Groundwork for experiment is laid with pencil, scowls, gestures

That is the bye-line for an article titled Girl Chemist; a scanned version of the article (from Jan, 1949) is available at the Modern Mechanix blog:

Chemistry, once strictly a man’s profession, has become increasingly hospitable to women. The expansion of industrial chemistry has helped. Women are particularly in demand for delicate laboratory work that requires small hands, finger dexterity and painstaking attention to detail. With job opportunities opening in the field, more college girls than ever before have been preparing for careers in chemistry.

Today, seven percent of all chemists in industry are women. The ratio is a good deal higher at the Merrimac Division of the Monsanto Chemical Company at Everett, Mass. Here, nearly 20 per cent of the research staff of 109 is female. One of them, Jacqueline Bates, is seen on these pages in a typical day’s work. She is one of four women who make up the analytical laboratory staff. Their job is (1) determining the identity and purity of organic compounds, (2) establishing methods for control of production and application of chemicals, and (3) evaluating new methods of analysis lor organic and inorganic compounds.

I was always under the impression that chemistry is one of the subjects where women were welcome; I see that it was not always so. Any case, I would love to know the percent of women chemists in the industry today.


One Response to “Groundwork for experiment is laid with pencil, scowls, gestures”

  1. What is the percentage of women chemists « Feminist Chemists Says:

    […] 25, 2008 · No Comments A question posed by a fellow blogger gave us pause. The greatest obstacle is still awareness of the […]

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