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Swoboda, Marian J.; Roberts, Audrey J. / Wisconsin women, graduate school, and the professions

Droste, Jean
Chapter 1: Vocational aspirations and job realities: a look at some women receiving Ph. D.'s prior to 1926,   pp. 1-10

Page 6

ing because they include married Ph.D.'s who had no intention of pursuing
careers. In addition, investigators who carried on the Radcliffe study believed
there was a psychological basis for the female Ph.D.'s lack of publication.
Assuming that the single woman scholar was isolated from academic society,
and her interests were not the same as married women or as her male col-
leagues, the Radcliffe researchers felt that the problem of adjustment drained
off her efficiency, enthusiasm, and creativity.45
Of the fifty-four Wisconsin Ph.D.'s who became full-time professionals,
only a few had sufficiently outstanding careers to be listed in American
of Science, the Directory of American Scholars, and Who's Who in American
Education, only three of them reached the rank of full professor at a univer-
sity, and only one, Dr. Helen White, became a full professor at a large state
The life of the woman scholar was difficult in the early years of the 20th
Century. Those who chose such a life often denied themselves the
companionship of married life; their salaries were less than men's; they
practically excluded from professorships; they were often given hackwork
in departments; and they had to occupy themselves "with household cares
the most unintelligent and mechanical kind, which would kill in any man and
does kill in most women the desire and power for original work."46
As early as 1912 the Association of Collegiate Alumnae became con-
cerned about the status of professional women. Throughout the years of its
existence one of the major unrealized goals of the ACA was to combat pre-
judice against professional women and to bring about more equitable pay.47
The association felt that women should be given the same opportunities for
promotion as men of equal rank. They were particularly concerned that
chances for promotion to full professorships should be in proportion to the
numbers of men and women employed on the faculties of colleges and univer-
sities who were members of the ACA. They believed that women's salaries
should be equal to the salaries of men at the same rank and that women
should not be assigned social and other non-academic duties which were not
required of men scholars of equal rank.48
World War I played a significant role in changing attitudes. After the war,
many men felt they could obtain better work outside the university, so the
doors were opened for many more women than had been the case before. The
rapid development of departments of education, music, home economics, and
public health gave women job seekers an entry into the faculties of even
largely masculine universities. The growth of summer schools enabled many
women to continue their education and also permitted women to teach at a
university while their male colleagues were vacationing.49
The growing number of women on faculties in the twenties caused men
on university faculties to see them as real competitors with the result that
there was a closing up of the masculine ranks. 50
In a study done in 1921 by a committee of the American Association of
University Professors, 47 percent of the coeducational institutions and 27
cent of the women's colleges who responded frankly acknowledged that they
gave women faculty members less salary and lower rank than men for the
same work.51 Many women were willing to accept a lower salary because the
apparent leisure and prestige of a faculty position attracted them. Many
boards of trustees with an eye towards economy were willing to accept

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