Co-education at MIT in the 1950s-60s

Co-education at MIT in the 1950s-60s

October 25, 2017 @ 4:00 pm
MIT Maclaurin Building: 10-250

THE GENDER/RACE IMPERATIVE—A Series of Presentations and Workshops moderated by Anita Hill

Tuesday October 25th, 2017
Doors open at 3:30PM
Presentation starts at 4:00PM
MIT Maclaurin Building: 10-250

Open to the public, no registration required

Event website:

Hosted by: Muriel Medard – Cecil H. Green Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT

Anita Hill – MIT Martin Luther King Fellow, University Professor of Law, Public Policy and Women’s Studies, Heller Graduate School of Policy and Management, Brandeis University

Guest speakers:

Robert M Gray, MIT ’64

Professor of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus, and Alcatel-Lucent Technology Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus, Stanford University.

The Gender/Race Imperative aims to revive awareness of the broad capacity of Title IX, the crucial law mandating equal education opportunities for women. We hope it will kick start inquiry to foster legal, policy, and social reforms that enable success in schools and workplaces for girls and women of all races and economic backgrounds. To engage and educate MIT and the broader Boston area community on the role of Title IX in education, particularly for STEM, MIT brings engineers and other scientists together in conversation with lawyers and social scientists to develop multidimensional strategies for promoting equity in STEM.

Coeducation at MIT in the 1950s–60s with an Epilog on the enduring bottleneck of women engineering faculty

In the 1950s women made up 1 to 3% of the MIT student body, less than half that of 1897. A faculty committee produced a majority report that recommended that MIT cease admitting women, but President Killian and Provost Stratton instead accepted a minority report with the opposite recommendation: that MIT accept more women and improve their quality of life. This talk tells the story of three major players in this sea change: Dottie Bowe and Professors Kenneth Wadleigh and Emily Wick. A half century later, nearly half of the students were women. The talk concludes with a less optimistic appraisal of the stagnant number of women faculty in electrical engineering and computer science in the US.