Women On The Job - Excerpts from Civil Service Journal, Apr/June, 1976
Janice Mendenhall of F.E.W.: "In 1970, women carefully avoided being called 'women's
libbers' (a put-down term), and most felt that they had never been discriminated against.
Years of social conditioning, lack of career counseling, and few successful upward
mobility examples kept them from comparing their careers with those of similarly trained
males. Today women are beginning to question why male trainees hired at the same time
and at the same grade are now GS-13's while they are only GS-9's."
Barbara Felton of N.O.W.: "The Federal Government is the largest single employer in this
country. Although women constitute 39% of this country's total work force, they represent
only 28.6% of the Federal Government's work force. According to statistics compiled in 1973,
85.8% of all full-time women civilian workers were classified in GS 1-8 positions in
direct comparison with 52.6% of civilian men at this same level. And 13,7% of the women
employed by the Federal Government were in the GS 9-13 positions, while 40.2% of the men
populated this GS level. The disparity widens as one climbs the GS ladder. Six-tenths of 1%
of the women were at GS-14 and above, while 7.2% of federally employed men held positions
at this grade. There has been no significant change in these figures in the last 2 years.
Women are relegated to the low-paying, dead-end positions.
Helene Markoff (Civil Service Commission's Federal Women's Program Director) and Florence
Perman (Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare's FWP Director) question Raymond J. Sumser,
NASA's Personnel Director: (Report extensively cut)
Sumser: "We need to worry ...about where the women candidates are coming from, and
particularly in the sciences you have this problem. Maybe because of discriminatory actions
by employers or maybe because women were not willing to go into certain of the hard sciences.."
Markoff: "Or maybe because they were not counseled into it, or maybe because the doors
were shut in colleges, or maybe because they were counseled out."
Sumser: "...Now in the softer areas - social sciences - there were always women...but in the
hard sciences the numbers are astoundingly small."
Perman: "...but what discourages me is the very small number of women who have significant
positions in administration. Now you've just said there are plenty of women in social sciences,
but where are they? I was in a meeting this morning with the management staff of an
administrative office and all the administrators were there; there wasn't one woman. Not one
of the staff is in charge of a program that requires knowledge of mathematics, physics, or
chemistry, or law, and so even wherethere is an adequate supply, beyond a certain point
they have not been sought."
Markoff: "...Personnel administration is over 50% female, but...I think you can count on
one hand the directors of personnel who are women."
Sumser: "I've made that observation many times myself, yes...I believe that you have to
set the goal to have some female directors of personnel, otherwise you're not going to
get any...an^ you have to decide you're going *to do something. You can't just make an
observation about it."
Hall (Dir. FWP, NASA): "How can women get into managerial positions...?"
Sumser: "That's a tough question...(lengthy response)...What I mean is, it's new to a lot
of people to have women running things."
COM's Contemporary Women's Series Stresses Upward Mobility
Interested in programs and workshops in the areas of self-assertion, exploration of
self-potential, development of managerial skills, communication skills? Fall offerings
will focus on these topics at College of the Mainland's Continuing Education Contemporary
Women's Series. Put yourself on the mailing list for announcements by calling Robert
Handy, Dir. of General Adult Education, 8001 Palmer Hwy., Texas City 77590 (938-1211 x225).
Persons wanting to serve in an advisory capacity are urged to contact Ann Miller, Learning
Resources Center, COM (phone 928-1211 x 201, 202.