• Save
ASEE 2010: ’The image of a woman engineer:' Women’s identities as engineers as portrayed by historical newspapers and magazines, 1930-1970.
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

ASEE 2010: ’The image of a woman engineer:' Women’s identities as engineers as portrayed by historical newspapers and magazines, 1930-1970.

on

  • 1,536 views

The Society of Women Engineers’ National Collection is an archive with rich potential for investigating the historical story of women’s identities as engineers. Filled with newspaper and magazine ...

The Society of Women Engineers’ National Collection is an archive with rich potential for investigating the historical story of women’s identities as engineers. Filled with newspaper and magazine clippings, oral histories of pioneer women engineers, and SWE’s own institutional history, these archives allow us to see how women engineers were skillfully positioned as acceptably feminine, despite their peculiar profession. Noting women’s body measurements, hair color, dressing habits, and even home address, in addition to their usual marker of age, such newspaper reports pointed out the unusualness of individual women’s participation in engineering against a backdrop of national discussions on white women’s suitability for the paid workforce and their cultural roles as wives and mothers. Embedded in these historical data are additional threads of race – of note to the newspapers are the white women who choose to work until marriage, rather than women of color colleagues, even sparser to find, and who have never questioned their need to work in the paid workforce.
In this paper we describe the content analysis method by which we processed these historical data, and some of the conclusions we have drawn about women’s identities as engineers as portrayed through historical public sources drawn from 1900-1980 with a focus on the 1950s and 1960s.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,536
Views on SlideShare
1,516
Embed Views
20

Actions

Likes
1
Downloads
0
Comments
0

1 Embed 20

http://feministengineering.org 20

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

ASEE 2010: ’The image of a woman engineer:' Women’s identities as engineers as portrayed by historical newspapers and magazines, 1930-1970. ASEE 2010: ’The image of a woman engineer:' Women’s identities as engineers as portrayed by historical newspapers and magazines, 1930-1970. Presentation Transcript

  • “THE IMAGE OF A WOMAN ENGINEER” WOMEN’S IDENTITIES AS ENGINEERS AS PORTRAYED BY HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES, 1930-1970 Alice L. Pawley, Karen Tonso School of Engineering Education College of Education Purdue University Wayne State University apawley@purdue.edu ag7246@wayne.edu 2 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 2
  • ABOUT THE PROJECT Society of Women Engineers 60th Anniversary Project • Editors Anne Perusek, Lisa Frehill • SWE Archivist Troy Eller • Colleagues: ‣ Bevlee Watford: Women of Color in SWE ‣ Jane Daniels and Nicole Di Fabio: Why Women and Men Join SWE ‣ Tanya Zanish-Belcher: Curtiss-Wright Cadettes ‣ Betsy Homsher: Radical acts of conservative women ‣ Others... 3 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 3
  • TODAY Methods: Doing archival research Results: 1. representations of women engineers as strange, 2. representations of women engineers as normal 3. significant absences Conclusions 4 9 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 4
  • ABOUT THE COLLECTION Society of Women Engineers National Records Collection, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University. • Newspaper, magazine clippings, articles in general category, ‘women in engineering’ from 1885-2004. Collected via: • Clippings service, Press Intelligence, Inc. of Washington DC, in 1955 • Articles sent in by SWE members • Membership and section reports and committee information, particularly of the Committee on Minority Concerns; and • Biographical, oral history materials collected on particular SWE members and leaders. 5 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 5
  • GUIDING QUESTIONS 6 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 6
  • GUIDING QUESTIONS • How are the women explicitly or implicitly described in the article – its headline, body text and images? ‣ How women were described as individuals; ‣ how they described themselves in the article; and ‣ How they were described in relation to men. 6 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 6
  • GUIDING QUESTIONS • How are the women explicitly or implicitly described in the article – its headline, body text and images? ‣ How women were described as individuals; ‣ how they described themselves in the article; and ‣ How they were described in relation to men. • How was the relationship between women, men, and engineering work described? 6 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 6
  • GUIDING QUESTIONS • How are the women explicitly or implicitly described in the article – its headline, body text and images? ‣ How women were described as individuals; ‣ how they described themselves in the article; and ‣ How they were described in relation to men. • How was the relationship between women, men, and engineering work described? • How did article’s author frame the import of the article? ‣ What is “of note”? 6 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 6
  • SOME CAVEATS 7 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 7
  • SOME CAVEATS Keep images in historical context: 7 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 7
  • SOME CAVEATS Keep images in historical context: WW1* Depression * WW2 * Cold War * Civil Rights Mvmt 7 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 7
  • SOME CAVEATS Keep images in historical context: WW1* Depression * WW2 * Cold War * Civil Rights Mvmt Note the limits of photographic technology - posing photos 7 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 7
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE 8 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as invaders! 8 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as invaders! 8 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as invaders! 8 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as invaders! 8 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as invaders! the rich world’s quiet revolution: women are gradually taking over the workplace. 8 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE 9 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as individuals alone among men 9 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as individuals alone among men 9 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as individuals alone among men 9 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as individuals alone among men 9 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as individuals alone among men 10 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as individuals alone among men 10 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women as individuals alone among men 10 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE 11 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women posed with props of engineering 11 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women posed with props of engineering 11 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women posed with props of engineering 11 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women posed with props of engineering 11 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women posed with props of engineering 11 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11
  • 1: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS STRANGE Women posed with props of engineering 11 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... 12 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 12
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 12 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 12
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 12 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 12
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 12 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 12
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 12 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 12
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 12 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 12
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 12 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 12
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 13 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 13
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 13 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 13
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 13 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 13
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 13 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 13
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still look (hegemonically) “feminine”... 13 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 13
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still behave in (hegemonically) “feminine” ways... 14 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 14
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still behave in (hegemonically) “feminine” ways... 14 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 14
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still behave in (hegemonically) “feminine” ways... 14 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 14
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still behave in (hegemonically) “feminine” ways... 14 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 14
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still behave in (hegemonically) “feminine” ways... 14 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 14
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still behave in (hegemonically) “feminine” ways... 14 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 14
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... 15 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 15
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they use their “feminine” skills... 15 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 15
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they use their “feminine” skills... 15 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 15
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they use their “feminine” skills... 15 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 15
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they use their “feminine” skills... 15 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 15
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they use their “feminine” skills... September 17, 1957 The Christian Science Monitor, by Mildred Weiler [...] She can help a customer decide what is best for his requirements [with Sturgis Equipment company, sales engr for hydraulic and pneumatic tools], figure out the type of valve he needs, or how many cubic feet of air he should get with certain equipment, and, when necessary, trip daintily on her high heels out into the shop to repair a tool. "Many people think women engineers are mannish looking," Mrs. Loomis explained, "but a woman defeats her own purpose if she tries to make herself into a masculine type engineer."   It's the feminine qualities and talents a woman brings to engineering that earn for her the acceptance in every type of engineering, according to Mrs. Loomis.  These include a woman's special talent for detail and thoroughness in research, her loyalty and sense of obligation to her employer, and her creative ability, whether it is in designing or in a time study to do a job more efficiently. 15 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 15
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they do “feminine” engineering work... 16 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 16
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they do “feminine” engineering work... 16 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 16
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they do “feminine” engineering work... 16 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 16
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... 17 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 17
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they also do “feminine” work... 17 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 17
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they also do “feminine” work... 17 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 17
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they also do “feminine” work... 17 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 17
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they also do “feminine” work... 17 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 17
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they also do “feminine” work... First Girl Engineer From CCNY Can Cook And Tap Dance, Too By Lillian Callif, New York World-Telegram, 6/25/45 A slim young brunette who heaved rocks to help pay her way though college today held the distinction of being the first girl in the history of the College of the City of New York to have completed the civil engineering course.   Cynthia Bergman, 18 E. 199th St, the Bronx, vivacious and attractive, at 19, is one of the engineering department's youngest graduates. [...] She ushered at the Windsor Theater, clerked for an engineering firm and then, for another engineering company, sorted rocks. "Certain sizes," she explained, "are needed for concrete. I threw them into piles.  I also mixed concrete.  That's a little more work than mixing cake batter." Some Thought Her a Joke "Cook?" she said in surprise.  "Of course, and bake and wash and iron and sew too.  I'm the domestic kind.  A good thing too, because I'm engaged to a boy who graduated in civil engineering at CCNY." 17 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 17
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... 18 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 18
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still serve as romantic and sexual objects of men... 18 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 18
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still serve as romantic and sexual objects Engineering Student Has 57 'Boy of men... Friends' Among 58 engineering students in the new college-training program jointly sponsored by the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard and Pratt Institute, Rona Lepine, 18, has the distinction, half-enviable and half-terrifying, of being the only girl. .... How do the boys treat her? "They curtail their language somewhat.  They treat me fine.  Just call me 'the girl with 57 boyfriends. [Photo caption: ]Rona Lepine: Delightful Dilemma 18 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 18
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still serve as romantic and sexual objects of men... Engineering Student Has 57 'Boy Friends' Among 58 engineering studentsBelle the Engineer Tops 'em A in of an New York World-Telegram, Thursday June 10 1 new college-training program jointly by Sally MacDougall sponsored by the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard and Pratt Institute, Rona Member Leads Graduates of Brookly Only Girl Poly Class Lepine, 18, has the distinction, Last night, at the 93rd commencement of the half-enviable and half-terrifying, INstitute of Brooklyn, top hono Polytechnic went to Ann Gunsolus, 21, only girl graduat of being the only girl. a class with 296 men.   .... [...] How do the boys treat her? What a Stagline! [...]With a stagline of hundreds of "awfull "They curtail their language nice boys" for four years, Ann has never pi somewhat.  They treat me fine. dates.  "I've gone dancing with several for  Just it was not fun, but men engineers are not v call me 'the girl with 57 good dancers.  They're easy men to be with. boyfriends. Their minds are methodical and they don't g off on temper tangents." [Photo caption: ]Rona Lepine: Delightful Dilemma 18 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 18
  • 2: WOMEN ENGINEERS AS NORMAL IFF... ...they still serve as romantic and sexual objects of men... Engineering Student Has 57 'Boy Friends' Among 58 engineering studentsBelle the Engineer Tops 'em A in of an She Designs New Plan LoadingSally World-Telegram, Thursday June 10 1 New York new college-training program jointly (sic) by Platform MacDougall by Mary Anderson sponsored by the Brooklyn Naval ShipyardYork World-Telegram, Friday Mar 30, Leads Graduates of Brookly New and Pratt Institute, Rona Member 1945 Only Girl Poly Class [...] Lepine, 18, has the distinction, Her fine hand for fashion Last night, at the 93rd commencement of the designing isn't completely half-enviable these half-terrifying, she's spending her freehono neglected and days, however, as INstitute of Brooklyn, top Polytechnic went to Ann Gunsolus, 21, only girl graduat of being designing her trousseau to withused men. April when she time the only girl. a class be 296 in   .... flies to California to be [...]married. How do the boys treat her? What a Stagline! [...]With a stagline of hundreds of "awfull "They curtail theirairlines romance," for four years,  "My fiance pi "Yes, it was an language nice boys" she smiled. Ann has never somewhat.  They treat me fine. dates. here after dancing with several was in the engineering department  "I've gone his discharge for  Just from the Army.  I might go into not fun, but men engineers are not v it was industrial engineering call me 'the girl with 57 good dancers.  They're easy men to be with. after the war, but I think we'll be content to have one boyfriends. in the family." Their minds are methodical and they don't g engineer off on temper tangents." [Photo caption: ]Rona Lepine: Delightful Dilemma 18 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 18
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Men’s voices 19 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 19
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Men’s voices 19 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 19
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Men’s voices 19 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 19
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Men’s voices 19 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 19
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES 20 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 20
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color 20 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 20
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color 20 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 20
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color 20 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 20
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color 20 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 20
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color 1st girl in 43 years to Get Pratt Engineering Degree (no byline) New York Times 1941? For the first time in forty-three years the School of Science and Technology of Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, will graduate a woman engineer at its annual commencement exercises tomorrow afternoon in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place.   She is Isabelle Suarez, 22 years old, of 531 West 143d Street. Miss Suarez confessed yesterday that she has been interested in a scientific career since her seventh grade in elementary school, but was at first undcided (sic) between medicine, nursing and chemistry.   She finally selected a career in chemical engineering, she said, because of the influence of her chemistry teacher at Textile High, from which she was graduated in 1937.   Miss Suarez explained that she will begin her career with research chemistry because she feels that many branches of chemical engineering may be closed to women, at least temporarily.  A native of Havana, she speaks Spanish as well as English, and hopes that there may be an opening for her in one of the Latin-American 20 countries, or in the local office of a Latin-American firm. Tuesday, June 22, 2010 20
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color 21 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 21
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color "They Forgot to Tell Me I Couldn't Do It"  by Susan Paynter, no publication name p. 1, p. 4 col 5; 1971 When Yvonne Clark was a Kentucky high school student she wasn't permitted to study mechanical drawing.  It wasn't a proper class for girls. Today she's head of the mechanical engineering department of Tennessee State University. Mrs. Clark became a professional engineer in the South at a time when industry didn't hire black engineers, certainly not black women engineers.  "I guess somebody just forgot to tell me I couldn't do it," she said. [...] After college and professional experience with RCA, she couldn't get a job in Southern industry.  Predominantly black Tennessee State U. was the only place that would hire her. "I went South to say 'I do,'" she said.  "If I hadn't married that rascal I probably wouldn't be there now."  Her husband is a biochemistry instructor. [...] "Something about mechanical engineering gives parents an idea it's a manual or physical field," she said.  "And, at least in the South, black parents decide what their kids will major in. "Money's short and they have to be sure there will be a return on their investment.  They somehow think mechanical engineering is less  prestigious and less lucrative.  It's not. "Mechanical engineers make ideas into realities and we're in demand.  A woman just has to be twice as good to get hired and being black just compounds the felony." [...] "I've known situations when a company had to pull a man off an assignment because his wife was / (p. 4) pregnant.  They'd send a woman instead. "If bosses claim women are too emotional because they cry, I tell them women who cry have fewer ulcers and are medically more sound than men who keep their feelings bottled up.  I may cry a barrel but then I pick up the pieces and go on." [...] "Fifteen years ago race was my main stumbling block to becoming an engineer.  I'm now working on an internship in industry for my engineering management master's degree. "This time being a woman has been the main problem.  There's an economic squeeze in Nashville and when companies hire, white men come first, then white women, then black men and then me. "But I think my employer at Ford Motor Company's glass plant stuck out his neck to choose me.  After I finish I'll go to Vanderbilt University for the final semester, then back to Tennessee State to teach. 21 "With this extra practical experience, I'll be able to help my students more and convince the women that, like me, they can do it if they try." Tuesday, June 22, 2010 21
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color "They Forgot to Tell Me I Couldn't Do It"  by Susan Paynter, no publication name p. 1, p. 4 col 5; 1971 "Something about mechanical engineering When Yvonne Clark was a Kentucky high school student she wasn't permitted to study mechanical drawing.  It wasn't a proper class for girls. gives parents an idea it's a manual or Today she's head of the mechanical engineering department of Tennessee State University. physical field," she said.  "And, at Mrs. Clark became a professional engineer in the South at a time when industry didn't hire black engineers, certainly not black women engineers.  "I guess somebody just forgot to tell me I couldn't do it," she said. [...] least in the South, black parents decide After college and professional experience with RCA, she couldn't get a job in Southern industry.  Predominantly black Tennessee State U. was the only place that would hire her. what their kids will major in. "I went South to say 'I do,'" she said.  "If I hadn't married that rascal I probably wouldn't be there now."  Her husband is a biochemistry instructor. [...] "Something about mechanical engineering gives parents an idea it's a manual or physical field," she said.  "And, at least in the South, black parents decide what their kids will major in. "Money's short and they have to be sure there will be a return on their investment.  They somehow think mechanical engineering is less  prestigious and less lucrative.  It's not. "Mechanical engineers make ideas into realities and we're in demand.  A woman just has to be twice as good to get hired and being black just compounds the felony." [...] "I've known situations when a company had to pull a man off an assignment because his wife was / (p. 4) pregnant.  They'd send a woman instead. "If bosses claim women are too emotional because they cry, I tell them women who cry have fewer ulcers and are medically more sound than men who keep their feelings bottled up.  I may cry a barrel but then I pick up the pieces and go on." [...] "Fifteen years ago race was my main stumbling block to becoming an engineer.  I'm now working on an internship in industry for my engineering management master's degree. "This time being a woman has been the main problem.  There's an economic squeeze in Nashville and when companies hire, white men come first, then white women, then black men and then me. "But I think my employer at Ford Motor Company's glass plant stuck out his neck to choose me.  After I finish I'll go to Vanderbilt University for the final semester, then back to Tennessee State to teach. 21 "With this extra practical experience, I'll be able to help my students more and convince the women that, like me, they can do it if they try." Tuesday, June 22, 2010 21
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color "They Forgot to Tell Me I Couldn't Do It"  by Susan Paynter, no publication name p. 1, p. 4 col 5; 1971 "Something about mechanical engineering When Yvonne Clark was a Kentucky high school student she wasn't permitted to study mechanical drawing.  It wasn't a proper class for girls. gives bosses claim women are too emotional "If parents an idea it's a manual or Today she's head of the mechanical engineering department of Tennessee State University. physical field," she said. them women who because they cry, I tell  "And, at Mrs. Clark became a professional engineer in the South at a time when industry didn't hire black engineers, certainly not black women engineers.  "I guess somebody just forgot to tell me I couldn't do it," she said. [...] least have fewer ulcers and are medically cry in the South, black parents decide After college and professional experience with RCA, she couldn't get a job in Southern industry.  Predominantly black Tennessee State U. was the only place that would hire her. what their kids will major in. their more sound than men who keep "I went South to say 'I do,'" she said.  "If I hadn't married that rascal I probably wouldn't be there now."  Her husband is a biochemistry instructor. [...] feelings bottled up.  I may cry a barrel "Something about mechanical engineering gives parents an idea it's a manual or physical field," she said.  "And, at least in the South, black parents decide what their kids will major in. but then I pick up the pieces and go "Money's short and they have to be sure there will be a return on their investment.  They somehow think mechanical engineering is less  prestigious and less lucrative.  It's not. on." [...] "Mechanical engineers make ideas into realities and we're in demand.  A woman just has to be twice as good to get hired and being black just compounds the felony." [...] "I've known situations when a company had to pull a man off an assignment because his wife was / (p. 4) pregnant.  They'd send a woman instead. "If bosses claim women are too emotional because they cry, I tell them women who cry have fewer ulcers and are medically more sound than men who keep their feelings bottled up.  I may cry a barrel but then I pick up the pieces and go on." [...] "Fifteen years ago race was my main stumbling block to becoming an engineer.  I'm now working on an internship in industry for my engineering management master's degree. "This time being a woman has been the main problem.  There's an economic squeeze in Nashville and when companies hire, white men come first, then white women, then black men and then me. "But I think my employer at Ford Motor Company's glass plant stuck out his neck to choose me.  After I finish I'll go to Vanderbilt University for the final semester, then back to Tennessee State to teach. 21 "With this extra practical experience, I'll be able to help my students more and convince the women that, like me, they can do it if they try." Tuesday, June 22, 2010 21
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Women of color "They Forgot to Tell Me I Couldn't Do It"  by Susan Paynter, no publication name p. 1, p. 4 col 5; 1971 "Something about mechanical engineering When Yvonne Clark was a Kentucky high school student she wasn't permitted to study mechanical drawing.  It wasn't a proper class for girls. gives bosses claim women are too emotional "If parents an idea it's a manual or Today she's head of the mechanical engineering department of Tennessee State University. physical field," sheago race waswomen who because they years I said. them my main "Fifteen cry, tell  "And, at Mrs. Clark became a professional engineer in the South at a time when industry didn't hire black engineers, certainly not black women engineers.  "I guess somebody just forgot to tell me I couldn't do it," she said. [...] leaststumbling block black parentsan engineer.   in the South, to becoming decide cry have fewer ulcers and are medically After college and professional experience with RCA, she couldn't get a job in Southern industry.  Predominantly black Tennessee State U. was the only place that would hire her. what I'm now than men on ankeep their in more sound working major internship their kids will who in. "I went South to say 'I do,'" she said.  "If I hadn't married that rascal I probably wouldn't be there now."  Her husband is a biochemistry instructor. [...] feelings bottled my engineering management industry for up.  I may cry a barrel "Something about mechanical engineering gives parents an idea it's a manual or physical field," she said.  "And, at least in the South, black parents decide what their kids will major in. but master'spick up the pieces and go then I degree. "Money's short and they have to be sure there will be a return on their investment.  They somehow think mechanical engineering is less  prestigious and less lucrative.  It's not. on." [...] "Mechanical engineers make ideas into realities and we're in demand.  A woman just has to be twice as good to get hired and being "This time being a woman has been the black just compounds the felony." [...] "I've known situations when a company had to pull a man off an assignment because his wife was / (p. 4) pregnant.  They'd send a woman instead. main problem.  There's an economic squeeze in Nashville and when companies "If bosses claim women are too emotional because they cry, I tell them women who cry have fewer ulcers and are medically more sound than men who keep their feelings bottled up.  I may cry a barrel but then I pick up the pieces and go on." [...] hire, white men come first, then white "Fifteen years ago race was my main stumbling block to becoming an engineer.  I'm now working on an internship in industry for my engineering management master's degree. women, then black men and then me. "This time being a woman has been the main problem.  There's an economic squeeze in Nashville and when companies hire, white men come first, then white women, then black men and then me. "But I think my employer at Ford Motor Company's glass plant stuck out his neck to choose me.  After I finish I'll go to Vanderbilt University for the final semester, then back to Tennessee State to teach. 21 "With this extra practical experience, I'll be able to help my students more and convince the women that, like me, they can do it if they try." Tuesday, June 22, 2010 21
  • 3: NOTABLE ABSENCES Lesbian engineers 22 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 22
  • CONCLUSIONS 23 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 23
  • CONCLUSIONS • Why is this historical view helpful for today? 23 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 23
  • CONCLUSIONS • Why is this historical view helpful for today? • These frame stories told about women engineers 23 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 23
  • CONCLUSIONS • Why is this historical view helpful for today? • These frame stories told about women engineers • When were women engineers “hideous” and “mannish- looking”? 23 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 23
  • CONCLUSIONS • Why is this historical view helpful for today? • These frame stories told about women engineers • When were women engineers “hideous” and “mannish- looking”? • Extremes help us see (perhaps) moderation 23 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 23
  • CONCLUSIONS • Why is this historical view helpful for today? • These frame stories told about women engineers • When were women engineers “hideous” and “mannish- looking”? Revenge of the Nerdette As geeks become chic in all levels of society, an unlikely • Extremes help subset is starting to roar. Meet the Nerd Girls: they're us see (perhaps) moderation smart, they're techie and they're hot. [...] The Nerd Girls may not look like your stereotypical pocket- protector-loving misfits—their adviser, Karen Panetta, has a thing for pink heels—but they're part of a growing breed of young women who are claiming the nerd label for themselves. In doing so, they're challenging the notion of what a geek should look like, either by intentionally sexing up their tech personas, or by simply finding no disconnect between their geeky pursuits and more traditionally girly interests such as fashion, makeup and high heels. http://www.newsweek.com/2008/06/07/revenge-of-the-nerdette.html 23 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 23
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS • Society of Women Engineers 60th Anniversary Archive Project • Troy Eller and the Society of Women Engineers National Records Collection, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University 24 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 24
  • THANK YOU Alice Pawley, apawley@purdue.edu feministengineering.org 25 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 25
  • ABOUT THE COLLECTION Society of Women Engineers National Records Collection, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University. Accession # 1539, Series XI, Subseries A and B. • Subseries A: “Clippings, articles and speeches, publications, statistics and surveys, non-SWE conferences, and library materials that fall into the general category, ‘women in engineering’” between 1885-2004 • Box 183: newspaper and magazine clippings from • a clippings service, Press Intelligence, Inc. of Washington DC, in 1955 • articles sent in by SWE members • Boxes 100: membership and section reports and committee information, particularly of the Committee on Minority Concerns; and • Subseries B: Boxes 187, 191 and 192: Biographical materials collected on particular SWE members and leaders. 26 Tuesday, June 22, 2010 26