Even now, maybe especially now when we are staying at home worrying about coronavirus, there’s time to read. Read to learn, to enjoy, and to understand. Then be ready to act to bring about a better future.
Why read Women, Power, and AT&T: Winning Rights in the Workplace?
The people in this book are real people, dealing with the world as they find it, and taking action to make it into the world they would like it to be. The essence of the story is, on a small scale, how one person works to clear her own path. On a larger scale, which I learned quickly by living it, we were working through the federal government to change the rules of the business game and to force corporations into opening the pathways for women and minorities.
It’s a strange new world, with social distancing, businesses closed, thousands of people terribly ill and dying around the world. Promoting a book seems somewhat inappropriate even though so many folks are home with time on their hands. Well, some are, but then there are the families with children to entertain and teach and explain the new reality. As for me, I find each day seems like a separate entity. I wake to nothing on the calendar, what I used to see as “a free day.”
I feel the need to recognize that this isn’t just a crisis, this is a new way of life. In its restrictiveness, maybe it will only last for months, but in reality it will change our lives for a very long time.
Even though it seems relatively unimportant in the light of the virus attack on our world, I need to get in gear and put together a virtual book launch. The story of women gaining opportunity back in the 1970s is still relevant. When we do come out of this stay-at-home mode, many women will be going back to work. My guess is that they will find less equal opportunity than they left, for many reasons. All the more reason why we will need to understand how we can work effectively to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity at work. And that’s where my book and this blog will come in useful.
I’d like to get input from those who read this. Reply to this post or send me an email with your ideas and concerns – firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow my new website home devoted to this topic – http://www.AnEqualOpportunity.com or post on my Lois Kathryn Herr facebook page.
By out there, I mean Women, Power, and AT&T: Winning Rights in the Workplace is on Amazon and B&N. There’s a paperback edition AND a Kindle version. No excuse not to get one of your own to read. My print copies should arrive in a few days; I’m excited to have them in my hands. I’ve been trying to get this back in print for five years. A website just for this book is going to be up soon – appropriately named
Those are the last three words of the book!
Exciting news from URLink….There’s a 2nd Printing of Women, Power, and AT&T: Winning Rights in the Workplace. We expect it to be online soon as both a paperback and eBook and available through Amazon and B&N as well as URLink within a few weeks. The first printing was in 2003 – It went out of print in a few years and then the publisher Northeastern University Press went out of business. This book is such a valuable record of the EEOC and AT&T Case that I wanted to bring it back to life. In 1973 the settling of that case was a landmark for affirmative action and equal opportunity for women in business. It sports a new cover but it still the same wonderful story of how change can take place.
Women’s History Month is always a special time for me. Knowing how we got the vote is very important now, as American women go to the polls in a critical presidential primary. But I’m also excited to have lived through the second wave that is now history.
The veterans of the feminist wars have been collecting stories of challenges we faced. And, I’ve just gotten word that the Veteran Feminists of America posted an interview Mary Jean Collins did with me. Here’s the link and here’s my story: http://www.veteranfeministsofamerica.org/vfa-pioneer-histories-project-lois-herr/
Just finished reading The Dakota Winters, an engaging book not just because of the story line but also because it’s set in Manhattan’s upper west side in 1979, which coincides with the time of my memoir-in-progress. A novel by Tom Barbash, The Dakota Winters story touches many places and events familiar to anyone who lived or worked in New York City then.
See my review on Goodreads at
Thanks to #JenniferHaskin for pushing me to get back onto social media with my reading and writing!
The photo above is LOWER Manhattan, and the tall white building on the right is the center of my crossbar tandem experience – the Pearl Street location of what was then New York Telephone. And yes, it will be featured in my memoir along with the telephone people I worked with there.
I’m now at work on a MEMOIR, a new genre for me.
Coming of age in the 1950s, I was programmed for a traditional female path – marriage and teaching. Life didn’t turn out that way. I left teaching after one year of 7th grade language arts and began a career in telecommunications. It was the Bell System back then and while I started in a traditionally female job – technical editing – my path took some interesting turns.
By 1970 I was alert to the feminist movement and called myself a corporate feminist, bound to change the company, and I would do so. In the 1970s I was part of a collaborative and sometimes underground effort to change AT&T’s employment practices; that I documented in Women, Power, and AT&T: Winning Rights in the Workplace (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2003).
I didn’t ignore my career; I moved up the corporate ladder in Corporate Planning, Treasury, Corporate Policy Seminars, New York Telephone Network, AT&T Marketing, and NYNEX Access Services. Mid-career I went off the beaten path and spent a year working for the Ford Administration in Washington DC.
The New York Telephone Company experience was not a normal career step, and it is the subject of my memoir.
In retirement I have continued to blaze trails – living on a farm for 12 years and then being an active participant in political campaigns for 15 years. Those experiences will have to be the subject of another book.
I’m hoping to learn about memoirs as I write and have participated in Author Learning Center webinars. I’m trying to figure out how to communicate with other authors on Goodreads. This is challenging.