Helping Women Help Themselves, draft, 1971
HELPING WOMEN HELP THEMSELVES A Resource Pamphlet to Show You How DEFINING THE PROBLEM Successful women have high visibility. They are often written up in the media as examples who have "made it in a man's world." When you consider the tiny fraction of people who achieve any kind of noticeable contribution, it is reassuring to see some representatives of the female sex. Unfortunately, these "loophole" women are often pointed to as evidence that women have true equality. So many of us educated women are deluded into thinking that if we hadn't chosen the course of marriage and family we, too, might be "somebody." The truth of the matter is that exceptional circumstances have produced these exceptional women and in every time of social change there will always be very obvious exceptions. What should concern us is what happens to most educated women. To begin with, we who have earned college degrees are already exceptions as compared to most Americans. In 1970 the per cent of women over 21 who had been through four or more years of college was 8.5 as compared to 13.8% for men. The gap becomes much wider when you take a look at the professions. Only 9% of all scientists are women, 7% of all physicians, 3% of all lawyers and just 1% of all engineers and federal judges. Although women have [always] made up a large proportion of the teacher corps, the percent of women on college faculties has been steadily declining since 1940. In the political power structure of what purports to be a "representative democracy" there is only one [woman] Senator and 12 women representatives for 53% of the population.
-2- One thing we have done is marry. Most women (62%) are presently married and more than one family in ten is headed by a woman, a total of 5.6 million. Marriage and family responsibilities, however, has not kept women out of the work force. In one out of every three families, both the husband and wife work and 43% of all American women are now employed. There are more that 30 million women in the work force making up 38% of total labor. Thirty-nine per cent of women workers have children under 18. Most of the jobs done by women are extensions of the "services" done in the home. Three out of four clerical workers are women, who also make up 61% of [service] workers [exclusive] of private household employees. Although the number of women employed in these traditionally female occupations has increased significantly over the past 30 years, the proportion of women in professional and technical jobs has declined for the same period from 45% in 1940 to 37% in 1969. These statistics indicate that most educated American women are either not working, or working at tasks beneath their abilities and training. A typical pattern for an educated women is to work for a short time before marriage and children and then to suddenly realize, as her children gain independence, that she is too scared to begin doing anything about the half a lifetime that remains. All this adds up to waste. Ten or fifteen years devoted to motherhood may cost an individual her chance at personal fulfillment. And what may be even more important, it is denying society the expertise and potential contribution of what may be [hundreds] of thousands of educated people.
-3- The Barnard Alumnae Association Clubs are in the unique position of being able to play a key role in gettin[g] educated women back making a contribution to society. Most women who want to do something meaningful with their lives after a hiatus don't know where to begin. They don't have access to information about how to resolve their particular problems. The purpose of this pamphlet is to give Barnard Clubs some practical suggestions as to how to go about locating the various resources that may be available in your community. [handwritten] NEEDS - NEXT Where it's at: [...] capsule of the events of last ten years starting with President's Commission on Status of Women 1962 Civil Rights Law - Title VII 1964 etc
-4- CONTINUING EDUCATION For many women, going back to school can be a good start for getting back into the world. Lois Beekman Erencrantz (Barnard '66), an executive at the United States Shoe Corp., writes that, "the woman who has no recent experience, be she young or old, who wishes to involve herself in a career, may do better taking a course or attending a lecture series in a field in which she has an interest before she starts to look for a job. As a person who hires people in the fields I have explored, often I could not help but be impressed with someone who, although she had no prior experience, had pursued knowledge of the field through a course." Resources for continuing formal education are: 1. Adult education programs that may be audited or taken for credit. Make inquiries at near-by universities and colleges. Find out about extension programs. Also check courses given by a variety of institutions in specified fields and local trade schools. It may be useful to write the United States Department of Labor, Wash. D.C. for their pamphlet #10 which is an annotated list of Education Programs and Services for Women. [handwritten] (out of date - 1968) [handwritten] Many more programs with EXAMPLES 2. The new area of Women's Studies is opening up. For more information write: KNOW, Inc. P.O. box 10197 Pittsburgh, Pa. 15232 [handwritten] Expand 3. Women may need financial assistance to go back to school. Find out about bank loans for education and deferred payment plans in your area. Inquire about federal and state grants in specific
-5- area[s]-- such as teaching. Also inquire about financial support that may be available from private foundations. The Macy Foundation assists women in medicine and the Danforth Foundation (222 South Central Aven, St. Louis, Mo. 63105) provide[s] graduate fellowships for women whose teaching preparation was postponed or interrupted. [handwritten] Bus + Prof Womens Assoc + other women's groups FAMILY PLANNING Family planning is not a new concern but it has taken on added importance in view of diminishing world resources, the population explosion, and women's potential contribution to society at large. To help inform your community, find out about family planning centers, such as Planned Parenthood, [counseling] services (often offered by local clergy); clinics and abortion referral agencies. For additional information write these national organizations: Zero Population Control Planned Parenthood 810 7th Avenue New York, N.Y. Ask for their Legal Abortion Guide which is a directory for consultation and referral. Association for the Study of Abortion, Inc. 120 W. 57th Street New York, N.Y. 10019 This is an educational organization that has an excellent analysis of abortion laws in the U.S. DAY CARE There is no question that if women are going to give some of their time to activities outside the home, day care is an absolute necessity. It has become increasingly evident from early childhood studies, that children can derive a great deal of useful behavior from good nursery schools and day care facilities that they would not be likely to acquire by staying at home. Good day care benefits both mother and child.
-6- The Woman's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, Wash. D.C. has made a number of studies of the needs for day care, funding problems, and services currently offered. Their publications can serve as a good starting point for groups interested in establishing local day care centers. The National Board of the YWCA, ___E. 52nd Street, N.Y.C. and the Day Care and Child Development Council of America, Inc. Washington, D.C. also have useful materials. To locate already operating centers in your area, contact local religious institutions, universities, Boards of Education, and women's groups. Other good sources for assistance are hospitals and welfare organizations. Private companies are also starting to operate day care centers for employees' children. You might also list private nurseries and kindergartens and sources of household help. VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE [handwritten] Needs rethinking because it is part of many Cont. Ed. programs The biggest problem for women who want to get a job after a hiatus is how to begin. A good way is to attend Back-to-Work Workshops given through local adult education programs. [handwritten] WEAK. If there is no such program in your community your Barnard Club might conduct such workshops by making use of some of the following resources. 1. The Alumnae Advisory Center 541 Madison Avenue, N.Y. N.Y. Can tell you how to get a job anywhere int he world for a fee. [handwritten] No 2. Consult your YWCA [or] YWHA. [handwritten] + Cont. Ed. programs in area 3. B'nai B'rith has a Vocational Service Bureau in every U.S. city and charges according to ability to pay. 4. The N.Y. State Employment Service offers free counseling [handwritten] Also - Cont. Educ. Section of Adult Ad. Assoc.
-7- of a general nature as do other states. 5. Check your library's Directory of Approved Counseling Agencies for further information on where to get vocational guidance. Some references are: Directory of Approved Counseling Agencies American Personnel and Guidance Association 1605 New Hampshire Avenue N.W. [handwritten] out of date? Washington, D.C. 20009 [Occupational] Outlook Handbook Superintendent of Documents Government Printing Office Washington, D.[C]. 20402 The Women's Bureau U.S. Department of Labor Washington D.C. 20416 (Ask to see their bibliography first). 6. For part-time employment such as Manpower, Tempo, Employers Overload, Catlyst, and NewTime. [handwritten] This must be strengthened. Since it speaks to needs of many women. 7. Some women may wish to start their own businesses. Write to: The Small Business Administration Washington, D.C. 20416 You can also contact your local Chamber of Commerce, and when in doubt the Better Business Bureau. State Employment Offices and State Commerce Departments also provide some business advice. 6. To prepare for job interviews write for a free Guide to Preparing a Resume from the N.Y. State Employment Service, Professional Office, 444 Madison Avenue, N.Y., N.Y. 10022. Another excellent reference is PICK YOUR JOB AND LAND IT by S.W. and M.G. Edlund, Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Check your library first.
-8- WOMEN'S GROUPS In the last few years many new women's groups have been formed across the country that [have] been working on similar problems. They can be a good source of moral support and practical assistance. 1. National Organizations with local chapters [handwritten] should be ANNOTATED NOW National Office 1957 East 73rd Street Chicago, Ill. 60649 WEAL (Women's Equality Action League) Congress to Unite Women Citizens Advisory Council on Women Human Rights for Women National Consumers League National Women's Political Caucus 2. Professional organizations [handwritten] Many professional organizations now have women's caucuses set up to-- Professional Women's Caucus American Medical Women's Association Women's Caucus for Political Science Bar Association -- Committe[e] on Women 3. Equal Rights groups 4. Religious groups 5. General Women's groups YWHA 135 East 52nd Street N.Y., N.Y. League of Women Voters
-9- National Council of Negro women National Council of Women DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES AGAINST WOMEN One area of great activity for many women's groups is in promoting change against a number of legal and social practices that discriminate against women. Many groups need people to get signatures on petitions and for lobbying legislatures. There are also specialized agencies that can be useful for specific instances of discrimination. Legal Assistance National Lawyers Guild P.O. Box 673 Berkeley, California and 5 Beekman Street, N.Y., N.Y. Barnard Lawyers will provide free legal aid or direct women to local attorneys who can provide assistance. Contact: Ms. Catharine Stimpson Womens Center Barnard Read LAW REPORTER which covers developments in law which especially affects discriminatory practices against women. Write: Women's Rights Law Reporter, Inc. 119 Fifth Avenue New York, N.Y. 10003 A subscription costs $12.00 a year. Job Discrimination NOW's Affirmative Action Kits instruct you how to investigate equal employment for women in all institutions that have federal grants of $10,000 per year or more. Women's Bureau publications include: Laws on Sex Discrimination in Employment Personnel-AMA by Dr. Dennis Stevin Order Services AMA Saranac Lake, N.Y. 12983 [handwritten] This is a publication describing what companies are doing [...] about job equality. There is research on what has been accomplished and a checklist to develop + administrate effective[ly]
-10- [handwritten] This needs annotation [handwritten] other organization[s] that you can contact include: Employment Oppo[r]tunity Committee WEAL Washington, D.C. (pending legislation of interest to women) Human Rights Commission Industrial Union Department AFL-CIO (A publication on the problems of women workers,) GENERAL INFORMATION - READING MATERIALS AND FILMS [handwritten] Put out by whom? Addresses? To be developed - descriptive material + addresses [Newspapers] and newsletters: [WEAL] newsletter NOW newsletter Off Our Backs (Washington, D.C.) [Women] Today Washington Newsletter for Women The Spokeswomen Women: A Journal of Liberation Magazines: Up from Under -- designed, written, and produced by working women for [women] Aphra -- creative quarterly KNOW A FINAL REQUEST Pleas[e] keep the Barnard Women's Center informed of the plans and progress of your Barnard Club. Let us know about: People who can speak to groups about women's problems. Centers for women. Observed discriminatory [practices]. Good role models of women in books, pictures, t.v., identify by title Resource materials you find especially valuable.