive vice chairman, under the chairmanship of Eleanor Roosevelt. Remembering the kind of thinking that led to the establishment of the Commission in an article she prepared more than two decades later, she wrote: "I believed we needed a definitive study in the United States to assess where women were, one that could identify inequalities systematically and examine possible solutions. We needed to burst the bonds of the narrow and anachronistic view that the Women's Bureau in the Department of Labor 'took care' of women as far as the Federal Government was concerned. I wanted to get consideration of women into the warp and woof of everything." ("The Kennedy Commission;' Women in Washington: Advocates for Public Policy, Irene Tinker, ed. , 1983.) The Commission's report, ''American Women," presented in 1963 as "an invitation to action," became the blueprint for developing policies and programs to increase women's participation in all sectors of American life. While admitting that many of the proposals sound moderate today, Mrs. Peterson noted that some are not yet realized. Writing about the report's recommendations, she said, "Our goal was to begin to address women's problems in a comprehensive manner and to move toward changes based on practical considerations. Women were already working; we did not, despite some press reports, encourage them to do so, but we did insist that they had a right to work, to be treated fairly and to be offered reasonable compensation in order to help them meet their obligations to themselves, their families, their communities and the nation . . .we did not propose to restructure society. Rather, we strove to fit new opportunities into women's lives as they were. We were practicing the art of the possible." The Bureau continued with its own studies under Mrs. Peterson, including indepth reports on 1945 women college graduates 15 years later, new job horizons for the degree-holders of the sixties, a geographical comparison of the status of women workers, and an important report on black women workers at the opening · of the decade. During Mrs. Peterson's directorship, the Bureau achieved renewed momentum, broader support and higher visibility from its key position in coordinating women's issues at the Federal level - among government agencies, the White House, state and local government bodies and private groups. Its major legislative achievement was passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. 17 Mary Dublin Keyserling, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, served 1964-1969. T he Bureau's fifth director brought a hard-edged economist's eye to working women's issues, as well as experience in education and social welfare. A graduate of Barnard College in her native New York, Mary Dublin Keyserling completed her graduate study at the London School of Economics and Columbia University. She taught economics and statistics at Sarah Lawrence College from 1933 until 1938, when she began a 3-year term as general secretary of the National Consumers League. From 1941 until 1953, Mrs. Keyserling held high-level economic posts in Federal Government agencies, including that of director of the International Economic Analysis Division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. From 1953 until her appointment to head the Bureau in 1964, she was associate director of the Conference on Economic Progress, a national research organization concerned with the major problem of the American economy. She al o worked as a consulting economist in private practice in association with her husband. 18 Concurrent with her leadership at the Bureau, Mrs. Keyserling served as Executive Vice Chairman, Interdepartmental Committee on the Status of Women. During her directorship, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including Title VII, and Executive Order 11375 amending 11246 was issued in 1967. These continue to provide the bases for equal rights and equal opportunity for women of all races and ages. With the new legislation, the issue of protection versus discrimination against women workers came to a head, as it had in the early days of the women's labor movement, and would again in the future. Now, much of the protective legislation, so hard-won in previous decades, had to be reassessed in light of women's efforts to gain entry to a much broader range of jobs and occupations on an equal footing with men. The Bureau, ever responsive to the changing demands and needs of its constituency, led efforts to study the impact of the new legislation on women workers, reassess standing laws, and push for training opportunities which would allow women to follow their interests and fulfill their needs. The Bureau provided support and research to the Citizen's Advisory Council on the Status of Women. It also encouraged extension of commissions and studies beyond the national level. Mrs. Keyserling remembered in a 1981 article for the Barnard Alumnae Magazine, "During the years. . .I served as Director of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, we worked hard and successfully to promote the appointment of Commissions on the Status of Women in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Commissions were also formed in many cities and counties. They played a vital role in furthering equality of rights for women. They reviewed the state and local discriminatory statutes and many were repealed or altered. They encouraged private and public administrative action and did much to educate the public as to needed chang~s not only in law, but in custom, social practice, traditions and attitudes. Women's associations throughout the country were closely associated with this contribution to progress." Mary Keyserling helped the Department of Labor to set an example for other employers by establishing a demonstration child care center in a nearby building for children of low income Department employees. By the end of Mrs. Keyserling's tenure at the Women's Bureau, women's issues, minority Women's issues and working women's issues were not only being discussed, but acted upon by a much larger cast of actors, most of whom had the power of law, numbers or access to public opinion which would make progress formerly only dreamed of, actually begin to happen in the years that followed. 1111e are brought up to believe in fl ll democracy; we are told that if we have talent coupled with ambition, we will go far; those of us who accept this challenge are at a definite disadvantage. We are not told that undemocratic elements are at play and that we will be hindered in our efforts simply because we are women. Someone should have told me years ago that I'd ·have to be content with half a loaf. . . I wouldn't have tried so hard." - Cathryn Crosby, a Michigan secretary, in a letter to the Women's Bureau, 1956. 19 Elizabeth Duncan Koontz, appointed by President Richard M . Nixon, served 1969-1973. lizabeth Duncan Koontz had devoted most E of her life to the field of education before becoming the first black woman to head the Bureau and the highest ranking black woman in the Administration. Born and raised in North Carolina, she earned education degrees at Livingstone College and Atlanta University, did additional graduate work at Columbia Univer ity and Indiana University, and pursued training in special education for the mentally retarded at North Carolina College. Mrs. Koontz' teaching career spanned 30 year (1938-1968), during which she served her home State's public schools, including a 3-year period of work with slow learners and disadvantaged children. In 1962, she served on the North Carolina Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, one of many commission and committee membership in the service of education and ocial development. A life member of the National Education Association (NEA) he represented the NEA on a trip to Berlin in 1962 to ob erve the effect of the Berlin Wall on education. From 1965 to 1966 he erved as president of NEA' largest 20 department, the Association of Classroom Teachers, followed by the position of vice president, 1967-1968. In 1968, Mrs. Koontz became the first black president of the NEA. During her term of service she initiated the Conference on Critical Issues in Education, which sought to eliminate discrimination against women, minorities, and the handicapped, and to destroy many myths and stereotypes plaguing the teaching profession. Her position with the NEA and contributions to numerous other associations and working commissions led her to participate in many national and international conferences around the world. Shortly after being appointed to direct the Women's Bureau, Mrs. Koontz was also named U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. In this capacity, she helped the Bureau share research and expertise with women abroad, especially in the developing countries. Mrs. Koontz took full advantage of the previous year's legislation and the new visibility of women's issues to increase the activities of the Bureau and promote awareness of its programs and purposes among the general public. She also set out to support the fight for passage of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution, given new impetus by the civil rights movement, a shift from the Bureau's traditional opposition to ERA in the past. In general, she sought to make the Bureau a more visible activist, employing a sophisticated public relations sense to gain attention for working women's issues generally and to the special issues of black and minority women in particular. The Bureau had a long history of including black women in its studies and standards policies, because black women had always worked in higher proportions than white women, usually in the most tedious and poorly-paid jobs, under the worst conditions. It took a black director and a new social awareness to bring the message home to the wider public. The first to admit that her own appointment was "tokenism," Mrs. Koontz consistently highlighted the serious problem of bringing historically disadvantaged minority women into the econonuc and political mainstream of the Nation. "Women hold the lowest paying jobs. Black women are at the very bottom." She led the Bureau in extensive outreach efforts to ensure that minority women knew of their newly confinned rights and encouraged them to report problems to the newly formed Federal and State agencies charged with enforcement of civil and equal rights laws, through a program of Bureau- sponsored minority consultation workshops. But Mrs. Koontz never failed to focus on the shared problems of all working women, regardless of race, or econonuc and social status, rooted in sex discrimination. "Our society has set aside roles for women - the pedestal approach. However, the fact is that many women can't stay home even if they want to . . .women are learning that 'til death do us part' doesn't mean her death but her husband's death." Citing in 1972 the increasing figures on households headed by women (one out of nine) and especially among minority women (four out of nine), she called for federally subsidized, community-controlled child care centers to alleviate the number one problem for all working mothers. Major support for working women's rights was gained during Mrs. Koontz' directorship the more explicit Department of Labor regulations requiring Federal Government contractors to take positive action in eradicating discrimination against women and minorities. The ~omprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973 sought to improve opportunities for disadvantaged workers; with later amendments it would open new doors for women. In 1972, the Secretary of Labor issued an order directing the Women's Bureau to coordinate all Department activities concerning women and designated the director as special counselor to the Secretary of Labor. 21 Carmen Rosa Maymi, appointed by President Richard M . Nixon, served 1973-1977. om in Puerto Rico, Carmen Rosa Maymi was the Bureau's first Hispanic director and the highest ranking Hispanic woman in the Federal Government. A holder of an undergraduate degree in Spanish and master's in education from DePaul University, she also conducted graduate work at the University of Chicago Graduate School. She began her career a an employment counselor with the Migration Division of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in Chicago, followed by a position a a i tant director of an Urban Progress Center of the Chicago Committee on Urban Opportunity, and later as Urban Program Unit Director. M . Maymi entered Federal service in 1966 a a Community Services Specialist in the Office of Economic Opportunity, leaving to act a project director on Federal contracts dealing with model hou ing, ervice to Indian reservations and migrant programs. She returned to the Government to conduct a study on the 'Economic Opportunity of Spanish Speaking People in the 1970' " for submission to the Committee on Economic Discrimination B 22 of the Domestic Council. The first Women's Bureau director to be appointed from within the ranks, she joined the Bureau as a consultant in 1972 and was subsequently named associate director for program development. At her swearing-in ceremonies, Ms. Maymi outlined the growing diversity of the female workforce she was appointed to serve: "I am acutely aware that the 33 million women workers in the United States include women of all races, ethnic backgrounds and religious persuasions, and I am pledged to serve them all. Of particular concern to me are the women who are hard to reach through the usual communication channels - women in isolated regions, women unable to break the language barrier, and women whose poverty has kept them out of the mainstream of economic life. For those, the Women's Bureau must find extraordinary means to provide its services." As director, she worked to develop the Bureau's growing linkages through cooperative programs with private organizations interested in promoting the full utilization and potential of women. In conjunction with the objectives of the International Women's Year - 1975, she led the Bureau in increasing its international activities, travelling around the world to share its experiences. International programs included a joint study between the U.S. Department of Labor and the Ministry of Labor in Japan on the role and status of women in the labor force, as well as ongoing work for the UN Commission on the Status of Women, ILO, and other specialized bodies. Ms. Maymi represented the Bureau at human rights of women conferences and continued to make its resources available to other countries exploring the role of governmental and private organizations for women. On the national level, she designed programs and developed models to illustrate the legal, economic, and social status of women, directed research in traditional Bureau areas, including legal research on existing and proposed Federal and State laws affecting the status of women, and oversaw outreach programs designed to serve those special target groups such as women offenders, trade union women, youth, and minority women, often cooperating with voluntary organizations and commissions. The 1970's also saw increased awareness of the labor contributions and problems facing Hispanic women - due largely to their participation in the first successful efforts to organize farm workers in western agricultural enterprises and factory workers in the southwestern manufacturing plants. Many other Hispanic women were to be found in garment industry sweatshops. Writing for a publication of the National Council of La Raza in 1974, Ms. Maymi pointed out the unique barriers Hispanic women encountered in finding improved work opportunities: "Hampered by a language barrier and discriminated against because of their sex and their ethnic background, few have had the opportunity or incentive to acquire the necessary education. These women had a median level of 9.4 years of schooling in 1970. Only about two out of three women of Spanish origin, aged 25 years and over, could read and write in English in 1969. This situation is improving, however, among young women of Spanish origin, aged 10 to 24, the proportion. . . is now 9 out of every 10. This parallels the improvement in the educational attainment of young Spanish speaking people generally." Still, Ms. Maymi insisted, "the common denominator of discrimination against women is sex, not race." During her directorship, a new Department of Labor building was designed with space set aside for a child care center, self-supported by parental fees and governed by a parental board. This model center paved the way for child care centers at other Government and private sector offices. I \ ; I • \ \ ,\ \ ,· \' ' hen I was appointed to the Board of W Regents in Ohio . . .I was nattered and excited. I was the and only woman first on the Board - a real breakthrough for women on a truly powerful and influential Board. My first experience as the only woman was dismaying. I was treated with great politeness, deference, but I did feel I was not taken seriously. . . When a second woman was appointed, the change was dramatic. We were both considered individual members of the Board, not just women, and listened to accordingly." - Ohio Regent Mary Ellen Ludlum, mid-19'ill's. 23 Alexis M. Herman, appointed by President Jimmy Carter, served 1977-1981. T he second black director, Alexis M. Herman, was the youngest woman to be appointed to the Bureau in its then 59-year rustory. During her directorsrup, the Bureau was elevated to the Office of the Secretary, facilitating its full participation in the Department of labor's overall program planning and policymaking. Born in Alabama, M . Herman received her bachelor' degree from Xavier University in New Orlean and did graduate work at the Univer ity of South Alabama. She spent most of her adult life working in programs to help minoritie , women, and young people to improve their economic status serving as a ocial worker, guidance counselor, community outreach worker, program developer, adrnini trator, and consultant. Ms. Herman came to the Bureau from Atlanta where as national director of the Minority Women Employment Program of R-T-P Inc. he implemented program to place minority women in wrute-collar jobs in 10 itie and to place women in nontraditional blue- ollar job in 4 other cities. She developed 24 the original model for MWEP under the auspices of the Southern Regional Council in 1972. During her directorship, the Bureau mounted new programs to help low-income and young women with employment related problems, cooperating with the Office of Youth Programs in a Demonstration School-to-Work Project for high school girls in urban areas. It increased efforts to improve opportunities for women in nontraditional occupations, backed by new Federal affirmative action programs, pressure on apprenticeship programs to open their ranks to women and amendments to the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, which greatly enhanced its benefits for women workers. The Bureau continued research to define the increasingly varied target groups within its mandate of "working women;' so as to better represent and fulfill their special needs. It focused anew on the special needs of women who work in the home and of older women, pushing for adult education programs to facilitate entry or reentry into the workplace for widowed, divorced, or single-parent women. The Bureau under Ms. Herman sought to strengthen linkages with the private sector, as well as other Government agencies in pursuing its mandate. She wrote in a 1979 article for the Labor Law Journal: "Such linkages are critical to the success of both anti-discrimination and human resources programs because one effort opens doors for women by eliminating artificial barriers to their employment in occupations and industries where they are excluded today, and the other effort assists in the training and referral of qualified women." But there remained many policies that had not yet been corrected: "However, the successes that have been realized in these two areas have not been paralleled by an increased awareness that policies must be reshaped to fit today's realities in the other two broad policy areas . . .family support systems and inequities in the impact of traditional policies governing health, retirement and labor policies . . .these policy areas have not received the same priority. . .and they have not been related to an overall policy to provide support systems to families. . . As earning responsibilities are shared many families view child rearing as the responsibility of both (mother and father). . . Likewise, much remains to be done in reevaluating health, retirement and employment policies formulated for a different set of social values and realities." . Ms. Herman also represented the Department of Labor and the U.S. at many national and international conferences. She was delegate to the UN Mid-Decade Conference on the Status of Women at Copenhagen and at the OECD's first ministerial conference on the status of women in Paris. On both occasions, the Bureau issued publications informing the public on issues addressed and solutions found in the U.S. The Bureau also contributed to the work of the National Advisory Committee for Women, 1978-1979 and the President's Advisory Committee for Women, 1979-1980. p until six years ago, there weren't a U Jot of women doing what I do - but those women who started really paved the way. I have very few problems now from my male co-workers. Mostly it's a matter of curiosity. They say, ''Why do you want to do this work?' Well, first, I Jove the work and I'm good at it. And second, I bought a house last year. I could never have done that in my old job." - Juanita Edwards, journeyman press operator, Washington, D.C. , early 1980's. 25 Lenora Cole Alexander, Ph.D., appointed by President Ronald Reagan, serving 1981-present. r. Lenora Cole Alexander, the third black and ninth woman o hold the Bureau director hip, has a strong background in higher education and public service on behalf of minorities and women. She earned her three degrees, culminating in a doctorate, at the State University of New York at Buffalo. While holding variou teaching and administrative position in higher education in Chicago, Buffalo and Washington, D.C. he promoted programs for the coun eling of women and minoriti and ought way to create new opportunitie for them. Prior to her appointment to the Bureau, Dr. Alexander erved as vice president for tudent affairs at the University of the District of Columbia (1977-1978) and vice pre ident for tudent life at The American Univer ity (1973-1977). Her profi ional and community activiti have included ervice on boards and commi ions with the D.C. Chamber of Commerce D.C. Rental Accommodations Cammi ion ational As ociation of Student Personnel Admini trators, ational Council of egro omen Washington Opportunitie for D 26 Women, Legal Aid Society of Washington, and The American Council on Education. In addition to her responsibilities as Director of the Women's Bureau, Dr. Alexander is a member of the Veterans Administration Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, the President's Task Force on Legal Equity for Women, the Interagency Committee on Women's Business Enterprise and the National Advisory Committee on Women's Educational Programs. Like her predecessors, Dr. Alexander is responsible for ensuring coordination among all Department of Labor agencies on programs affecting women and she serves as the Secretary of Labor's principal advisor on matters relating to the employment of women. In her statement as director-designate before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, in October 1981, Dr. Alexander quoted the original congressional mandate of the Bureau, noting that, "significantly, now more than 60 years later, the needs of working women have not departed greatly from the original mandate . . .primarily for economic reasons, large numbers of women have been thrust into the labor market . . . Women now constitute more than 43 percent of the nation's workforce. In J97CJ, approximately 60 percent of all employed women were single, widowed, separated, divorced, or married to men whose earnings were less than $10,000 a year. Presently, 48 percent of impoverished families. . .are maintained by women . . . Women are a valuable and untapped reservoir of human and economic talent. . .they have always responded to Government policy. Fully utilized, they will be a force in providing workable solutions for many of the economic problems confronting American society. Given the opportunity, women will assist in developing the President's program to revitalize the nation's economy. . ." Dr. Alexander also stated her intention to "enlist assistance from the private sector in responding to the needs of working women. Over the years. . .the Bureau has developed and tested a number of demonstration employment and training models . . . Many of the e models have great portability for use in in the private sector and can facilitate a higher degree of elevation for the status of their women employees. The Women's Bureau is prepared to serve as a link in this type of effort." Under her leadership, the Bureau has mounted a number of initiatives to carry out these ideas through its Washington base in the Department of labor and 10 regional offices across the country. Among them are efforts to promote employer-sponsored child care and to introduce child care at occupational training center sites, address the school-to-work transition problems of young women, and increase the gainful employment of women through job fairs and job matching services. The Bureau is also working more closely with women serving on corporate boards and in high-level management positions, to help other women move up in the management structure. It is advocating the interests of the increased number of female entrepreneurs, whose numbers increased by 30 % between 1972 and 1'!17 alone, totalling some 3 million in 1984. Through the Job Training Partnership Act of 1983, the Bureau has broadened the target groups of women served by its programs, including displaced homemakers, disadvantaged teenagers, dislocated workers and the chronically unemployed. Dr. Alexander has increased the staff at the Bureau's regional offices and secured its own line item budget authority for demonstration projects. She has encouraged the Bureau to become more research oriented, to better identify issues and problems as they arise. Current research topics include employmentrelated needs of women veterans, immigrant women, dislocated women workers, displaced homemakers and older women, and the career transition problems of women in the professions, in addition to its regular legal and economic status reports on working women in the U.S. today. The Bureau is beginning to study the persistence of poverty among working women in an expanding economy. On the international scene, Dr. Alexander and the Bureau cooperate with an everincreasing number of organizations involved in developing policies for the welfare of working women in other countries and on a global scale. She has worked with the ILO and the International Commission on Women, serving as a delegate to its conference in Cartagena, Columbia. She led the U.S. delegations to Paris for meetings of the OECD, Working Party No. 6, on which she serves as elected vice-chair. As a member of the U.S. delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting in Vienna in 1983, Dr. Alexander played a leading role in planning the 1985 World Conference of the UN Decade for Women. She attended the conference in Nairobi as a member of the official U.S. delegation and the Bureau contributed a substantial number of publications on the issues addressed. Carrying on its tradition for preparing women for the future, the Women's Bureau is currently investigating the impact of rapid technological change on women's job opportunities for the rest of this century, and beyond. Tl A Chronology of Women's Labor and Women's Bureau History Selected Events from the Turn of the Century to the Present T he history of women's participation in the American labor force begins long before the Women's Bureau was established in 1920. The following timeline, while by no means complete, highlights some major events in the facilitation of women's contributions to the national economy through wage-earning work from the beginning of this century to the present day. National Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) established at American Federation of Labor convention. 190 5 Illinois branch of the WTUL passes resolution to seek Federal investigations of working women's conditions. NWTUL lobbies with other women's organizations in Washington, D.C. 1906 Bill introduced to fund such reports. 1907 Bill passes; several investigations conducted over 3 years, authorized by Secretary of Commerce & Labor, yield 19 volumes of reports unveiling poor conditions, health, and wages of women workers and recommending establishment of a permanent agency to watchdog and set standards. Women's groups continue to lobby for such an office in the Department of Labor. 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire disaster in New York City focuses national attention on dangerous conditions under which women work. 1913 Department of Labor separates from the Department of Commerce and establishes a Women's Division as a sub-division of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is not effective at the policymaking level due to lack of strong mandate and adequate organization, but does publi h informative materials on segments of the women's labor force. 1916 Jones-Casey bill introduced for establishment of Women's Division in the Department of Labor but does not pass. Women continue to lobby for four more years. 1917 Council of Defense sets up Committee on Women in Indu try, comprising WTUL and Consumers League members to advise it on mean of afeguarding the welfare of women 1903 28 workers during the war. Board of Labor Standards and U.S. Railway Administration set up women's branches, as does the Ordnance Department, the latter to oversee women's work in munitions plants. In July, the first draft of American men to fight in World War I begins to cause shortages of labor. By the fall, the U.S. Employment Service launches campaign to replace men with women in "every position that a woman is capable of filling." A post-Armistice Women's Bureau study showed that while 14,402 women were employed in 562 plants engaged in metal production (other than steel and iron), before the first draft, the figure rose to 19,783 thereafter, and to 23,190 employed in 558 plants after the second draft. 1918 June, War Labor Administration sets up a "Woman in Industry Service" to meet the problems connected with more rapid introduction of women into industry. A month later, Mary Van Kleeck, a WTUL activist, moves from the Ordnance Department to direct the new agency with Mary Anderson as assistant director, and Helen Brooks Irvin as an experienced organizer of black women workers. WIS sets to work to formulate standards for employment of women in war industries, including a 48 hour work week, equal pay, lunch breaks, sanitary, and safety precautions. By August, defense departments begin to include these in war contracts, although many contractors did not observe them. In its five months of existence before the Armistice, the WIS was successful in promoting better working conditions, if not equal pay, for women and it continued to publish detailed reports and guidelines based on the WWI experiences of women and employers until it was transformed into the Women's Bureau in 1920. 1919 One of the most militant years in U.S. labor history. An epidemic of strikes breaks out across the country caused by continued rise in cost of living and post-war economic recession as the country shifted from war to peacetime production. Women and minority workers are among the worst affected by economic problems and cut-backs in jobs; they join in strikes. First International Congress of Working Women meets in Washington, D.C. It later becomes the International Federation of Working Women with the promotion of trade union organization among women as its main priority. 1920 June 5: Congress establishes the Women's Bureau in the Department of Labor with a staff of 20 and a budget of $30,000, under the directorship of Mary Anderson. The WB ~ediately begins its field investigations. Analysis and recommendations on national , state and industry trends affecting women at work begin to emerge. Some titles published in 1920: "Night-Work Laws in the U.S. , 1919"; "The New Position of Women in American Ind~s~ry"; and "Industrial Opportunities and Tram.mg for Women and Girls." Two months later, the 19th Amendment becomes the law of the land, giving women the right to vote. 1921 WB reports on "State Laws Affecting Working Women"; "Health Problems of Women in Industry"; "Woman Street Car Conductors and Ticket Agents"; "Women's Wages in Kansas," among others. 1922 WB investigates "Negro Women in Industry"; "The Family Status of Breadwinning Women"; "The Occupational Progress of Women." 1923 Alice Paul of the National Woman's Party introduces the first proposed amendment to the Constitution on equality for women. WB reports on "Women's Contributions in the Field of Invention" and co-sponsors a Women's Industrial Conference. Federal Government Classification Act passes; an equal pay victory for WB, which exposed hiring and wage discrimination versus women in a 1920 report, "Women in the Federal Government." The new law establishes that Government salaries should be determined by job duties, not sex of employee. 1924 WB reports on "Married Women in Industry"; "Domestic Workers and Their Employment Relations"; and "Women in Alabama Industries." 1925 Rose Knox, president of Knox Co., producers of gelatin for food and industrial purposes, begins to oversee her profitable business "in a woman's way." She institutes one of the first 5-day work weeks, keeps her plants clean and pleasant and wins enduring loyalty from her employees. WB reports on "Home Environment and Employment Opportunities for Women in Coal-Mine Workers' Families" and "Standard and Scheduled Hours of Work for Women in Industry." 1926 WB investigates "Women in the Fruit-Growing and Canning Industries in the State of Washington"; "Lost Time and Labor Turnover in Cotton Mills"; "Effects of Applied Research upon the Employment Opportunities of American Women"; "Women Workers and Industrial Poisons." 1927 WB reports on "Industrial Accidents to Women in New Jersey, Ohio and Wisconsin"; "The Development of Minimum Wage Laws in the U.S. , 1912-1927." 1928 WB reports on "State Laws Affecting Working Women"; "The Employment of Women at Night." 29 WB publishes findings on "Negro Women in Industry in 15 States"; "Conditions of Work in Spin Rooms"; "Women Workers in Hint, Michigan." As the depression hits America, Anne Ronnell is paid $25,000 for writing the song, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" 1930 WB reports on "Variations in Employment Trends of Women and Men"; ''A Survey of Laundries and Their Women Workers in 23 Cities"; "Industrial Home Work"; "Women in 5- and 10-cent Stores and Limited-Price Chain Department Stores"; "The Employment of Women in the Pineapple Canneries of Hawaii." Ellen Church, United Airlines, becomes the first airline stewardess. 1931 WB publishes "Industrial Experiences of Women Workers at the Summer Schools, 1928-1930." Verne Mitchell, aged 19, becomes the first woman to pitch baseball for an organized male team - Chattanooga Baseball Club. 1932 Section 213 of the Federal Economy Act requires that one spouse resign if both husband and wife are working for the Federal Government. A Women's Bureau study later shows that more than 75 percent of those resigning were women. Section 213 remained on the books until 1937. It is but one of many public and private pressures on women to give up "pin money" in favor of the working man in the depression, despite the reality of women's responsibilities for their families' support. WB reports on "Women Office Workers in Philadelphia"; "The Effect on Women of Changing Conditions in the Cigar & Cigarette Industries"; "The Employment of Women in Slaughtering and Meat-Packing." 1933 France Perkin is appointed first woman Cabinet member, when named Secretary of Labor. WB reports on "Women Workers in the Third Year of the Depression - A Study of Students at the Bryn Mawr Summer School"; "Effects of the Depression on WageEamers' Familie : A Second Survey of South 1929 30 Bend"; ''A Study of Change from 8 to 6 Hours of Work." 1934 WB investigates "The Age Factor as It Relates to Women in Business and the Professions"; "The Employment of Women in Puerto Rico"; "The Employment of Women in Offices." 1935 ''A Survey of the Shoe Industry in New Hampshire"; "Employment in Hotels and Restaurants"; "Employment Conditions in Beauty Shops." 1936 More WB reports on "Women Unemployed Seeking Relief in 1933"; "Piecework in the Silk Dress Industry"; "Re-employment of New England Women in Private Industry"; "The Employed Woman Homemaker in the U.S. : Her Responsibility for Family Support." 1937 "Women's Hours & Wages in the District of Columbia in 1937"; "The Legal Status of Women in the United States of America - Summary and State by State." 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act sets minimum wage, maximum hours without overtime, standards to protect workers in most poorly-paid jobs. This law improved working conditions and reduced the need for the \ I WB to carry out field investigatons on basic conditions, freeing it to expand its scope to other issues affecting women workers. Mary Anderson and the WB made major contributions towards the passage of this bill. WB looks back on "Women at Work: A Century of Industrial Changes." 1939 WB publishes "Conditions in the Millinery Industry in the U.S.A."; "Standards for Employment of Women in Industry Recommended by the Women's Bureau." 1940 Slightly more than 11 million women are holding jobs. War in Europe stimulates U.S. production, but men, not women, are first beneficiaries of more jobs. WB issues reports on how women could contribute to upswing and recommends training programs to prepare them for future calls from industry. 1941 Government programs begin to "warm up" unemployed in heavy industry, but most employers still believe women are not suited for a high proportion of available production jobs. After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. enters World War II. A Fair Employment Practices Commission is established to help alleviate discrimination against blacks in war production. Black women especially press to escape from domestic and agricultural jobs into more lucrative factory employment. 1942 As draft begins to decimate the ranks of male workers, the Government is ue a nondiscrimination directive, reversing depression-period restrictions on employment of women, especially married women. Many gains in protective legislation for working women are also waived in favor of wartime needs. For first time, employers actively seek out women workers for nontraditional jobs and some offer services - day care, meals, transportation making it easier for women with families to work. WB publishes a series of 13 reports on women in various wartime industries, as well as "Equal Pay for Women in War Industries" - which was not the practice in many cases. By mid-year, War Manpower Commission starts a campaign to actively recruit women in labor shortage areas. National War Labor Board issues an order "permitting" employers to equalize wages paid to women with those paid to men for work of comparable quality and quantity; Federal government lowers legal working age for women from 18 to 16. 1943 War Production Board announces a need for 1.5 million more women workers within a year. 1944 Between 1940 and 1944, more than 6 million women join the civilian labor force, though fully 75 % of all women working for wages during the war had worked before. By mid-year, the WB had already begun studying the effect of cut-backs in employment of women, as employers prepared for postwar slowdown. Some women began to quit their work voluntarily, many others who preferred to stay were harassed by employers. The Bureau recommended full employment and equal wages for men and women, as part of the reconversion process. Women joined unions in large numbers during the war, in spite of resistance from some trades. Before the war only some 800,000 women belonged to unions (9.4 percent of total union membership) . By 1944, more than 3 million were union members (22 percent of total) . 31 1945 More than 19 million women worked for wages sometime during the war emergency years. With the end of World War II, the_ ~ focuses on postwar employment opportumtles for women and begins its involvement with United Nations organizations relating to women and economic development. Women's Bureau and the WTUL wage an aggressive campaign for a House-sponsored Women's Equal Pay Act. 1946 WB publishes its analyses of World War II industrial experiences for women and begins a series of reports on women workers in other countries. 1948 Economic & Social Council of the UN adopts the principle that women should receive the same pay as men for equal work. WB publishes "Handbook for Women Workers" and looks at "Working Women's Budgets in 12 States." . Some 17.2 million women are employed m the civilian labor force; a drop of 2.4 million from the all-time war period high of 19.6 million in July 1945, but an increase of 835,000 over the 1947 total of 16.3 million. 1949 Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers sponsors first postwar conference of any major union on the problems of women workers. WB publishes "Outlook for Women in Police Work." Miranda Smith, a 40-cent-an-hour tobacco worker becomes the first black woman to serve in the executive councils of a national union, as Southern Regional Director of the FTA. 1950 18 million working women, nearly half of whom are married, make up 29 percent of the workforce, and 32 percent of the working age female population is working. The postwar period aw a drop in young married workers, but half again as many women age 45-54 were working after the war as before. WB publi hes "Women in Higher-Level Po ition ' and tarts a erie on job opportunitie in ocial work, following up on po twar eries on job in medical and healthrelated occupation . 32 1951 WB reports on "Part-time Jobs for Women." 1952 A coalition of civic groups, women's organizations, labor and employer organiza~ions, including the WB, form a National Cormruttee for Equal Pay and hold a conference. WB_ publishes the conference's report, along w1~ its own papers on "Women Workers & Therr Dependents" and "Maternity Protection of Employed Women." 1953 WB reports on "Older Women as Office Workers" and "Employed Mothers and Child Care." 1955 White House Conference on Effective Use of Womanpower in which WB plays major role. Director Leopold describes it as the "beginning of new efforts on the part of the U.S. Department of Labor to develop our country's manpower to the fullest." It explores sex-stereotypes as limits to opportunities for women and presents suggestions for increasing women's labor participation. WB publishes the conference report, and "Employment Opportunities for Women in Professional Accounting." The last of the local branches of the WTUL dissolves itself, on the basis that most of the League's functions have been assumed by the unions. The AFL and CIO merge. 1956 WB reports on "Employment Opportunities for Women Mathematicians and Statisticians"; "College Women Go to Work Report on Women Graduates, 1956." 1959 WB promotes "Careers for Women in the Physical Sciences." 1960 Working women make up 33 percent of the national labor force; 30.5 percent of married women work for wages, contributing about 26 percent of total family income. ~nethird of all wage-earning women hol~ clencal jobs. Nearly 80 percent of wage-earmng women hold jobs stereotyped as "female" and the gender-gap in earnings widens - median annual earnings of women fall to 60 percent of the rate for men. President's Commission on the Status of Women established to investigate participation of women in key areas, including employment. WB takes an active role in studies and recommends ways to overcome sex discrimination in employment. 1962 Presidential memorandum bars discrimination against women in Federal Civil Service hiring and promotions policies. 1963 Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, requiring most companies to pay equal wages regardless of sex to all those performing equal tasks. ''American Women, An Invitation to Action" - report of the Presidential Commission is presented. The Feminine Mystique examines the causes and effects of the underemployment of educated American women. 1964 Congress passes Civil Rights Act, including Title vn, which prohibits firms with 15 or more employees from discriminating on the basis of sex, among other characteristics. Establishes Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to coordinate efforts to implement 1961 the law and to conciliate disputes. Shortly thereafter, the EEOC is flooded with sexdiscrimination complaints. 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act bars discrimination against workers age 45-65. 1968 Executive Order 11246, as amended by 11375, prohibits discrimination in employment on basis of sex, among other characteristics, by all employers with Federal contracts ov_er $10,000, and requires them to file affirmative action programs. 1969 Cornell University becomes the site of the first women's studies course. 1970 31.5 million women make up 38 percent of the civilian labor force. Mor~ than 40 percent of married women are working for wages or looking for work, and the rate am~ng younger women with children begins the rapid increase that will continue throughout the decade. There are 1. 9 million divorced women workers. The proportion of women in unions drops to 12 percent of all union memberships. There is an increase of nearly 80 percent of women in skilled, predominantly male, trades . 33 compared to 1960 - still, their participation accounts for only 2-3 percent of total workers in such trades. "Women's Strike for Equity" - women demonstrate in cities across the country to observe the 50th anniversary of women's suffrage and to highlight demands including equal opportunity in jobs and education. 1971 National Women's Political Caucus organized. Department of Labor rules require Government contractors to take positive action on discrimination against women. 197 2 Congress passes Equal Employment Opportunity Act, outlining in detail anti-sex discrimination guidelines for employers. 20 percent of first year medical students are women, compared to 13.5 percent the year before. 12 percent of first year law students are women, compared to less than 5 percent in 1967. Secretary of Labor issues order directing WB to coordinate all Department activities concerning women, designating its director special counselor to the secretary. 197 3 Comprehensive Employment & Training Act (CETA) passed to help prepare economically disadvantaged persons and those facing barriers to employment to become productive members of the labor force. Programs are to be conducted at the State and local level under the monitoring of the Federal Government. 1974 WB and Department of Labor help to finance Fir t Trade Union Women's Conference in New York City, which leads to the formation of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). At its founding conference in Chicago, it states as its purposes organizing unorganized women, affirmative action in the workplace, political action and legislation, and participation of women in their unions. - 25 % of all black women workers hold clerical job · 11 % remain in domestic service. - Rece ion begins. 1975 Rece ion deepen , women workers harde t hit by unemployment. "9 to 5" founded in Bo ton; it eventually 34 becomes a national association of working women. UN International Women's Year - 1975 begins International Women's Decade. Tax Reduction Act increases availability of income tax deductions for child and dependent care expenses. 1977 Publication of Pink Collar Workers, by Louise Kapp Howe, coins new term to highlight continuing sex-segregation of women in low paying jobs. WB plays leadership role in Interagency Task Force on Women Business Owners. Women now make up T/.6 percent of all union members, due to increased efforts to organize clerical, office, hospital and other workers in predominantly female occupations. 19 7 8 WB input is reflected in Department of Labor's affirmative action guidelines, 1977-78, expanding opportunities for women in apprenticeships and construction work. WB also participates in policy efforts which result in revised CETA; new provisions relate specifically to employment needs of economically disadvantaged women. Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires that women affected by pregnancy be treated the same as other persons similar in their ability/inability to do work. WB's focus expands to include training programs for women in prisons. WB is transferred from Employment Standards Administration to Office of the Secretary of Labor. 1979 For the first time, more than half of all women aged 16 and over are participating in the labor force. Labor force participation of white women has risen rapidly to virtually the same as that of black women. Executive Order 12138 establishes national Policy on Women's Business Enterprise, directing Federal agencies to establish goals for contract awards to women-owned businesses. WB begins funding model programs for career counseling and occupational training of displaced homemakers, women without recent paid work experience or evident marketable skills who must begin to earn their own livelihoods. WB director testifies for amendment to Title VII of Civil Rights Act, banning discrimination in employment based on pregnancy. 1980 More than 40 million women in the workforce, but 80 percent of working women remain in traditionally female jobs. • Sexual Harassment Guidelines reaffinn that sexual harassment is an unlawful employment practice, clarifying what constitutes such harassment and employer responsibility. WB participates in Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) Conference on the Employment of Women/Paris, the first cabinet and ministry level meeting of officials from 24 member countries to address women's issues. WB participates in UN Decade for Women Conference in Copenhagen, having previously sponsored two regional meetings in the U. S. to assess progress and develop strategies for remainder of the decade. 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act increases tax credits and maximum expenditures for child care and excludes employer-provided child care benefits from gross income for tax purposes, expands eligibility definitions and makes provisions for division of IRAs that benefit married, divorced women workers, and homemakers. 1982 WB launches effort to expand use of its model program - "Women in Nontraditional Careers" (WINC) - training school counseling staff, providing classroom instruction on labor market opportunities, and exploring jobs in local communities. Using a WB-produced curriculum guide, regional workshops held over several years result in 30 schools and colleges incorporating the WINC approach. WB, recognizing that mothers of pre-school children are the fastest-growing segment of the labor force, makes establishment of employersponsored child-care systems across the country a priority initiative. Publications, conferences, workshop are spon ored, and technical assistance provided to encourage company and community-based responses to employee's needs. WB also produces a video-tape "The Business of Caring," which presents various options used by employers. 1983 Job Training Partnership Act replace CETA as primary federally-funded job training program. Its goal is to move disadvantaged or dislocated workers to pennanent jobs in the private sector through the cooperation of the public and private sectors, with an emphasi on local administration. WB publishes a guide to JTPA benefits for working women and sponsors workshops to promote its effectiveness. 1984 Emergency Mathematics and Science Education and Jobs Act provides set-asides for special projects for underrepresented and underserved populations, including girls and women, from funds provided to State educational agencies. Retirement Equity Act of 1984 makes it easier for women to collect retirement benefits under ,private pension plans. Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act reauthorizes Federal funding for vocational education, targeting over half the funds allocated to States for programs for special needs groups, primarily women. 1985 WB sponsors national WINC conference for key professionals interested in encouraging young women to pursue nontraditional occupations. WB begins replication of Project Discovery, a pilot program to help first-time job seekers, or, those seeking to reenter the workplace, focusing on minority women, aged 35-50. 1985 World Conference, UN Decade for Women, Nairobi - WB director participates as member of U.S. delegation. WB publishes a report on the major economic and legislative accomplishments of the U.S. during the Decade for Women. WB begins new series of publications on impact of technology on office workers and conducts research to help women veterans take advantage of their military experience in new jobs. 35 JP~ VU T f rJ:- FL')RIO A 1 ll I 111 111 1 11 1111 1 3 1?f,2 059 4? 420 9 Irlirr 11 312 62( 159 424 209 U.S. Department of Labor ~