In addition to serving as the mayor's liaison to women's groups, Executive Assistant Marsha Wayne will also work with public transportation, public services, health,
library, and planning coordination.
She will be working for a dollar a year. Her husband worked for a dollar a year
for Fred Hofheinz, and when Mayor McConn asked Bill Wayne to suggest candidates
for executive assistant positions, he told the mayor about his wife.
Last year Marsha Wayne worked for Barry Goodman in public transportation.
Before that she was at home raising her children for several years, and earlier still she
was in private industry. Her undergraduate degree is in psychology from the University
of Cincinnati and she holds a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard.
"I worked for Elizabeth Arden as a product manager in charge of their treatment
products. I went from there to Beck industries where I was an executive in charge of
women's retailing, which encompassed about $22 million worth of stores around the
country. The presidents of the stores reported to me, and I reported to the president
of the conglommerate. I did financial analysis, liaison work, surveys of possible acquisitions, general administration and personnel hiring."
Wayne's class at Harvard was only
the second one to admit women. Of 700
students, 13 were women, and 10 of
those graduated. "It was interesting. I had
professors who swore they had never
taught a woman before and they weren't
going to do it now. The first day I went
to class, I saw a vacant seat, and I said to
the man sitting by it, 'May I sit down?'
He said, 'No you may not. My roommate
applied to Harvard, and he didn't get in.
And you got in? No, you may not sit
down.' So it was very interesting. I enjoyed it. With 700 men there and only 13
girls, it was some place to go. It was hard.
I think there are more women there now,
and I think the professors are more used
to having women there, so they're not
quite as disgruntled about it."
Wayne describes herself as "bright."
"I remember that during high school and
college I was always used to being number one in my class and king of the mountain. And then when I got-to Harvard,
everyone else had been number one in his
class and king of the mountain, so the
competition was fierce."
The treatment of women at Harvard prepared her for prevailing attitudes toward women in business, where the most
obvious sex discrimination was in salaries. "They said, 'well, you're 25 years old, and
you're making $20,000, so why are you complaining?" Even though I was doing the
same work as men who were much older-if they couldn't handle it they would give it
to me-and they would be making $50,000."
Wayne has lived in Houston for seven years. During this time, she has not been
associated with any women's groups. Now, in addition to dealing with women's
groups, she will probably be the person who will deal with the problems of individual
women that were previously referred to Nikki Van Hightower. She has expressed a
willingness to talk to any groups or individuals who wish to see her, although thus far
only a couple of organizations have set up appointments. As a liaison, Wayne seems to
see her job primarily that of "listening."
on women and her work
WOMEN'S CONCERNS: I'm not really familiar enough to tell you. I have been
talking to people, and I assume I will be talking to more people. I will be a liaison with
outside groups. But when it comes to pro-life or anti-life, or this or that, those are
really federal issues, and I don't think that what I feel is very important to their
Setting passed or not getting passed. I see my area more within the city. I have been
:hecking somewhat with affirmative action, trying to find out what some of the areas
are, but I just can't tell you at this time, because I am not familiar enough with it.
NIKKI VAN HIGHTOWER: Oh heaven help me! I don't know her, and I haven't
followed what she's done and what she hasn't done. As I understand it, my job is to
be more of a sounding board for all women, whether they're fat or skinny or house
wives or whatever. And I think her job was probably restricted more to one area of
women (feminist women).
FEMINISM: It depends on what kind of feminist you want to talk about. There are
so many different people who say they are feminists. I'm concerned about women and
women's rights, if that's considered being a feminist.
ERA: Personally I am for the ERA, but I don't feel that what I think is going to
influence whether it is passed or not, so I don't see that it is my role to say whether
I'm for it or against it. As I understand it, the laws are pretty much there that say
there can be no discrimination because of sex. There has to be equal pay, (an) equal
chance to do the same job...So I don't know that the passage of the ERA will make
that much difference.
IWY CONFERENCE OR ANTI RALLY: Oh my goodness. (Silence.) OK. I'm going
to try to duck that question. I obviously could have gone, if I had wanted to go, and I
didn't go. I stayed at home with my children. I don't think where I would have gone is
important to my job, OK? And so I would rather just kind of duck the question.
POLITICAL AFFILIATION: I am apolitical. I vote independently.
COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: I try to do my thing and when I'm not doing that, I try
to spend most of my time with my children and my family, so I don't really have too
much time to join things. I belong to a church choir and I'm on the board of the
Symphony, but that's about all.
CITY PREGNANCY BENEFITS: As I understand it, there isn't any pregnancy policy
at all. It's kind of a departmental thing and not a city-wide thing.
PRIORITY IN OFFICE: Well, obviously public transportation. I've worked in public
transportation before, and there's so much that needs to be done. It's so vital to
Houston, so I really think that it's a big concern of everybody's. ...We have the Metropolitan Transit Authority election coming up soon, and that's very important.
YOUR NEXT GOVERNOR
WANTS TO MEET YOU
JOHN HILL "BETTER FOR TEXAS"
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1
ALBERT THOMAS CIVIC CENTER
GRAND OPENING OF JOHN HILL'S
SATURDAY, FEB. 25
Paid for by John Hill Campaign Fund, Lowell Lebermann, Treasurer.
If you feel you have a sex or race discrimination complaint
Call: 222-5411 City of Houston Fair Housing Division
HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH February 1978 Page 5