The Association for Academic Women: Carving an equitable path for future generations
“There was a wonderful article printed in the old Ms. magazine by a woman who said, ‘what I need is a good wife, because when I get home, I still have to cook and clean and take care of the kids,’” recalled Irene Thompson, the first director of the UF Women’s Studies Program, in a 2003 interview with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.
For Thompson, the quote exemplified the types of hardships women at the University of Florida experienced in the 1970s due to a lack of equity and representation within the workplace. Thompson was acutely aware of these issues — not only as one of the few female faculty members at UF, but also as a member of the Committee to Study Opportunities for Women at the University of Florida, launched in 1971 by then President Stephen C. O’Connell.
In 1974, a group of female faculty came together to form what we now know as the Association for Academic Women, which continues to break down barriers and carve a more equitable path within UF for future generations of women.
Learn more in this UF at Work article.