Financial History 144 Winter 2023 | Page 13

University of Pennsylvania
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander at her Ph . D . graduation in June 1921 . She was one of three Black women to obtain a doctorate by that time , the first Black woman to obtain a doctorate in economics and the first Black woman to get a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania .
Caroline F . Ware , 1941 . Ware kept her maiden name upon marrying economist Gardner Means and was not allowed to fulfill her contract for summer teaching at the University of Wyoming in 1935 when it was discovered that she was married .
Credit : Library of Congress that he was attempting to silence her “ on the ground that she was a woman .”
In the 1920s , Eleanor Lansing Dulles was pursuing a doctorate from Radcliffe College . While revising her dissertation in Paris , she was visited by economists Robert Murray Haig and James Harvey Rogers of Columbia University . In their conversation , reported by Dulles in her memoir , Haig and Rogers suggested that they could do more with her research notes than she could and that she should turn over her notes so they could “ carry on your work as part of our comprehensive project .” Dulles refused .
Anne P . Carter reminisced over her experiences entering the profession in 1945 . She remembers that the chair of her department at Harvard University , H . H . Burbank , welcomed her with the statement , “ We get a lot of little girls who come here with good grades , but they don ’ t last .” Although he apologized for his comments a few days later , Carter cites many instances of unequal treatment — such as when she was recruited by Wassily Leontief to join his Harvard Economic Research Project only to learn that her “ trailing spouse ,” who was kindly allowed to join as well to make her move possible , was being paid $ 1,000 more a year than was she . When confronted , Leontief remarked , “ I thought you ’ d like it .”
Despite the rather long history of gender imbalance , unequal treatment and lack of equal access , the AEA did not adopt principles disavowing sex discrimination in the profession until 1971 . At that time , they established a committee to collect information on the number of women in economics in colleges and universities in the United States and make recommendations for affirmative action to address the lack of women in the field . Prompted by grassroots efforts of the Women ’ s Caucus , a series of resolutions were brought to an all-male AEA Executive Committee . According to Myra Strober , the opening statement which began , “ Resolved that the American Economic Association declares that economics is not a man ’ s field ,” was amended to insert “ not exclusively .” The resolutions offered were adopted , and the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession ( CSWEP ) was established . Despite the committee ’ s continued existence , the gender problem remains .
Women ’ s Employment After the Doctorate
When Leahmae Brown graduated with a doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois in 1937 , the US economy was struggling . She had spent most of her
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