Isabel Benham: Wall Street Pioneer

Isabel Benham was the first woman to become a partner at a Wall Street bond firm, but it wasn’t easy. When she graduated from Bryn Mawr with a degree in economics in 1931, a dean at the school gave her some advice on how to get a job in the financial industry: Learn to type. Others were more dismissive. “Go home to mother, join the Junior League, get married and live happily ever after,” she recalled them saying. Fortunately, Benham, …

Today’s Woman, Hopping Around the World

I was talking to a friend the other day about opportunities for women in today’s America. We were heaping praise on all those we knew of in politics, diplomacy, industry, entertainment, sports and space who are making their mark on the world stage and beyond. Bunny girls were not included. The friend is Wini Hammond. A retired hotel concierge, she was a bunny girl in a Los Angeles Playboy club half a century ago, not because she liked to prance …

Betty Friedan: A Pioneer of Modern Feminism

Fifty years ago this month, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan was published. Even the husband she divorced conceded that Betty “almost single-handedly changed the course of human history. It took a driven, super-aggressive, egocentric, almost lunatic dynamo to rock the world the way she did.” Yes, that was Betty.  And that was The Book that launched the modern women’s movement. In her treatise, Betty described what she called “the problem that has no name”:  the feelings of isolation, boredom …

One Small Voice of Change

  Felice Shapiro is a writer, entrepreneur, and publisher as well as the founder of Better After 50, a weekly online magazine. In addition to being a teacher and avid runner, hiker, and yogi, she is an AARP contributor. So bright-eyed and passionate, Malala. Her small voice may hopefully become the ammunition that helps defeat the Taliban’s ban on a girl’s right to be educated. Is she too small, too alone and too wounded to effect change?  Apparently not! On October 9, …

2012 International Women’s Day: Overcoming Inequality

Since 1975, every March 8, International Women’s Day celebrates the invaluable contributions that women offer to economic growth, securing peace and social progress worldwide. The challenge this year is to “invest in rural women. Eliminate discrimination against them in law and in practice. Ensure that policies respond to their needs. Give them equal access to resources. Provide rural women with a role in decision-making,” the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says. Women represent more than half of the world rural working …