"Heath suggests -- from
intensive study of a small sample of Princeton students -- that college
experience leads toward better integrated and more effective ego functioning
for all personality types. The Mellon Foundation studies, on the other
hand,, indicate that Vassar students progress from well-organized and well-adjusted
freshman innocence to an unstable, confused, frustrated: anxious and unsettled
Perhaps "counseling" should not have this exclusive section. It is separate too much of the time. A better perspective would be to see that this entire report is about counseling. However, there are some facts and ideas to set down here that have to do with career counseling, specifically. They are not quite appropriate for other pages of this report but they are plainly related.
Career counseling for women first must be familiar with the sociology of working life. In this country, women form about one third of the labor force; the same as in Britain, France, and Germany; more than in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Italy; but less than Denmark. The pattern of employment here has the great majority of women at the lower
levels. Of our lawyers, only 3% are women, whereas in Denmark 50% of the law students are female, in the U.S.S.R. the number is 36%, and in Germany, almost 33%. In 1967, 7.5% of the graduates from medical school here were women, compared with 30% in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, 30% in Germany, 20% in the Netherlands, 25% in Britain, 22.5% in Israel. Countries that share a low percentage with us are the Moslem countries, where the tradition of purdah is still in force, Spain, where women are also traditionally cloistered, and Japan, whose universities did not admit women under the Imperial Government. This is embarrassing company. In other professional occupations here, women are only .6% of the engineers, 3.9% of the accountants, 8.4% of the pharmacists, and so on. This contrasts with too many foreign statistics to mention. Other facts about American working women were included in Chapter 111. All in all, the picture is dismal.
What should be done? Perhaps the term "career counseling" seems to be in itself a recommendation that women should be up and out in the world, righting all the wrong percentages. Not at all. The idea of career counseling raises many questions, and this section will attempt to show what they are.
Women's careers usually meet "sexism." "Sex discrimination is a serious matter," Clifford Alexander, former chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has stated. "Women are
seriously underutilized in many top management and professional jobs." And Caroline Bird records this ironic story.
A foreign visitor noticed that workers on electronic circuits in a factory were all women. "It's close work, and women have the finger dexterity for it," the visitor was told. Later on in her tour she visited a medical school class in brain surgery and remarked that the students were all men. "But they've got to be men," the answer came. "Brain surgery takes a steady hand!"
Many women do not
want careers. As an article by Ellen and Kenneth Keniston argues, most
American women have anachronistic views of themselves and work. They still
think of work as it began for women in the early industrial period: a hard
necessity that took them away from family life. Also, they learn about
femininity from their mothers and fathers: the lesson is so strong that
Victorian sex roles have been transmitted now for three generations.
The schools reinforce the parents' teachings, so that adolescence, which
usually allows people a second chance, is no help. And American women still
think that it will be bad for their children if they work, despite much
evidence to the
There are many
reasons why women should not have careers. In her "Epilogue" to American
Women: The Report of the President's Commission on the Status of Women,
Margaret Mead took this point of view somewhat, sharply in conflict with
most of the Commission.
and status of the successful male. Soon, not more but fewer workers will be wanted in the general labor market; however, the need for domestic workers will increase, and domestic work has its advantages, even on businesslike grounds.
American women have become the heritors of the American dream of "being one's own boss," once the prized possession of men. Within a well-equipped, independent house, in the management of which only her husband and children can help, advise, or interfere, the married homemaker is indeed her own boss. She determines the time and the order in which she will do her work and how well she will do it. The work itself has the diversity and the interest that are associated with running one's own business. . . . The home, as it is constituted for the millions of women who can afford to stay in it while their children are young, has areas of freedom that are almost wholly lacking in much American employment.
She reproached our cultural sense that fulfillment means work for money, but added that since this is the case, perhaps homemaking should be valued at more than a $600 tax deduction. She flouted the axiom that marriage and parenthood should never be sacrificed by making a strong case for women who wish to remain unmarried or childless. She concluded that the current trend toward pushing women into the triple roles of wife, mother, and worker may be only another "swing of the pendulum" in society's attitude toward sex roles. Women may not listen to advice a-bout careers. So much of a girl's attitude about her role comes from her home, studies show, that only if there have been divisions between her and her parents can she remain free-minded.
Career counseling for women at a college, then, must cope with "sexism," questions about its own goals, and gaps in its effectiveness.
Yet, against these qualms, there is a case in favor of career counseling. After all, educational institutions have a responsibility to at least dent the carapace of childhood conditioning so that students think of imagining other options. As two psychologists say, "The choice [for family life] most women make can hardly be said to be 'free' in the psychological sense." Also, women's right to work must be ensured in our society, and only iron-minded women who go to work, organize, and goad employers can secure this right. Statistics say that the more education a woman has, the more likely she is to work. Top educational institutions, then, can capitalize on this and make their women the movers and changers. Most persuasive, perhaps, is the fact that technology and the pattern of child-raising in our society decree a long period of inactivity to women who would like to be homemakers. According to present life expectancy, women may spend twenty-five years or longer without their children. it is hard to think of any rearrangement in our society that would give them some activity during that surprisingly large piece of time other than a career.
--Hampshire should plan career counseling for its women. The counsel should begin at the beginning, however, by examining its own assumptions about women's need for a career.
The most important stereotypes strait-jacketing men and women's relations with one another have to do with careers. This should be clear not only from personal experience, but also from the description of attitudes in Chapter V and other sections. So, it is most important that men and women talk about careers together. Separate attention to men and women in this crucial area would miss the main point, which is how to allow for the other sex. Although this report goes on to discuss career themes close to women's experience, they are shown to be important to men also.
--Career counseling for women at Hampshire should always involve the men also.
There are three kinds of advice usually given to women about careers that this report will now cover in more detail. First, women are advised about jobs, not careers. Counselors do not urge women to plan far ahead, to see their first job as the fruition of their personal interest through college and one of a series of training exercises towards final qualification as a professional. A career, after all, is not just a way of making money; it is a commitment that one pursues for its own sake and can be considered a privilege. As Margaret Mead says,
"The failure to distinguish between job and career in the case of women is merely a special case of the more general failure to do so in our entire society." Thus, men can benefit from a changed emphasis in career counseling as well as women. If the type of planning suggested here sounds like narrow professionalism, it should not. Rather, the point is for an individual to take vocational goals seriously in his own personal development and to help him look at his actions in a long time-frame, a sight few college students today have.
--Hampshire's career counseling should emphasize long-term commitment and planning. It should begin in a student's first or second year.
Second, women are told that they can interrupt their work. This really is a corollary of the "job" rather than "career" approach to work. Women supposedly may work after college, leave the office for twenty years or so to marry and raise a family, then take a "Continuing Education" course and become a worker again. This may be a useful scheme in lower-level jobs and may even succeed in higher-level ones if the retraining is good, but, basically, it is impractical. No man would suppose he could leave his law practice for twenty years and return to it satisfactorily. Alice Rossi makes several important points in her essay "Barriers to the Career Choice of Engineering, Medicine,
or Science Among American Women" that apply to women in all professional careers.
Part-time employment is this generation's false panacea for avoiding a more basic change in the relations between men and women, a means whereby, with practically no change in the man's role and minimal change in the woman's, she can continue the same wife and mother she has been in the past, with a minor appendage to these roles as an intermittent part-time professional or clerical worker.
I think there is a danger that [centers for continuing education] institutionalize and lend further social pressure to the acceptance of the woman's withdrawal for a number of years, a pattern that should not be widely or uncritically accepted. . . . The most creative work women and men have done in science was completed during the very years contemporary women are urged to remain at home rearing their families.
Older women who return to the labor force are an important reservoir for assistants and technicians and the less demanding professions, but only rarely for creative and original contributors to the more demanding professional fields.
--Career counseling at Hampshire should further emphasize long-term commitment and planning by critically examining all types of work patterns. Women should not be misled into thinking that they may have both marriage and a career in simple alternation. Third, women are often instructed to go into "women's work." The best debunking of the notion of "women's work" was done by J. S. Mill a very long time ago, but it still persists, an ideological weed. No less a notable than Bruno Bettelheim can write that the service occupations are more suitable for women
than men. Yet psychological studies show that women do not differ much from men in their reasons for choosing careers, one indication of their needs for similar ones. Actually, the career a woman chooses seems to depend less on her sex than on the strength of her sex-role conditioning. One study concludes:
Women who most accept stereotyped statements on the proper role of women express a preference for traditional careers and those who accept these statements least tend to prefer less traditional career patterns. Women who are most stereotyped in their beliefs and most traditional in their occupational preferences tend to share the opinion that a woman's place is only in the home.
In addition to being predictable, "women's work" often turns out, to be wherever there are job shortages, either because the work is cheap or dull or a dead end. --Career counseling at Hampshire should lead both women and men to consider whatever kinds of work fit their individual talents, without regard to their sex.
Career counseling is not particularly effective at any college. Usually, it stands too far apart. As Bettelheim says, "One trouble with most outside counseling . . . is that it itself is not familiar with the subtleties of the sociology of intellectual ,life, within the institution." However, Hampshire is supposed to
be a college where the usual breakdowns between students' personal, academic, and vocational interests do not occur. Already, there are plans to mix varieties of counseling into the regular educational scheme. Career counseling presumably is only one of these, but since it has not yet been specifically mentioned, this report will suggest how it might fit.
--The over-all responsibility for career counseling for women at Hampshire should be with a woman faculty member, perhaps the chairman, of the Committee on Coeducation. As a faculty member, she would know more than an outsider about the place of counseling in academic life. She would make it part of the regular agenda for the Committee on Coeducation. That is, she would constantly plan ways for the faculty to attend to it in their classes, readings, and field assignments. She would consider places for career emphasis at orientation and all other evaluative times outside the regular academic program. She would coordinate other faculty members, principally members of the Committee on Human Development and the residential faculty, who may be one and the same, in their counseling for women. She would also work closely with the resident psychologist.
--One principal mechanism for career counseling for women should be a series of small, seminar-like sessions lasting for one or two days and with opportunities for private consultation
with professional women who are invited to the campus. These women should be well known in their fields, yet knowledgeable and sympathetic enough about college women's uncertainties to speak practically and personally about their professions. Women with these qualities are not easy to find; all. too often those who succeed have no care for guiding younger women. The sessions should be arranged so as to have both younger and older students attending. They should be open to both men and women. Frequently, as a matter of fact, wife and husband teams should be invited to speak jointly.
--An additional mechanism should be one or two conferences a year with a small group of professional men who are leading employers. The Hampshire women. should be able to debate them on women's chances in their field, to ask them about any peculiar values that work in their field enforces, and to ask about changes in their field. These conferences would obviously be useful to both men and women students; they also would be useful to the professional men. They would give a much more stimulating exposure to any vocation than a student can get through a recruiter.
Perhaps there are other ways these professional men and women can be useful than the ones suggested here: it is only essential to have them at Hampshire, talking to and fro.
--A third mechanism should be special arrangements for talks among the students themselves, both men and women. Nowadays, many students work during college, but they often do not talk much about it with other students. That is a loss to the others, and perhaps to them, too, for if they do not consciously connect their thoughts about work to others' career choices, they may miss the significance to themselves. The Student Committee-on Coeducation might be the sponsor for several such talks.
--There should be one or two workshops a year dealing with labor relations. The content would not be historical, but organizational. Students should know their working rights and how to assure them. The emphasis would be on organizing to obtain women's working rights, but the basic equal employment laws and techniques for organizing are often just as foreign to young men as they are to young women. Traditionally, of course, labor organization has occurred among blue-collar workers, but, increasingly, white-collar and professional workers find themselves in opposition to their employers, with no inkling of what to do about it. Even as an academic subject, this would be breaking new ground, but the women students, particularly, need to know, it for practical reasons.
Physically, there should be some separate spot at Hampshire where brochures, catalogues, job lists, and all the other paraphernalia of employment would stay and where interviewers would come. Fundamentally, however, direct career counseling for women at Hampshire should be integrated as much as possible into the educational program as a faculty duty.
The indirect aspects of career counseling involve, of course, all the efforts to provide models that this report recommends throughout.
The number of women lawyers was cited by Mrs. Doris L. Sassower, president of the New York Women's Bar Association. The medical percentages appear in Carol Lopate, Women in Medicine (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1968), pp. v-vii. The percentages for other professions appeared in Sol Swerdloff, "Room at the Top for College Women?" Women's Education, 11, 4 (December, 1963), p. 7.
Alexander's statement comes from an EEOC news release accompanying an analysis of women's employment in, nine Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas, October 19, 1968. The foreign visitor's experience is recorded in Born Female, op. cit., P. 86.
The Kenistons, "An American Anachronism: The Image of Women and Work," The American Scholar, XXXIII (1964), pp. 355-375.
Rossi gives the evidence in support of working mothers in her essay "An Immodest Proposal," The Woman in America, op. cit., pp. 106-115.
Margaret Mead's general arguments are in American Women: The Report of the President's Commission on the Status of Women, ed. by Margaret Mead and Frances B. Kaplan (New York: Scribners, 1965), pp. 181-204. The quotation here is from p. 189.
The Kenistons" article "An American Anachronism," op. cit., of course, gives evidence for the strength of family conditioning; another article is Becky J. White, "The Relationship of Self Concept and Parental Identification to Women's Vocational Interests," Journal of Counseling Psychology, VI, 3 (1959), particularly pp. 205-06; also Leland and Lozoff, College Influences on Role Development, op. cit., P. 11.
The psychologists quoted are the Kenistons, "An American Anachronism," op. cit., p. 371.
For statistics on the relation between women's education and work, see Helen S. Astin, "The Woman Doctorate in America: Family and Career Characteristics of Professional Women," study financed by the Carnegie Corporation and the Russell Sage Foundation, 1967.
The comment on "jobs" vs. "careers" by Margaret Mead is in American Women, op. cit., p. 185.
Alice Rossi's essay on barriers to women is published in Women and the Science Professions, op. cit. The quotations here are from pp. 53, 102-03, 106-07, respectively.
J. S. Mill's essay "The Subjection of Women" has been cited before. The points particularly relevant here appear on pp. 266294 in the edition I used.
For Bettelheim's opinions about "women's work," see "The Talented Woman in American Society," op. cit.
Two studies that establish men and women's similar reasons for choosing careers are Richard J. Brunkan and John 0. Crites, "Inventory to Measure the Parental Attitude Variables in Roets Theory of Vocational Choice," Journal of Counselinq Psychology (Spring, 1964); and Abraham K. Korman, "Self-Esteem and Vocational Choice," Women's Education, VII, 2 (June, 1.968), p. 8. The study whose conclusion appears here is Robert E. Kittredge, "Investigation of Differences in occupational Preferences, Stereotype Thinking and Psychological Needs Among Undergraduate Women Students in Selected Curricular Areas," Ph.D. dissertation, Michigan State University, 1960.
Bettelheim's statement is from "The Talented Woman in American Society," op. cit., pp. 50-51.
Hampshire will be as Hampshire does. No college can boast attention to women's needs unless it has women at all of its levels. Administrative women serve as role models and as spokeswomen for women's needs just as women faculty do, though perhaps less directly.
--Hampshire should have a significant number of women in high administrative posts. At the moment, the college has only one woman in such a post, and no openings for more. This is not adequate.
Most coeducational. liberal arts colleges have Dean's Offices for handling student affairs. They invariably have a male "Dean of Students," sometimes with a male "Dean of Men" and a female "Dean of Women" assisting him or one female "Assistant Dean" if the college is smaller. In coeducational university colleges, the male "Dean of Students" may have no "Dean of Men" and "Dean of Women" under him but three or four assistants, one of whom is a woman. Hampshire so far has no Dean's Office, and may not be planning one. It may want to handle all student affairs through the Dean of the Faculty's Office and in the houses. The recommendations that follow under this heading apply only if Hampshire does establish a Dean's office.
--Hampshire should have a Dean of Students of either sex with assistants of either sex but no Dean of Men and Dean of Women. These latter titles only aggravate stereotypes. The jobs themselves are vestiges of the past, made for reasons that no longer apply. The only essential is to have both men and women with equal status for the students to consult.
--Hampshire should bring in a woman as its first Dean of Students. It should do this both to counter the stereotype of a male dean immediately and because it' desperately needs women administrators. However, with time and other personnel changes, the job hopefully would change freely between men and women.
Most coeducational colleges have all-male admissions staffs. in cases where there are females, they are never the directors, but assistants. There is no good reason for this, and none offered. It is a simple case of discrimination by stereotype. Yet it could not happen in a worse part of the administration, because admissions personnel are the first link between a college and its students. Hampshire should break away from stereotypes with its admissions staff as the first step in its treatment of sexuality on campus.
--Hampshire should have women in its Admissions Office. There is now one part-time female assistant. As the job grows,
a woman should be hired as a full-time assistant or, preferably, Co-Director of Admissions. Over time, the position of Admissions Director at Hampshire should change freely between the sexes if it is not held jointly by a man and a woman.
It is hard to find data on the sex of vocational guidance personnel in coeducational colleges since catalogues frequently do not show it as a separate administrative position. Where it is shown, the sexes vary. This is gratuitous information here, however, since this report recommends in another section that Hampshire not have a separate vocational office. As with war and generals, careers are too important and complex to leave to one office's care alone. There is, however, one recommendation to make here about a vocational practice that will go on at Hampshire at separate, standardized times and places: job recruitment.
--Job recruiters who come to Hampshire should be required to interview women for whatever jobs they interview men for, and vice-versa. As a matter of fact, any other requirement probably would be judged discriminatory if it came before the EEOC: there is more discussion of non-discriminatory policies at Hampshire below. And it would be a novel way of keeping the ROTC recruiters away. Positively, however, requiring this will be another way
in which Hampshire can publicly commit itself to individual choice, free of external limitations on the basis of sex.
--Hampshire should have significant numbers of women among its trustees and all other lesser advisory groups in separate areas. "Significant numbers" does not mean one or two women in each case, as the representation is now, but from about one third to one half of the total members.
--Hampshire should allow its women students who marry to satisfy requirements for its degree at another college. This would be helpful to those women who must follow their husbands to some other place but still want a Hampshire degree. Currently, not many colleges, even separate ones, permit this. Of course, the same might be done for men, but they seldom need help in this way, since they usually transfer in order to get another degree. Hampshire could show its good faith by allowing special flexibility in the degree requirements for women.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the equal employment title, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. This title does not apply to colleges and universities; Hampshire, however, should act as if it does.
--Hampshire should not discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its employment policies. What does this mean? It means hiring men as secretaries and women as maintenance personnel if they apply with the necessary skills. Some employers have set sex as a qualification for certain jobs; furthermore, for females, they have sometimes set marital status as a qualification too. Airlines, for instance, required that flight attendants be unmarried females. The EEOC ruled that this was unwarranted. And some of the reasons for assigning jobs to only one sex or the other are a good deal more ridiculous than the airlines'. Nondiscrimination means equal pay for equal work. Many employers have a dual pay scale; the reason, they explain, is that women take sick leave more often than men and quit more frequently. They do not. There have been thorough investigations of these claims and, as one report says, "The Bureau of Labor Statistics concludes that absenteeism and turnover rates depend much more
on the nature of the job than on the sex of the job-holder." Nondiscrimination means equal fringe benefits. Pension plans often slant against women; many institutional life insurance plans have larger pay-offs for men than women and smaller ones for widowers than widows. Nondiscrimination means a careful review of all employment policies so that they will mean the same when the word "female" is substituted for "male" and vice versa.
. . . But there is no reason why nondiscrimination has to be worrisome and watchful when it could be free and bold. Think of the next recommendation as an instance.
Day Care Center
A working woman's largest cost is for child care. Often, the single reason a woman does not have a job is that it does not quite pay enough to cover baby-sitters' fees. Despite the fact that child care is a business expense for working women as legitimate as those that men write off on their tax sheets, they may not claim a deduction for it. As well as being costly, child care is hard to find. Many communities do not have anywhere near adequate facilities.
--Hampshire should provide a day care center for the children of all its female personnel: students, faculty, administrators,
secretaries, janitresses. This is by no means a discriminatory recommendation. It merely suggests that women should have the same facility at Hampshire as men have at home. Establishing a day care center would profit Hampshire in large ways that at first are not obvious. It would attract many well-qualified women at all levels, a recruitment device nonpareil. Since it could be set up in the house system, it would add greatly to the sense of community: children, like old and young people, men and women, workers and learners, belong to the natural communal group. Both men and women students would learn much about themselves and each other by caring for the children, which they could do as volunteers or for course work so that the cost to the college would be minimal. More practically, the center would give them a sense of alternative arrangements for their own working and child-rearing lives. Once more, Hampshire would be making a symbolic commitment to free attitudes on the issues of sexuality. The center would at once be innovational, practical, and moral.
1. Administrative Personnel
An interesting article on the position of Dean of Women is Lulu Holmes, A History of the Position of Dean of Women in a Selected Group of Coeducational Colleges and Universities in the United States, Ph.D. thesis at Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York, 1939.
4. Employment Policies
For a fuller discussion of the sex-discrimination battle and Title VII, Born Female, op. cit., is indispensable, Chapters 1, 4, and 9, particularly. The report on the Bureau of Statistics study is on p. 84.
During the Johnson Administration,
Esther Peterson, Assistant Secretary of Labor, and Mary Keyserling, director
of the Women's Bureau in the Labor Department, were strong advocates of
better day care facilities, and some institutions could expect Federal
help. Now, however, the Federal contribution is more doubtful. Hampshire
might be able to find HLW funding for a day care center.
[END OF CHAPTER 5, SECTIONS