While not “the problem with no name” encountered by 1950s-era housewives, the archival profession today, bred by its feminization, faces the “archival mystique”: the duality of being a demographically female-dominated profession while women archivists still face traditional gender limitations. The archival mystique's symptoms are not “bleeding blisters, malaise, nervousness, and fatigue”1 faced by an earlier generation of housewives. Instead, manifestations found within the archival profession include leadership and professional development issues, the historical treatment of women by the profession and its aftereffects on women archivists, as well as the larger problem of professional identity and inadequate understanding and awareness of archives outside the profession, which functions as a private sphere despite being a public, professional space. As Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique spread awareness of “the problem” in America's consciousness, so too have recent archival conference panels and discussions within the professional community illuminated the archival mystique. This article examines the archival mystique's origins within the larger framework of the profession's feminization, addresses the mystique's breadth and depth among women archivists and the larger archival profession, and proposes solutions, including professional advocacy and organizing, that will result in a more dynamic and inclusive profession.

“Nothing can ever be the same as it was before,” said Diane McCormick of the Morenci Miners Women's Auxiliary. “Look at us. At the beginning of this strike, we were just a bunch of ladies.”2

The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan's 1963 book, explored “the problem that has no name,”3 the widespread unhappiness of 1950s and early 1960s house-wives as a result of the loss of an identity separate from wife and mother. Similarly, the archival profession's feminization bred a parallel mystique, the “archival mystique,”4 the duality of being a demographically female-dominated profession while women archivists still face traditional gender limitations. These limitations play out as the archival mystique's symptoms, which are not the “malaise, nervousness, and fatigue”5 faced by an earlier generation of housewives, but rather, a representation of the issues of women in leadership roles, professional development concerns, the historical treatment of women's collections by the profession, and the larger problem of inadequate understanding and awareness of archives outside of the profession—essentially the profession functioning as a private sphere despite being a public, professional space. As Friedan's book spread awareness of the problem of women's loss of identity in America's consciousness, so too have recent archival conference panels and discussions within the professional community illuminated the archival mystique.6

This article examines the archival mystique's origins within the larger framework of occupational feminization and gender-typing, addresses the mystique's breadth and depth among women archivists and the archival profession as a whole, and proposes solutions including professional advocacy and organizing. While intersectionality is discussed, the focus remains primarily on women collectively, rather than explicitly delving deeper into aspects of diversity beyond gender (e.g., race, class, identity, sexual orientation, ableness, etc.). This is in large part due to the lack of available research data, particularly in earlier data sets. A woman's intersection with additional marginalized groups both instills a unique point of view and magnifies the impact of the archival mystique, following the rationale outlined in Kimberle Crenshaw's “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex.”7

To discern the influence of feminization within the archival profession and the subsequent birth of the archival mystique, one must first understand the historical and ongoing contributions of Friedan's The Feminine Mystique and occupational feminization.

The Feminine Mystique: A Useful but Imperfect Paradigm

The Feminine Mystique shed light on what Betty Friedan coined “the problem that has no name.”8 However, as explained by Stephanie Coontz, the problem—barriers faced by women in society—did have a name, and it was “sex discrimination.”9 Coontz discusses a number of the historic and modern criticisms levied against The Feminine Mystique, while still recognizing the book's usefulness both to women and feminist literature.

Two challenges addressed by Coontz are Friedan's oversimplification of feminism's pre-1950s gains and the book's lack of diversity. Friedan generalized the 1920s through the 1940s as a kind of progressive renaissance for women and feminism. This contrasted directly with the sudden backlash of the feminine mystique of the 1950s. While true that women saw advances before the 1950s (suffrage, increased education levels, being called into the labor force during World War II), “there was no golden age of feminism” and “the feminine mystique was not a postwar invention, but rather a repackaging of old prejudices in more modern trappings in the aftermath of the suffrage movement.”10 However, Coontz does cite her interviewees as indicating that there was “something different” about the period postwar, something that Friedan captured in her book that spoke to them.11

Similarly, Friedan generalized all American women from those she studied: white, middle-class, college-educated housewives, leading to a lack of diversity in the study of the problem. While supportive of Friedan's work, activist Gerda Lerner pointed out that “‘working women, especially Negro women, labor not only under the disadvantages imposed by the feminine mystique, but under the more pressing disadvantages of economic discrimination,’ and suggested that in addition to Friedan's proposals for expanding women's access to higher education, such women needed child care centers and maternity benefits.”12 Ironically, Coontz points out that including African American women in her work would have bolstered Friedan's argument that women can positively incorporate family life with public life (work, activism, etc.) regardless of financial means.13

Race, class, and education are not the only identities Friedan narrowly defines. Nancy Whittier's review of Coontz's piece points out that “absent from [Coontz's] book is any consideration of lesbians, significant because of The Feminine Mystique's definition of women's oppression in terms of marriage and motherhood and because of the centrality of lesbians in the feminist movement.”14 Coontz explains that after helping to found and becoming the first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Friedan worked with others for a more encompassing platform inclusive of all women (regardless of race, class, or education). However, during NOW's early years, Friedan attempted to prevent lesbians from serving in public-facing positions and was against tackling their issues.15

Clearly, whatever Friedan's personal thinking at the time (or its later evolution), The Feminine Mystique focuses on white, middle-class, college-educated, heteronormative women. While confined in scope, Coontz's interviews reveal that Friedan's book was successfully able, at times, to cross race, class, and education lines. But some interviewees (expectedly) could not relate, even several from the book's intended audience. Despite its limitations, The Feminine Mystique still accomplished much by resonating with women and impacting the culture as well as feminist literature.

Whittier shed light on the contradictory assessments of The Feminine Mystique, that it “‘ignited the contemporary women's movement in 1963 and as a result permanently transformed the social fabric.’ Conversely, scholars of the women's movement see The Feminine Mystique as peripheral, arguing that the movement emerged because of structural and political changes already under way.”16 Anita Taylor took a moderate view, that “Friedan's book played an important role in our thinking, perhaps increasingly so with the glacial pace of enforcement of equal rights legislation,” but that it “didn't spark a movement. It was one among many sparks that ignited, eventually, collective passion for social change.”17

The Feminine Mystique laid the groundwork for subsequent research related to issues impacting women. These authors often derive the titles of their issues from the feminine mystique, including “cyborg mystique,”18 “masculine mystique,”19 “career mystique,”20 “modern mystique,”21 “hottie mystique,” “supermom mystique,” and “mommy-wars mystique.”22 Similarly, the archival mystique can trace a lineage back to the feminine mystique, given its origins and that its primary negative impact is upon women archivists, although, as with the feminine mystique, men are also affected. Like the feminine mystique, an aura of mystery surrounds the archival mystique, not in its manifestations—the symptoms plaguing archivists and the archival profession—but in its definition, the duality of archives being a demographically female-dominated profession while women archivists still face traditional gender limitations (limitations that manifest as the mystique's symptoms). If more women populate the archival profession than men, why do women archivists face these constraints? Despite its flaws, The Feminine Mystique proves a useful paradigm to analyze the current “stirring” in the archival profession, given its feminization.

Professions and Feminization

According to Sally Lindsay's physician assistant case study, there are multiple definitions of workplace feminization. Gordon Marshall's 1996 definition limits feminization to “the movement of women into formerly ‘male’ occupation[s],” whereas Tracey L. Adams's definition from 2004 expands feminization beyond the female majority to include the profession viewed as “women's work.”23 A third type of definition, proposed by Harriet Bradley in 1993, identifies three stages: “infiltration” (male majority, fewer women), “invasion” (female majority, fewer men), and “takeover” (female majority, occupation now “women's work”).24

This article defines feminization using Marshall's 1996 description and Bradley's “invasion” stage—a feminized profession is demographically female-dominated25—that is, the majority of individuals identify as women. This clarifies the separate and distinct points of feminization versus a profession's gender, which are not necessarily aligned. Dana Britton's, “The Epistemology of the Gendered Organization,” provides three interpretations of gendered organizations based on the literature.26 First, “the ideal-typical bureaucratic organization is inherently gendered.”27 This viewpoint harkens back to Joan Acker's 1990 contentions that organizations are structured based on defined gender differences (male versus female) and that these differences are valued28 and will subsequently reproduce. Britton's second interpretation, that gender ties directly into sex-dominance,29 likens to Bradley's third stage, “takeover.” The third definition discussed interprets occupational and organizational gender assignment as the result of “symbolically and ideologically” male and female leadership roles.30 However, as Britton's article demonstrates, each of these interpretations is flawed. For example, a profession may be dominated by one sex, but associated with a different gender based upon society's traditional and stereotypical gender roles, making it a “transgendered occupation.”31 Consequently, Britton advocates for additional research.

Britton and Laura Logan refine occupational gender theory, again building further upon Acker's work:

. . . organizations and occupations are gendered at the level of culture—we think of particular jobs and organizations in gendered ways—the military “turns boys into men.” They also reflect and reproduce gender through their policies and practices. . . . Interactions between workers may reproduce inequality—if men socialize with their supervisors outside of work they can increase their visibility and chances for success. Finally, workers themselves may craft their identities in gendered ways through their work.32

They go on, arguing that organizations are not merely gendered; intersectionality plays a part too, even though research often directs “less attention to the ways that work may also be ‘raced’ or ‘sexualized’ or ‘classed.’. . . The ‘ideal worker’ is male, but he is often white, middle class, and heterosexual.”33

In contrast, occupations gendered as “women's work,” including teaching, nursing, and librarianship, present a female ideal worker. In these professions, the dominating sex and the occupational gender identity align, likely due to early feminization and ideas about women and their capabilities (and lack thereof). Sheelagh Drudy tackles feminization concerns in the teaching profession, namely the question of whether the lack of male teachers is detrimental to boys.34 As part of her historical research, Drudy recounts that teaching's feminization stems from “subtle patterns of socialisation” and that the “‘domestic ideology’ proposes that women are ‘naturally’ more disposed towards nurture than are men.”35

Similarly, Gina Schlesselman-Tarango's “The Legacy of Lady Bountiful: White Women in the Library” argues that middle- and upper-class, educated, white women were recruited into the librarian profession because they exemplified true womanhood—“the Victorian idealization of women's nature and domestic roles.”36 This was denied women of color because they did not fit this glorified femininity. The case of librarianship raises important issues of intersectionality within gendered occupations and has implications for archives given the recent professional crossovers in both education and praxis.

Along with professions that have long been female-dominated are those currently undergoing feminization. These are often the subjects of studies that seek out supporting reasons for feminization, its process, and the broader impact on the field (e.g., does the profession become typed as “women's work”?). This includes professions like veterinary medicine,37 law,38 dentistry,39 pharmacy,40 and medicine—physician assistants in particular.41 Leslie Irvine and Jenny R. Vermilya highlight the challenges women face in veterinary medicine, which, while feminized, remains gendered masculine.42 Irvine and Vermilya's research found that despite swift feminization throughout veterinary medicine, women still tend to do work that is traditionally gendered female, especially tasks related to nurturing and communicating. Indeed, “the profession thus places a premium on masculinity, and women who want to succeed must abandon stereotypically feminine behavior.”43

Julian Tanner and Rhonda Cockerill's study of feminization in pharmacy provides similar results, “While women are changing the demographic profile and public image of the profession, they are not thereby transforming its structure of patriarchal power and privilege.”44 Lindsay's study on the feminization of physician assistants (PAs) found that like veterinarians and pharmacists, women PAs are more likely to work in lower-paid specialties and lesser-status areas, and they are less likely to be self-employed.45

As Britton and Logan note, “Although people bring their own gender to organizations, the jobs they occupy are already themselves gendered.”46 Indeed, in all these examples, despite the profession becoming female-dominated, women workers still face traditional gender limitations; in part because the professions are gendered male, or traditional masculine traits and hierarchies remain valued and in place. These echo issues at the core of the archival mystique's symptoms. To fully comprehend how feminization impacts the archival profession, it is necessary to review the profession's origins and maturation.

Archival Mystique: Birth Story

The archival profession was not always female-dominated. Michele F. Pacifico researched women and their roles within the Society of American Archivists (SAA) from its outset to the creation of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession.47 She provided statistics on SAA's initial membership elected by SAA's Council (comprised of three men and two women). Women made up 23.2% of SAA's members in 1936, rising to 28% of membership by the first annual meeting in June 1937. Women's membership in SAA increased to 33% over the next 20 years and remained constant through the 1970s.48

However, membership in SAA does not necessarily reflect involvement in the archival profession, particularly in its earlier days. Pacifico points out that until 1955, archivists had to apply to SAA's Council and be elected as members, rather than merely joining and paying dues as archivists do today. Although we do not know of any archivist, male or female, being rejected, this formality was a barrier for some. Pacifico notes that “many archivists believed that an invitation or sponsor was needed to join SAA, and that a certain amount of prestige was required to participate actively. In a number of institutions, especially state and local archives, the top administrators perpetuated this belief by not sponsoring or encouraging lower level staff to join SAA.”49 Council removed the election requirement in 1955 but did not attempt to change the mentality. Pacifico states that many archivists believed “SAA was run by a clique, with the same people serving on committees, delivering papers, and writing articles. Far fewer women then [sic] men were allowed into the circle, or the ‘gentlemen’s club' as some women called it. Resentful of this perceived elitism, it seems that some women either postponed joining SAA, or, if members, did not actively participate.”50

Pacifico also indicates that some women in SAA stated it appeared women were discriminated against due to their employment status (i.e., nonleadership positions), rather than gender.51 Given that Pacifico asserts that some women postponed joining SAA, it follows that the percentage of women versus men members in SAA's early days may not have represented the demographics of the larger profession. If the percentage of women SAA members at this time did not accurately represent the proportion of women within the larger profession and significantly more women were in the profession than were members in SAA, then this reveals that the problems symptomatic of the archival mystique were present even before the archival profession became fully female-dominated. This means that even though women held numerous positions as archivists, they were not accurately represented within the profession (as defined by SAA membership and participation via SAA professional services and publications) from its creation in the late 1930s to the early 1970s. Not only did some women feel unable to join, but those who were members felt, or actually were, generally unable to fully participate in the sole professional organization for archivists in the United States.

Conversely, if SAA's demographics do accurately represent the archival profession at large, and if SAA is used to measure professional engagement, then clearly, not only was SAA male-dominated, so too was nearly every aspect of the profession for 45 years, from 1937 to 1972. This holds true for SAA officers, Council members, and Program and Local Arrangement Committees participants, and it is remarkably stunning when considering publication in and reference to specific archivists in American Archivist. In 1973, Mabel Deutrich compiled data on archivists and made gender-based comparisons. Of particular note, “until 1968 women in the Society appear to have been mentioned only three times in the American Archivist—and all three by the dean of our profession, Ernest Posner.”52 She went on to quote one of these three occasions, Posner's address at the Society's 25th Anniversary Luncheon: “And how I was impressed when a lady—it was Jean Stephenson, a humble female—got up in one of the discussion periods and talked on her feet, and talked sense!”53

While women may have “talked sense” during discussions, they rarely presented at annual meetings or had words published in SAA's journal before 1972. Deutrich addresses these symbiotic problems, lamenting that publication was one area that women could control themselves as the journal consistently sought out content. She goes on to note that part of the problem may have been that a large portion of the journal's content came from annual meeting presentations adapted into papers, which women were rarely asked to present.54 Even after the creation of the Committee of Archival Research to seek articles in 1943, and when Margaret Cross Norton held the editorship of American Archivist from 1946 to 1949, men were still the vast majority of authors. Pacifico presents statistics to support this in her “Founding Mothers” article about women authors and reviewers in American Archivist from its inception in 1938 through 1972; women's banner years were 1967 for article authorship with 29.4% of articles,55 and 1954 for book review authorship at 34.0%.56 From 1960 to 1969, American Archivist published 293 research articles, but women wrote only 43 (14.68%) of these,57 and one article discussed women archivists.58 Another inequity noted by Deutrich was the number of awards won by women at the time of her article's publication (April 1973): 0, save for an honorable mention award to Lucile Kane for the Waldo Gifford Leland Prize.59

If women archivists were constrained by the profession's slow evolution, they began to see a changing national landscape during the 1960s and 1970s, due in part to women raising a united voice in the workplace for the first time. As Nancy MacLean states, “For all that working-class women questioned before the mid-1960s, one institution had remained sacrosanct: the sexual division of labor.”60 Efforts to rectify gender and racial imbalances in employment, regardless of the occupation, began with affirmative action. Principally, women, particularly white women, were the early benefactors of these measures.61 Furthermore, the establishment of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the formation of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission promoted advancement toward equalizing the workplace across many fields for both women and workers of color.62 Perhaps the most significant change came in 1969 when the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission ruled sex-based protective legislation illegal. Indeed, Dorothy Sue Cobble notes, this “principal basis for a half century of opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)—defense of protective laws—disappeared. The collapse of this cornerstone of the older labor feminism made possible the emergence of a new, transformed workplace-based feminism.”63

On the heels of national legislation, progressive changes came within the archival profession throughout the 1970s. The SAA Committee for the 1970s, as noted by Deutrich, was “almost all male in composition” but did take gender into account and “took a strong stand against any kind of discrimination.”64 Other actions included development of the antidiscrimination resolution and Archivists for Action (ACT). The organizing session on women archivists held during the 1972 annual meeting eventually led to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, which became a standing committee whose official purpose was “to monitor the status of women in the profession” and to “strive for equitable participation.”65 Also created around this time was the Women's Caucus. In 1973, American Archivist devoted an entire issue to women archivists. However, even with an entire issue, with (almost!) all its articles written by women, the percentage of women authors in American Archivist in 1973 was still only 37.5% (see Table 1).

Table 1.

Article Authors in the 1973 Issues of American Archivist Broken Down by Male and Female Gender

Article Authors in the 1973 Issues of American Archivist Broken Down by Male and Female Gender
Article Authors in the 1973 Issues of American Archivist Broken Down by Male and Female Gender

Pacifico notes that from 1972 to her article's publication in 1987, SAA's female membership rose from 33% to 54%. Concurrently, women increased their participation within SAA; for the first time, in 1985 and 1986, SAA had two consecutive women presidents.66

Feminizing to Female Domination

By situating her archival graduate program study within the larger framework of previous surveys, Elizabeth Yakel contextualizes gender demographics, referencing a 1989 SAA survey that reported the profession as 54.3% female, then citing the 1996 Salary Survey, which revealed the profession was by then 69% female. She states, “one can surmise from these data that the profession has rapidly feminized in the 1990s and will become increasingly feminized in the future.”67

Yakel goes on to provide her survey's data on archival students' gender: 44% of history department students and 72% of LIS-based archival program students were women, for a total of 67% female students when the demographics of the two programs were combined. She warns, “The overall effects that this change in the make-up of the profession will have on salaries, the number of jobs, and job status should be monitored closely in the coming years.”68 However, she also indicates the ratio of men to women in the archives area of LIS programs often differed from the LIS programs as a whole, with men sometimes outnumbering women. In the years since Yakel's article was published, women continued their domination of the archives profession, as shown in the 2006 A*CENSUS, with 65% of the respondents being women.69 SAA's 2015 Employment Survey had an even higher number—73%—of respondents identifying as women.70 More recently, the SAA Women Archivists Section conducted its 2017 WArS/SAA Salary Survey, revealing the most staggering numbers to date, with 82.1% of the 2,170 respondents identifying as female.71

This ongoing feminization of the field appears also to correspond with what the A*CENSUS captured about programs, namely that “the master's in library and information science (MLIS) is the degree of choice.”72 Indeed, upon review of the A*CENSUS' comparison73 of three large SAA-related surveys over nearly 50 years—Posner's in 1956, Bearman's in 1982, and A*CENSUS in 2004, as well as the SAA Employment Survey in 2015—this correlation holds true. The Master of Library Science (MLS)/Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) was not even in a separate category in Posner's survey, so it is not included in Figure 1. Represented on the graph is Bearman's survey from 1982, where the MLS/MLIS was at 20%, and the A*CENSUS in 2004, where the MLS/MLIS was up to 39.4%, but other master's degrees—Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Science—were still in the majority. According to SAA's 2015 Employment Survey, 60.38% of respondents held an MLS/MLIS, and the percentage of archivists with both the MLS/MLIS and an additional master's also increased.


Comparison of types of master's degrees held by archivists in 1982, 2004, and 2015. This figure shows the percentage of archivists holding specific type(s) of master's degree(s) in each survey. Note that Bearman's 1982 survey did not measure MLIS/MLS and MA/MFA/MS, leaving an empty data point.


Comparison of types of master's degrees held by archivists in 1982, 2004, and 2015. This figure shows the percentage of archivists holding specific type(s) of master's degree(s) in each survey. Note that Bearman's 1982 survey did not measure MLIS/MLS and MA/MFA/MS, leaving an empty data point.

Close modal

Librarianship is another historically female-dominated occupation, and the continuing trend of archivists obtaining MLS/MLIS degrees reveals the profession moving away from its roots. Archives originally descended from the male-dominated field of history, with many archivists initially trained as historians (as shown in Figure 1 by terminal degrees). However, with archives becoming more like librarianship with respect to terminal degrees and gender demographics, will the result be an archival profession endowed with issues and traits traditionally associated with careers gendered female (i.e., “women's work”)? Some of librarianship's “Lady Bountiful” legacy may be avoided simply because of differences in the profession's origin and evolution, such as archives' initial outgrowth from the history profession, rather than librarianship's specific design for women. However, as its feminization appears to correspond with adopting the MLIS/MLS as its terminal degree of choice and both professions are dominated by white women, the archives profession must be aware of its sister profession's history and how this may impact its own trajectory.

What else does archives' feminization mean for the profession, and how does the archival mystique relate to the feminine mystique? Does the archival profession face problems, including traditional gender-limitations, similar to those revealed in the feminization studies done in professions like veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and physician assistants? That is, what has the feminization of archives done to the archival profession and its archivists?

To investigate the feminine mystique's causes and determine its impact, Friedan sought data and information from experts, as well as direct evidence from women experiencing the “problem.” Indeed, Friedan herself said, “Sometimes I sensed the problem, not as a reporter, but as a suburban housewife.”74 Likewise, the authors' identities as women archivists produce a similar internalization of the archival mystique and direct personal experience with its symptoms, affording a different, unique perspective compared to the feminization studies of other professions conducted by social scientists, as discussed earlier.

As women archivists, the authors are part of the research population, and their own professional experiences served as the genesis for identifying the mystique's manifestations. That is, despite archives being a female-dominated profession, all four authors have faced traditional gender challenges in one or more of the symptoms: leadership issues, professional development issues, the impact of the profession's historical treatment of women, and the challenges of professional identity and awareness of archives outside of what functions as the profession's private sphere.

However, it must be noted that the authors are also white, middle class, nondisabled, cis-gendered women, demographically the “default archivist” (similar to “Lady Bountiful's”75 ascription), and, while cognizant of the additional burdens placed on women archivists without these privileges, have not personally lived them.

To explore the issues quantitatively, the authors turned to data collected within the profession. The authors analyzed data from the SAA 2015 Employment Survey76 (the most comprehensive data collection within the archives profession since the 2006 A*CENSUS), the 2017 WArS/SAA Salary Survey, and information from the SAA Mentoring Subcommittee. Presentations, public discussions on social media (e.g., Twitter, conference presentations), and articles written by women archivists rounded out the research. Similar to Friedan's approach, these methods proved effective in investigating the traditional gender limitations women archivists face despite the profession being predominantly female. Particularly, they enabled the authors to delve deeply into the pervasiveness of the archival mystique's symptoms: leadership issues, professional development issues, impact of historical treatment of women's collections on current professionals, as well as the larger problem of professional identity, and inadequate understanding and awareness of the archival profession within the larger public sphere.

To address the archival mystique, research focused on its four symptom areas.

Laboring to Lead

One way the archival mystique manifests itself among women archivists and the larger profession is through women's representation in leadership positions. As the data indicate, this appeared to be an issue even before the birth of the archival mystique, that is, before the archival profession became female-dominated. Pacifico notes that women felt disadvantaged within SAA due to their job status, as they tended not to hold leadership positions.77 Data from the SAA 2015 Employment Survey show that now women (138) numerically hold more leadership positions (defined as “managing a program that employs archivists”) than men (96), which is to be expected given their majority in the profession.78 However, within gender, leadership roles comprise a smaller percentage of women's positions (5.29%, tied with “working in another profession or occupation, but with archives-related responsibilities” for fifth place) than men's (10.68%, second place).79 While further research is needed to determine the different rankings within gender, these numbers generate additional concern upon further analysis. When looking at race, 89.78% of women in leadership positions identify as white or Caucasian.80 Is this a sign of Lady Bountiful's influence?

A March 2017 review of the 13 presidential libraries (federal archives institutions) revealed that only 3 of the 13 (23.08%) current directors are women.81 Of the 14 individuals ever holding the title of acting and/or permanent Archivist of the United States, only 2 (14.29%) were women. Both were “acting,” meaning each filled the position only until the next appointment, the first in 1993 and the second in 2008. Neither of these women were promoted to Archivist of the United States, however, of the 4 men that held the acting title, 2 were eventually promoted to the full position.82

Of the 73 SAA presidents, 21 (28.77%) have been women, 17 (80.95%) of whom became president in 1980 or after.83 Most significantly, 6 of these 17 women served as SAA president within the last 8 years. Vice presidents were elected from 1936 to 1957, and only one, Margaret Cross-Norton, was a woman.84 Turning to the editors of American Archivist, there have been 22, 6 of whom were women (27.27%), 5 in 1978 or after.85 Since 1936, of 190 Council members, 84 have been women (44.21%), with 75 of those women being elected in 1970 or after.86 Indeed, Council's current gender makeup is two-thirds female (6 women, 3 men). The only leadership position women dominate is the office of executive director; since 1972, 9 people have held the (permanent and interim) position, including 7 women (77.78%). Of the 5 executive directors who were noninterims, 4 (80%) were women.87 These numbers show SAA's progress in increasing women's leadership roles over the years, progress that picked up around 1980 and made significant strides in recent years. However, we must proceed cautiously, as these gains only indicate progress in gender inclusivity, which, while impressive, is not necessarily intersectional; inclusivity must be for all women within the archival profession to demonstrate true progress.

Developing Professionally

Professional development concerns are also a symptom of the mystique. As suggested in The Feminine Mystique, “If a job is to be the way out of the trap for a woman, it must be a job that she can take seriously as part of a life plan, work in which she can grow as part of society.”88 Friedan's assertion is reality for women archivists, as evidenced by their interest and participation in professional development. During spring and summer 2013, the Society of American Archivists Women Archivists Roundtable (WAR) conducted a membership survey based on topics identified at its 2012 annual meeting. From that survey, the following top three issues emerged: women and leadership, salary equity, and career advancement; a close fourth was mentoring and internships. In addition to areas of concern, the survey sought to determine a strategy to address the issues, with the number-one answer, by far, being “identify and support opportunities for leadership and development in continuing education.”89

WAR conducted a follow-up survey in fall 2015 and found a continuing need among women archivists for promotion and salary negotiation guidance. The participants were asked to rank six topics from the most to least important: child care, salary negotiations, work/life balance, promotion, scholarship (publications/presentations), and management issues. Of the 100 respondents, an overwhelming 66.67% selected promotion and 63.46% of the responders chose salary negotiations. Corroborating results demonstrate that women are not receiving a substantial foundation as they continue as professionals in their chosen field.90 The 2017 WArS/SAA Salary Survey supports this, finding that individuals least likely to negotiate during a job offer identified as less than 30 years old and/or neurodiverse.91 However, the results also indicated that negotiation increased with higher degrees and additional years of archival work experience (as expected).92 Arguably, mentorship assists these progressions.

WAR hosted a Twitter chat on Scholarship and Professional Development in February 2014. The discussion was based on a series of questions posed to Twitter and included commentary on professional engagement and development, emphasizing the sacrifices women make to maintain relationships. In response to the SAA WAR prompt, “Is it a personal sacrifice to maintain professional engagement? What gets sacrificed first?,”93 then–SAA vice president/president-elect Kathleen Roe stated, “[I] Have a kid—did an SAA manual writing from 9 pm to midnight. Don't dust/clean like mom would have [sic].”94 Conversation weighed heavily on how women maintain themselves professionally with or without support from coworkers, which coincided with barriers to professional engagement, taking into consideration those who are new to the profession and their already established counterparts. Current SAA president Tanya Zanish-Belcher tweeted, “The best way to get established is to get yourself on programs. Contact chairs/pro comm. Propose workshops.”95 The Students and New Archival Professionals Roundtable (SNAP)96 also leads initiatives related to professional development. SNAP has focused on the sheer cost of continuing education and development within the profession. As costs for professional development, such as Society membership (see Table 2) and attending the annual conference (see Table 3),97 increase, how do women archivists (and more strikingly when taking race into account) who statistically make less than men98 continue participating despite this double monetary disadvantage?

Table 2.

SAA Membership Fees, 2008–2018

SAA Membership Fees, 2008–2018
SAA Membership Fees, 2008–2018
Table 3.

SAA Conference Registration Rates, 2008–2018

SAA Conference Registration Rates, 2008–2018
SAA Conference Registration Rates, 2008–2018

As noted in WAR's 2013 survey and SAA's Mentoring Subcommittee's statistics, mentoring is an important aspect of professional development for women archivists. Of the 903 total records in the Mentoring Subcommittee's database in spring 2017,99 602 (66.67%) were for women and 135 (14.95%) for men, with an additional 80 (16.81%) individuals preferring not to indicate gender (see Table 4).

Table 4.

Genders of Protégés and Mentors in SAA's Mentoring Program as of Spring 2017

Genders of Protégés and Mentors in SAA's Mentoring Program as of Spring 2017
Genders of Protégés and Mentors in SAA's Mentoring Program as of Spring 2017

To more accurately understand the gender of SAA's Mentoring Subcommittee's participants in relation to the other data presented, the men toring participants data set was limited only to those participants who indicated gender as male or female (nonbinary was not an option at the time these data were collected) (see Table 5). After controlling for this factor, the proportion of women in the program (81.68%) is higher than the proportion in the profession (73.37%), and the proportion of men (18.31%) is lower (25.01%), per the SAA 2015 Employment Survey.100 Given women's marked interest in professional development and mentoring, this is not surprising. Similarly, the female-to-male ratio of mentors aligns with the ratio of women-to-men in the profession. The gender balance takes a turn, however, when reviewing protégés, who are overwhelmingly women (86.11%) rather than men (13.89%). Further intersectional analysis cannot be easily undertaken because additional demographic data such as race, ableness, and sexual orientation were not explicitly collected, although applicants could specify explicit requests in an open text field.101

Table 5.

Genders of Protégés and Mentors in SAA's Mentoring Program as of Spring 2017 with “No Value / Prefer Not to Say” Gender Option Removed

Genders of Protégés and Mentors in SAA's Mentoring Program as of Spring 2017 with “No Value / Prefer Not to Say” Gender Option Removed
Genders of Protégés and Mentors in SAA's Mentoring Program as of Spring 2017 with “No Value / Prefer Not to Say” Gender Option Removed

Archiving Ourselves

Steeped in the historiography and subsequent maturation of the archives profession, another symptom of the archival mystique lives within archival materials themselves. Male domination of the early profession was not limited to practitioners; men also dominated the collections they curated.

Karen M. Mason and Tanya Zanish-Belcher discuss the increase of dedicated women's archival repositories since 1975 and the implications for related fields, and they argue that these specialized repositories will continue to play a necessary role for women's history and archives. Early in their article, the authors ask, “Should women's repositories exist?” They answer “yes,” with one rationale being that “until recently archives neglected the papers of women and non-majority groups, instead concentrating their collecting on the papers of men who held positions of power or influence in American society.”102 In truth, the nonacquisition of women's materials in archives is hardly a rarity, as Zangrando states, “Women have traditionally been relegated to the domestic sphere, male-defined as not important enough to get into the history books. Unless a woman was particularly erratic, unusual, perhaps neurotic, she did not, in fact, gain a place in our recorded history.”103

Archives often shelved away the women's materials that they did accession, an unseen problem left inaccessible in the stacks. As described by Mason and Zanish-Belcher, “Women's materials were often not identified as such, or were ‘hidden’ in the papers of male family members or colleagues or in organizational materials.”104 Mason and Zanish-Belcher go on to quote Judy Lensink's observation, which has a deeper meaning given the context of intersectionality mentioned earlier, “. . . many lesser-known and unknown peoples' writings, particularly by women of color, are not being read because they lie obscured in historical archives. . . .”105

Much of this obscurity results from lack of description and/or processing. Inadequate description could include leaving a woman's name off a joint collection title or merging a woman's papers with those of her family, as explained by Mason and Zanish-Belcher above. However, inadequate description can also be more insidious, as examples of excluding the authority records of women in a collection's description show, or worse, there are no authority records to (not) include. The same may be said for women-related subject headings. A specific example is found in traditionally male-dominated labor records, as discussed at the 2014 SAA “Laboring for Access” panel. The presentation featured women labor archivists discussing how to balance access to minimally documented women labor union members and leaders within male-dominated collections and how gender, particularly their arguably underprivileged status as women and the “female gaze,” influences record accessibility.106

Ostensibly, these problems are preventable through the creation of women's-only repositories, a cause championed by historian Mary Ritter Beard (1876–1958). Anke Voss-Hubbard discusses Beard's efforts to create a World Center for Women's Archives, noting that while not successful, Beard's work did result in a women's-only collection, later named the Sophia Smith Collection, at Smith College.107 During Beard's campaign for a separate, distinct women's collection at Smith College, one alumna disagreed, asking,

“Aren't Women people?” Grierson [Smith's librarian] responded that “[t]he purpose of the collection is certainly not to sharpen the distinction between the sexes . . . but further to diminish the distinction by gathering an imposing evidence of work of women comparable in every way to that of men.” To Beard the episode was a perfect illustration of why a women's archives was needed. The alumna's question indicated that too many women needed to realize “that to be ‘people’ they must be recognized as such and not lost to view.”108

The question of segregating women's collections into their own repositories or artificial collections is controversial. Doing so has the ability to draw both attention and dedicated resources to women's materials. However, could separate repositories instead isolate, segregate, and depreciate the value of women's collections? Mason and Zanish-Belcher, like Beard before them, contend that even in the year 2000

Separate women's collections are critical for two reasons. First, they provide a means of rectifying the earlier neglect of women's papers and preventing such gaps in documentation from occurring in the future. Second, they provide a vehicle to promote and enhance the study of women's history.109

Women-specific repositories and collections are forward progress, but their creation has not included all women. Beard's attempt to create the World Center for Women's Archives is but one example. Under development, the project did not include any African American women on its board of directors; it only asked two African American women to become sponsors; and the Negro Women's Archives Committee did not receive much field-work funding.110 Is the solution to create further specialized repositories, or can women archivists finally organize together and create truly inclusive collections?

Even if the profession succeeds in building comprehensive women-focused repositories, it is not feasible for them to hold all women's collections, and presently coed repositories hold many women's collections. Elizabeth Novara examines the inherent challenges of collecting the papers of women state legislators alongside their male counterparts. She describes that ensuring women's papers were deliberately sought after required the University of Maryland to create specific collecting criteria. She warns that “the archives is not a neutral zone, potential collections are overlooked because of bias or lack of awareness, and acquisition is complicated by lack of resources.”111 Novara also expresses apprehension about researcher usage, stating, “Compared to other types of political collections, archivists and researchers may simply overlook women state legislators' papers. This is especially true in archival repositories that do not specialize specifically in collecting women's collections or that do not define themselves as women's archives.”112 Indeed, she shares similar concerns and rationale with Mason and Zanish-Belcher, citing their two-pronged rationale for the criticalness of separate women's collections.113

Women's materials have long been overlooked, their collections overshadowed. Eva Moseley makes the case for a “new women's history,” explaining that traditional history focused on “Great White Men.” Traditional women's history follows a similar pattern; that is, telling the public story of prominent women. In contrast, new women's history “seeks to illuminate the non-public lives and accomplishments of elite and non-elite women.”114 This harkens back to Zangrando's quote about women's confinement to the domestic or private sphere, where traditional archives tell the stories of prominence, the stories of the public sphere, which exclude women. This is magnified when a woman falls within the intersection of other marginalized groups.

Indeed, Audrey T. McCluskey explains the “distortions, omissions, and flawed perspectives”115 present in black women's history, noting, “Black women, especially during the early nineteenth century, were not considered historically relevant. They were annulled out of history primarily because they did not fit the conventional view of the nineteenth-century woman, idealized as it was.”116

All of this has likely hurt archives' ability to obtain women's papers over the years, as women, even the privileged women of great accomplishment, often see their materials as having little value; “paradoxically, Beard considered her own manuscripts and letters of little value to historians.”117 Correcting this will take both external advocacy and internal change, specifically as discussed by Novara: “Archivists documenting women need to ensure that the definition of ‘women’ in collection development policies includes women from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.”118

For the purposes of the archival mystique, how is this duality—a now feminized archival profession and the historical repression of all women's materials—reconciled? What impact has this had on women archivists? One result has likely been the noted increase in women's repositories reported by Mason and Zanish-Belcher. Of the 39 repositories Mason and Zanish-Belcher list, only 7 (18%) were created prior to the 1970s. Numbers escalated throughout the 1970s and 1980s, with the establishment of 13 (33%) and an impressive 19 (49%) additional repositories in the 1990s,119 which corresponds with the years the archival profession rapidly feminized.

This correlation does not necessarily mean causation and would require further research to fully unpack. More important for the mystique and its impact on women archivists is the message this relationship conveys, particularly to those who are a part of other marginalized groups (based on race, sexual orientation, etc.) who must regularly confront the fact that the materials of their fore-sisters were not deemed important enough to collect, or are not described accurately enough to be accessible, simply because they were women. And this determination, while in some cases made many years ago, often was made in the not so distant past, by archivists who are still coworkers, colleagues, and bosses. On its face, this work environment was historically hostile to women archivists, and one could assume it creates added stress for them that their male counterparts do not face. What additional strain and emotional labor do the remnants of this earlier work environment and previous best practices (now recognized as erroneous) put on today's women archivists?

Frankly, we do not know. Data are absent because there is no collective mass of research studies on women archivists and stress. Given this challenge, the authors created their own study, presenting their plan at the 2016 SAA Research Forum.120 As described in the Research Forum presentation, two of the authors joined forces with a clinical psychologist and subsequently authored a study on archivists and stress, presenting the initial analysis at SAA 2017.121 The full data analysis is still forthcoming, but early results indicate that women archivists show higher negative mood levels than men archivists.

Professional Identity

The final symptom of the archival mystique is its contribution to the (lack of) women archivists' professional identity, particularly external to the profession. The archives profession's insulated and esoteric nature creates a space that functions as a “private sphere”—similar to the domestic realm before light was shed upon the feminine mystique. As Brenda Banks lamented in 1996, “Remember this [the 1930s] was a time when most folks were asking that all-important question, ‘What the heck is an archivist?’ Unfortunately, we still hear that question being asked all too often.”122 Even those working with archivists on a regular basis, such as faculty and historians, do not have a clear picture of who archivists are and what they do. Historian Alice Dreger wrote a Chronicle article distilling archivists down to six stereotypes. Her quips include “leave her a pad of fun sticky notes on a Friday afternoon,” “the snob is not there for scholarship,” and “what she's really here for is your company until she gets back home to her five cats,” making it clear that many in the academy have as unclear a picture of archivists as does the general public.123

In a 1985 article, David B. Gracy asked what animal best describes archivists and received responses including “squirrels and pack rats and moles.”124 Thus, public perception of archivists and the profession is often nonexistent or negative, rooted in stereotypes promoted through books and movies. Arlene Schmuland's study of archivists' portrayals in fiction found them often described stereotypically with “almost no social life” and “an almost ivory-tower remoteness,” as secluded, and even by recalling one of Gracy's animals—“a mole ‘buried deep in her office.’”125 Fictional women archivists are the minority (42%) and “more likely to be clerical-level workers than men. If the archivist is in an administrative or supervisory role . . . the archivist is more likely to be a man.”126 Schmuland also found that “comparisons to, or cases of mistaken identity with, librarians are common in the world of archives-related fiction.”127

Tania Aldred, Gordon Burr, and Eun Park also studied archivists' portrayals, but in film. Like Schmuland's study, they found men archivists are primarily characterized as “knowledgeable, disgruntled and isolated/solitary. While the women were mainly knowledgeable and territorial.”128 Archivists on film are also less likely to be played by women (33%),129 and there is a crossover between librarians and archivists, most notably women archivists:

Three of the seven female reel archivists did have their hair up in a bun, and so, it can be concluded that they did follow the typical librarian stereotype, at least to a certain extent. While the image of women librarians dominates the big screen, this conclusion tells us that women reel archivists are still often seen or portrayed as counterparts to their librarian cousins, while men are not. It is clear that Hollywood does not see a distinction between a female librarian and a female archivist. Why is this? Is the image of a spinsterish, drab, and repressed female librarian so ingrained in the minds of Hollywood that they cannot (or choose not to) see beyond it? But then why aren't male archivists also portrayed as a typical librarian? What purpose does it serve to portray women archivists (or librarians for that matter) with their hair in a bun? None that we can see. However what we do see is that the portrayal of female archivists as stereotypical librarians is detrimental to the profession, as it misrepresents what archivists do based on a representation of what a librarian (and by extension, an archivist) should look like.130

Providing the “public sphere,” these images of archives and archivists only contribute to the problem.

Friedan's final chapter, “A New Life Plan for Women,” can be modified to “A New Life Plan for Archivists.” Friedan wrote, “We need a drastic reshaping of the cultural image of femininity that will permit women to reach maturity, identity, completeness of self.”131 Now is the time for drastic reshaping of the cultural image of archivists and of the profession from within. To cure the mystique's symptoms—leadership issues, professional development concerns, the historical treatment of women's collections and its aftereffects on women archivists, as well as professional identity issues and erroneous public perceptions—archivists must first fix the profession's broken internal structures.

This could begin by building new and enhancing current internal support systems, crafting a true level playing field for archivists regardless of institutional affiliation, status, or identity. Through this communal support and connection, archivists have the power to transform who leadership reflects, to more fully enable professional development, and to reverse the legacy of neglectful management of women's collections. Looking to the societal picture, archivists continue to advocate for their institutions and their work, and improve upon those efforts as crises arise. These approaches, internal restructuring and rebirth and external advocacy, are not exclusive; rather, they make a dynamic combination with great potential to nourish and energize each other.

Restructuring and Rebirth through Organizing

Structuring and strengthening through professional associations and labor unions are two models for organizing. Currently, there are numerous archival professional organizations based upon geographic location, (local, state, regional, national), certification/education, or even specific subjects that archivists can connect with for professional development needs. These connections often lead to opportunities to expand or develop something new. Along with archival professional organizations, employer-based unions represent some archivists. Labor unions offer an organizing model that moves beyond just professional development and service activities. Through labor unions, individuals come together and organize collectively for the improvement of working conditions and workplace culture for all members. Undeniably, there is a fundamental difference as to what professional associations versus unions accomplish. As we will show using the example of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 925, sometimes what begins as an association to help a group of professionals must morph into a union to reach its full potential.

As Dorothy Sue Cobble notes, these and similar movements of the 1970s “were about degendering women's jobs, about dismantling the gendered structures and norms around which these occupations had been created.”132 District 925 presents a model of how the archives profession could begin organizing, restructuring, and even unionizing.

SEIU District 925

As told by Gloria Steinem in her District 925 oral history,

. . . there had been a period of time—now past, obviously—when unions themselves, SEIU in San Francisco, for instance, resisted signing up clerical workers. I remember arriving in San Francisco and seeing a big banner red headline above the fold of the newspaper which said I think, “Sexism Blockade.” Because there had been a not unusual situation in city government in which the men who picked up the phone and did clerical tasks in the police department made much, much more money than the women who did the same thing in City Hall.133

Founded by Karen Nussbaum and Ellen Cassedy in 1973, Boston 9to5 began as an association that organized clerical professionals, who were overwhelmingly women, as most archivists are now. Boston 9to5 provided a voice for its members, asking, “What was the impact of being a woman office worker? . . . This resonated with people, that there were these unspoken issues.”134 For the members of Boston 9to5, it “became apparent, however, that without a strong collective bargaining agent, women office workers would never achieve the wages, rights, and respect they deserved.”135 Thus, in 1975, Boston 9to5 affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), creating “Local 925, the first autonomous union for office workers to grow from the emerging working women's movement.”136 The local merged with Nussbaum's other organization, 9to5 (previously known as Working Women), forming SEIU District 925 in 1981 during a national organizing campaign for office workers. It remained active until 2001 when SEIU amalgamated District 925 into several locals.137

District 925 made a profound difference in SEIU, which formed its Clerical Division (later the Office Worker Division) in response to the need demonstrated by District 925. Just as important, Valerie Long, a former District 925 organizer, explained, “It was based on the influence of 925 that more women were put into leadership positions in the union.”138 These leadership positions included high-ranking individuals such as international executive board members and a secretary treasurer.

That is not to say that District 925's model was perfect; in fact, the archives profession can learn from the difficulties it faced. Although leaders of the organization felt they reached many of their initial goals even before amalgamation into the larger SEIU, “. . . the idea that it wasn't OK to discriminate against women any more, and it wasn't OK to ask women to get your coffee anymore—all that stuff we had won,”139 lack of intersectional representation still plagued the union as discussed by Valerie Long:

I think the women's movement, in general, and 925 being a manifestation of the women's movement, struggled with race issues. I don't remember a particular incident of this, but if you look at a lot of the 925 history and legacy, it is not overwhelmingly people of color or women of color. There are obviously women of color who are office workers, and were part of the women's movement. And I think there was a struggle that was had, that I wasn't privy to all the manifestations of it—this is just an observation—(but) I don't think we tackled the challenge of race in the women's movement all that successfully.140

Kim Cook, former president of Local 925, noted, “The bottom line is your union is not going to be attractive to and keep people of color until you have people of color on staff, a constant connection for them to see people like themselves. Only then will they feel comfortable, feel this is a place they would like to be.”141

When asked in her oral history interview if there were “strengths and capabilities of 925 that weren't fully utilized,” Gloria Steinem responded,

I think so, because the clerical workers inside the union structure itself were often fighting battles and the clerical workers inside the corporate employers who were the adversaries of the unions were often fighting the same battles. So I suspect that the potential to unify across boundaries—which is very subversive—and tell each other the secrets of your respective employers, was perhaps not utilized.142

Similarly, it was the ability to unify across boundaries based on fighting the same battles that allowed for a successful inaugural meeting of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW).

Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW)

On March 23–24, 1974, 3,200 women from 48 states representing 58 different national and international unions143 met in Chicago united in purpose, but as Myra Wolfgang, a vice president of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union, said, it was not to “swap recipes.”144 The stated purpose of the national conference of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) was to

bring together women trade union members to . . . consider positive action in the areas of equal pay, equal rights and equal opportunity . . . education about women's legal rights, adequate maternity benefits and child care, equitable hiring and promotion practices, adequate minimum wage, up-grading and affirmative action, organizing the unorganized women workers and equitable representation of women in union structures and policy making positions.145

John Herling's Labor Letter noted that “the Founding Sisters of CLUW are determined to become a positive force” and “ . . . the incumbent union leadership will have to grow accustomed to the new pace which the women have set for the entire labor movement. Jogging is out.”146 Undeniably, the objectives adopted at CLUW's 1974 meeting challenged the status quo: encourage unions to be more aggressive in their efforts to bring unorganized women under collective bargaining agreements, particularly in those areas with large numbers of unorganized and/or minority women; encourage women, through their unions, to recognize and take positive action against job discrimination in hiring, promotion, classification, and other aspects of work; lead women to become more active participants in the political and legislative processes of their unions, particularly on affirmative action issues; and persuade women to assume leadership roles and participate at the policy-making levels of their unions.147 Or, as one of its chapter organizing letters put in more simply, “CLUW stands for equal rights of all women.”148

One of the most striking lessons from CLUW's development is how the women who believed in those words, “CLUW stands for equal rights of all women,” put them into action at that first national conference in an extremely powerful way. A portion of the statement of purpose indicated that “National CLUW and area CLUW chapters shall not be involved in issues or activities which a union involved identifies as related to a jurisdictional dispute.”149 This language took center stage during a contentious floor vote to support the United Farm Workers (UFW) in its boycott of grapes, lettuce, and Gallo wine,150 which, if ratified, would have further inflamed the UFW-Teamster organizing disagreement. After a plethora of speeches, lobbying, conversations, and negotiations, delegates from the UFW and the Teamsters looked beyond their unions' differences, and each took the floor to publicly express solidarity with their fellow working women rather than break down into factional divides.151 While both mainstream and labor newspapers highlighted the lack of criticism of or negativity toward men and male union leadership at the conference,152 few had more than a passing comment about the UFW-Teamsters dispute. Those who did mention the argument focused on how the jurisdictional conflict could derail the conference rather than on how it was resolved in truly righteous fashion.

In the final moments of the conference, Addie Wyatt, conference chairperson and director of women's affairs for the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butchers Union, told the crowd “. . . we are ready, available and capable to fight the fight.”153 Today, the next group of women must stand and say they too are ready, available, and capable to fight the fight.

Women archivists must also look beyond organizational and jurisdictional conflict to embrace their collective strength as working women and lift each other up in a bold expression of solidarity. By restructuring through organizing, the archival profession can make progress toward correcting leadership gender imbalances and professional development issues. According to the 2015 SAA Employment Survey, within gender only 5% of women occupy leadership positions compared to nearly 11% of men.154 The authors' 2017 SAA presentation confirmed that, within gender, men are more likely to become administrators than women and that, regardless of position (administrator or archival professional), men tend to be paid $4,000 to $5,000 more.155 Although there has been progress in the form of open dialogue and structured programming through presentations, workshops, and the Archives Leadership Institute (ALI), perhaps it is time for a more formal, organized association similar to CLUW where women leaders across archival professional organizations band together to address leadership issues and develop a cohesive plan for their sister archivists in climbing the archival ladder.

In line with addressing leadership and professional development issues, data from the employment surveys reveal that women archivists comprise the majority of professional development participants. This most likely goes beyond altruism and interest in expanding knowledge; it may have something to do with the lack of women in leadership and women seeing additional education as a way to achieve higher-level positions. Here archivists may look to District 925 as a model for changing workplace culture and provisions, notably the wage gap. Money is often a barrier to further education and development, and it affects all archival professionals regardless of position type. Furthermore, advocating for professional development opportunities, including the funds for participation, is important for individual archivists to grow their skills, for archival institutions to ensure their materials are being handled properly and that they are using up-to-date methodologies, and for continued evolution of the profession.

Public Advocacy

Creating new and reframing existing professional organizations, and looking to new models like those within CLUW and SEIU District 925 to do so, are crucial to the archival profession's forward advancement. But one cannot take these actions in a vacuum; they must coexist with and inform public advocacy and awareness efforts. As defined by Bruce Dearstyne, “Advocacy refers to actions by the program to garner public attention and persuade individuals and organizations to provide support.”156 For archives, this definition can be expanded from “program” to “profession.” SEIU District 925's successful initiatives to educate and organize women clerical workers (which were famously documented in the 1980 movie 9 to 5) serve as a blueprint for how archivists could leverage internal organizing to craft a public advocacy campaign. Conversely, examples specific to the archival world, including Giordana Mecagni's “Starting the Archives for Women in Medicine: Advocacy in Creation, Survival—and Beyond?,”157 also impart perspective. Mecagni discusses creating the Archives for Women in Medicine at Harvard University, as well as the laborious advocacy work involved in sustaining and growing the archives. The lesbian and gay community archives described in Mary Caldera's “The Lesbian in the Archives: An Overview of the History, Themes, and Challenges”158 shared insights into the development of potential strategies that include grassroots organizing and collecting, “ownership of and participation in the documentation process,”159 and challenging traditional archival methodologies.

Reminiscent of Friedan's call to reshape femininity, at the beginning of her SAA presidency in 2014, Kathleen Roe issued a challenge to SAA members to “spend a year ‘living dangerously’ by taking some concerted actions to increase awareness of and advocate for archives.”160 Roe expounded, “This challenge to take action draws on the increasing interest and energy that has been growing among you, our members and colleagues, around the idea that we as a profession need to step forward to raise awareness of the importance and value of archives and the critical role of archivists who make these incomparable resources available.”161 This was not the first time an SAA president prompted archivists to “take action.” Elizabeth Adkins's 2007 presidential address implored archivists to build upon the previous steps taken within the profession to diversify, such as those discussed by Brenda Banks in her 1996 presidential address.162 Banks summarized SAA's first 60 years, including its more recent steps toward diversity. She discussed the changes to the Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable name and the formal recognition of the Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable, reflecting, “It is important to note that this open environment did not happen overnight, but was the result of many years of a young, ambitious organization struggling with its identity and coping with and adapting to changes occurring within the larger society.”163

Indeed, given the current social and political climate, Roe's, Adkins's, and Banks's words as well as those of other archivist activists take on a greater importance, particularly within historical context. Advocating for archives by raising awareness of the materials and the role of archivists and diversifying the profession have the dual impact of reshaping cultural perceptions of archives while simultaneously benefiting women of all intersections. Advocacy will not only help alleviate the symptoms, it also stands as the most likely cure for the negative societal repercussions of the archival mystique's cause: the profession's feminization.

While advocacy should be a priority at all levels (women, individual archivists, the profession—groups, collectives, organizations comprised of archivists), it must begin somewhere. Successful advocacy and organizing campaigns often start with grassroots activities, with individuals—in this case, women. Women must advocate for themselves, fighting not only for each other, but also against the professional realities that come with being part of a majority-female profession,164 as Adkins did in her 2007 SAA presidential address. When giving statistics on the ongoing growth of women in the archives profession, she warned, “This trend is not healthy for the profession, because the perspective of men is needed to determine how we approach our work and our documentary record. And from a pragmatic point of view, women, unfortunately, are not paid as well as men, so the lack of gender balance is probably driving down our salaries.”165

First, women must incorporate intersectionality in both discourse and practice. Data sets inform discourse, and the more comprehensive those data sets are, the richer the discourse. This article would be much more inclusive, for example, if SAA's historical demographic information included race. Future authors and data gatherers must be mindful of this, as were the authors of the 2017 WArS/SAA Salary Survey. The historical tendency of excluding women marginalized due to their race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation also affects those who were included. It now plagues those archivists who are left to manage the records—in those collections in the archives and those never accessioned.

Women working in female-dominated professions typically are lower in status than their male colleagues.166 Not only does this have a detrimental psychological impact, it also adversely modifies pay structures, both within female-dominated professions (female v. male employees) as well as when comparing female-dominated to male-dominated professions as a whole.167 MacLean states that “for women and men to be equally represented throughout all occupations in the economy today, 53 out of every 100 workers would have to change jobs . . . although the wage gap between the sexes has narrowed, only about 40 percent of the change is due to improvement in women's earnings; 60 percent results from the decline in men's real wages.”168 Although women encounter pay inequity across occupations, women in female-dominated professions are hit hardest because those professions are already structurally paid less than male-dominated professions, and women are typically paid less than their male counterparts, regardless of a profession's dominant gender. Moreover, and this cannot be emphasized enough, women of color are hit again, as statistically they are paid the least.169 Therefore, pay equity is a problem that women must actively work to resolve—it is at the root of the mystique. This type of advocacy may be done together as women, as archivists, and as a profession by explaining and delivering the value of archival work, and it may serve in concert with restructuring and organizing.

Aside from the work that needs to be done within the profession, accompanying, external advocacy is required to correct the archival mystique. Professional identity is a long-standing issue older than the archival mystique. The profession's feminization, resulting in its current female domination, is a key piece of this conversation, which, when compounded by the archives profession's insulated and esoteric nature, creates a space that functions as “private sphere” similar to the domestic realm before light was shed upon the feminine mystique.

While there is a need to advocate internally for diversity, there is also the need to advocate externally for educating nonarchivists to understand the profession and the role of archivists. As revealed by the studies of archivists' portrayals, the media discloses very little about the reality of archives or archivists to the “public sphere,” meaning nonarchival professionals. Thus, those within the profession have a dual opportunity. First, archivists must avoid branding the entire occupation as “women's work,” which previously cited research shows can have disparate consequences for any occupation. And second, archivists must follow Schmuland's suggestion to “start popularizing [our] own images of the profession to replace inaccurate or negative images,” specifically that of the stereotypical lady archivist/librarian.170 Archivists must educate and advocate about archives as “people's work,” just as archives is, and they should expand to become more so, about “people's history.” Advancing a more public-facing professional identity will assist the greater public in understanding archivists' work. As Gracy states, “We must take to the American people, using every forum available to us, the message of what service we perform and why our performing it enriches their lives. We must promote our important work unabashedly, unreservedly, and unstintingly.”171

Given its similar roots in functioning within separate spheres, sex discrimination, and the resulting “stirring” among those most impacted, The Feminine Mystique is a useful paradigm for examining a set of issues facing the archival profession. These issues are symptoms of the archival mystique: that women archivists still face traditional gender limitations despite the archives profession being demographically female-dominated, including women's representation within leadership, women archivists' professional development concerns, the historical treatment of women by the profession and its aftereffects on women archivists, and the problem of professional identity and awareness of archives outside the profession, which functions as a private sphere. These symptoms result from the archival profession's feminization.

As shown in other examples of traditionally male-gendered occupations (as archives long was and perhaps still is given its historian-based origin) that underwent feminization, outcomes like these are not entirely surprising or unique. Despite increases in the number of women in a profession, they are often still relegated to positions with lower pay and status considered stereo-typical “women's roles.”

In the archival profession, the number of women in leadership is rising, but within gender, leadership roles comprise a smaller percentage of women's positions than men's. Also, race is not diversifying in leadership, with women leaders remaining predominately white. This is a problem not only for expanding the intersectionality of individuals in archival leadership roles, but also for becoming a more inclusive profession. Novara's comment, “Archivists documenting women need to ensure that the definition of ‘women’ in collection development policies includes women from diverse backgrounds and perspectives,”172 must also include women archivists, particularly those in leadership.

As shown in a variety of surveys and discussions, women archivists are deeply interested in pursuing and participating in professional development opportunities. This was corroborated with spring 2017 data from the SAA Mentoring Subcommittee, which revealed that 81.68% of participants identified as women, and an even higher percentage of protégés (86.11%) identified as women, both of which are higher than the proportion of women in the archival profession (73.37%) according to the SAA 2015 Employment Survey.

Now that women dominate the archival profession, we need information on how women archivists deal with the historical representation of women's materials, specifically that they were (and to varying extents still are) obscured within the archival record as a result of the lack of description and/or processing. Additionally, controversies continue about the need for (or lack of) separate, women-specific repositories. These areas deserve further research.

And, in the public sphere, people are still asking archivists what they do, while they continue to be pictured as territorial, clerical-level workers, buried in their offices, hair done up in buns. At least they are also depicted as knowledgeable!

Through continued research as well as restructuring, organizing, and advocacy, women archivists and the profession can make vast improvements on all fronts. Some of the suggested approaches, such as archivists joining a profession-encompassing labor union, may sound radical. Others, like conducting research studies on working conditions within the larger archival community so that archivists can improve their work environments, are at the core of what they do as information professionals. We all must continue to do better, stand in solidarity like the women of CLUW, and correct the underlying workplace and societal causes within the profession's “private sphere” and beyond.

As they carry out their organizing and advocacy work, archivists would do well to listen to and heed the advice of Audrey McCluskey and follow “a women-centered approach to history . . . [which is] playing a major role in revitalizing interest in black women's history and presence in America.”173 She describes this as “an adaptable model for rethinking the history of all women and all minorities because it is free of Eurocentric patriarchal assumptions and biases. This approach does not ignore the oppression or victimization of women, but it does afford them the dignity of being historical actors and creators rather than passive victims.”174 This should be the case for the materials archivists collect, the data in the research they conduct, and the profession they push forward; all archivists, regardless of identity, must receive the same opportunities and treatment. By following these steps and uniting as a profession, archivists can help improve not only the experiences of women archivists within the profession, but those of all archivists. The past is prologue; let us make the future intersectional.

Alexandra A. A. Orchard, CA, is the technical and metadata archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University. She is the chair of the Archival Issues Editorial Board and encourages you to submit to Archival Issues! Orchard received her MLIS and Archival Administration Certificate from Wayne State University, as well as the Digital Archives Specialist Certificate from SAA. She has a background in English, art, and computer science. Orchard's research interests include archival theory, description, technologies, and women. She has presented at SAA, MAC, and the Michigan Archival Association.

Alexandra A. A. Orchard, CA, is the technical and metadata archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University. She is the chair of the Archival Issues Editorial Board and encourages you to submit to Archival Issues! Orchard received her MLIS and Archival Administration Certificate from Wayne State University, as well as the Digital Archives Specialist Certificate from SAA. She has a background in English, art, and computer science. Orchard's research interests include archival theory, description, technologies, and women. She has presented at SAA, MAC, and the Michigan Archival Association.

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Kristen Chinery is the reference archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, where she manages manuscript reference services. She received an MA in history, an MLIS, and an Archival Administration Certificate from Wayne State University, and a BA in history from Adrian College. Her research activity includes women's labor history, twentieth-century Detroit social and political movements, and industrial organizational psychology as it relates to archivists.

Kristen Chinery is the reference archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, where she manages manuscript reference services. She received an MA in history, an MLIS, and an Archival Administration Certificate from Wayne State University, and a BA in history from Adrian College. Her research activity includes women's labor history, twentieth-century Detroit social and political movements, and industrial organizational psychology as it relates to archivists.

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Alison Stankrauff is the university archivist at Wayne State University. She has a master's degree in library and information science with a concentration on archival administration from Wayne State University (2002). She has a bachelor's degree in history from Antioch College (1996). She has been at Wayne State since September 2017. Prior to that, she was the university archivist and an associate librarian at Indiana University South Bend from 2004 to August 2017. She served as reference archivist at American Jewish Archives from 2002 to 2004.

Alison Stankrauff is the university archivist at Wayne State University. She has a master's degree in library and information science with a concentration on archival administration from Wayne State University (2002). She has a bachelor's degree in history from Antioch College (1996). She has been at Wayne State since September 2017. Prior to that, she was the university archivist and an associate librarian at Indiana University South Bend from 2004 to August 2017. She served as reference archivist at American Jewish Archives from 2002 to 2004.

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Leslie Van Veen McRoberts will assume her new role as the head of Special Collections at Michigan State University in June 2019. She holds an MLIS and a graduate certificate in archival administration from Wayne State University and an MS in historic preservation with a historic administration concentration from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to joining the MSU Libraries, she was the local history archivist at the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University and a processing technician at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University.

Leslie Van Veen McRoberts will assume her new role as the head of Special Collections at Michigan State University in June 2019. She holds an MLIS and a graduate certificate in archival administration from Wayne State University and an MS in historic preservation with a historic administration concentration from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to joining the MSU Libraries, she was the local history archivist at the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University and a processing technician at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University.

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The authors thank the anonymous SAA reviewers, as well as former and current American Archivist editors Gregory Hunter and Cal Lee for their feedback and assistance in improving our article; former SAA president Dennis Meissner for suggesting we transform our 2015 SAA WAR presentations into an article; the SAA Mentoring Subcommittee and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee for providing us with data; and the women whose scholarship we built upon and those whose scholarship will build upon ours.

1Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique 50th Anniversary Edition (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013), 351.

2Barbara Kingsolver, “Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983,” postcard caption in Women in Social Protest: The US Since 1915 A Photographic Postcard Series, ed. Jocelyn H. Cohen, Ellen Dwyer, and Jean C. Robinson. (Bloomington, IN: Helaine Victoria Press, Inc., 1989).

3Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1.

4Alexandra A. A. Orchard, “The Archival Mystique: Feminists Solving ‘The Problem’ by Living Dangerously,” presentation, the Society of American Archivists Women Archivists Roundtable Annual Meeting, Cleveland, August 19, 2015.

5Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 351.

6See Society of American Archivists annual meeting programs from 2014 through 2017, as well as Women Archivist Roundtable (WAR, now WaRS) surveys and WaRS live tweets from the same years.

7Kimberle Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics,” The University of Chicago Legal Forum 140 (1989): 139–67.

8Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1.

9Stephanie Coontz, A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s (New York: Basic Books, 2011), 21.

10Coontz, Strange Stirring, 38.

11Coontz, Strange Stirring, 39.

12Coontz, Strange Stirring, 101.

13Coontz, Strange Stirring, 126.

14Nancy Whittier, “Everyday Readers and Social Movements: Considering the Impact of The Feminine Mystique,” Gender and Society 27, no. 1 (2013): 114.

15Coontz, Strange Stirring, 157.

16Whittier, “Everyday Readers,” 112–13.

17Anita Taylor, “Putting The Feminine Mystique in Context,” Women & Language 36 no. 1 (2013): 72, 76.

18Anna Krugovoy Silver, “The Cyborg Mystique: The Stepford Wives and Second Wave Feminism,” Women's Studies Quarterly 30, nos. 1–2 (2002): 60–76.

19Anita Taylor, “The Masculine Mystique: The Politics of Masculinity by Andrew Kimbrell,” Women & Language 13, no. 2 (1995): 55.

20Phyllis Moen, “Beyond the Career Mystique: ‘Time In,’ ‘Time Out,’ and ‘Second Acts’,” Sociological Forum 20, no. 2 (2005): 189–208.

21Harmony D. Newman and Angela C. Henderson, “The Modern Mystique: Institutional Mediation of Hegemonic Motherhood,” Sociological Inquiry 84, no. 3 (2014): 472–91.

22Coontz, A Strange Stirring, 176, 180.

23Both quoted in Sally Lindsay, “The Feminization of the Physician Assistant Profession,” Women & Health 41, no. 4 (2005): 39.

24Quoted in Lindsay, “The Feminization of the Physician Assistant Profession,” 39.

25Throughout the literature, “female-dominated” is used to refer to professions that are demographically majority female. The authors use it throughout the article with this same meaning to retain consistency with the professional literature. A “female-dominated” profession does not imply that women within the profession have or hold positions of power.

26Dana M. Britton, “The Epistemology of the Gendered Organization,” Gender and Society 14, no. 3 (2000): 418–34.

27Britton, “Epistemology,” 419.

28Joan Acker, “Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations,” Gender and Society 4 (1990): 139–58.

29Britton, “Epistemology,” 420.

30Britton, “Epistemology,” 420.

31Britton, “Epistemology,” 424.

32Dana M. Britton and Laura Logan, “Gendered Organizations: Progress and Prospects,” Sociology Compass 2, no. 1 (2008): 110.

33Britton and Logan, “Gendered Organizations,” 110.

34Sheelagh Drudy, “Gender Balance/Gender Bias: The Teaching Profession and the Impact of Feminisation,” Gender and Education 20, no. 4 (2008): 309–23.

35Drudy, “Gender Balance/Gender Bias,” 312.

36Gina Schlesselman-Tarango, “The Legacy of Lady Bountiful: White Women in the Library,” Library Trends 64, no. 4 (2016): 671. See also page 673 for a fuller explanation of true womanhood, Lady Bountiful, and the relationship with librarianship.

37Leslie Irvine and Jenny R. Vermilya, “Gender Work in a Feminized Profession: The Case of Veterinary Medicine,” Gender and Society 24, no. 1 (2010): 56–82.

38Charlotte Chiu, “When Does Feminization Increase Equality? The Case of Lawyers,” Law & Society Review 33, no. 3 (1999): 557–93.

39Tracey L. Adams, “Feminization of Professions: The Case of Women in Dentistry,” The Canadian Journal of Sociology 30, no. 1 (2005): 72–94.

40Julian Tanner and Rhonda Cockerill, “Gender, Social Change and the Professions: The Case of Pharmacy,” Sociological Forum 11, no. 4 (1996): 643–60.

41Lindsay, “The Feminization of the Physician Assistant Profession,” 37–61.

42Irvine and Vermilya, “Veterinary Medicine,” 56–82.

43Irvine and Vermilya, “Veterinary Medicine,” 72–73.

44Tanner and Cockerill, “The Case of Pharmacy,” 653.

45Lindsay, “The Feminization of the Physician Assistant Profession,” 57.

46Britton and Logan, “Gendered Organizations: Progress and Prospects,” 108.

47Michele F. Pacifico, “Founding Mothers: Women in the Society of American Archivists, 1936–1972,” American Archivist 50, no. 3 (1987): 370–89.

48Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 373.

49Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 384.

50Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 384.

51Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 384.

52Mabel E. Deutrich, “Women in Archives: Ms. versus Mr. Archivist,” American Archivist 36, no. 2 (1973): 171.

53Deutrich, “Women in Archives, 172.

54Deutrich, “Women in Archives,” 178–179.

55Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 383.

56Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 385.

57Authors' own research, data were surmised from title and associated subjects.

58Paul Powell, “Margaret Cross Norton, Archivist Emerita,” American Archivist 29, no. 4 (1966): 489–92.

59Deutrich, “Women in Archives,” 179.

60Nancy MacLean, “The Hidden History of Affirmative Action: Working Women's Struggles in the 1970s and the Gender of Class,” Feminist Studies 25, no. 1 (1999): 48.

61MacLean, “The Hidden History of Affirmative Action,” 45–47.

62Michael B. Katz, Mark J. Stern, and Jamie J. Fader, “Women and the Paradox of Economic Inequality in the Twentieth-Century,” Journal of Social History 39, no. 1 (2005): 73.

63Dorothy Sue Cobble, “‘A Spontaneous Loss of Enthusiasm’: Workplace Feminism and the Transformation of Women's Service Jobs in the 1970s,” International Labor and Working-Class History, no. 56 Gendered Labor (Fall 1999): 26.

64Deutrich, “Women in Archives,” 171.

65Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 388–89.

66Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 389.

67Elizabeth Yakel, “The Future of the Past: A Survey of Graduates of Master's-Level Archival Education Programs in the United States,” American Archivist 63, no. 2 (2000): 309.

68Yakel, “The Future of the Past,” 309.

69Victoria Irons Walch et al., “Special Section on A*CENSUS (Archival Census and Educational Needs Survey in the United States),” American Archivist 69, no. 2 (2006): 329.

70Society of American Archivists, “2015 SAA Employment Survey,” raw survey data, closed February 18, 2015, SurveyMonkey Question 22.

71Robin H. Israel and Jodi Reeves Eyre, Eyre & Israel, LLC, “The 2017 WArS/SAA Salary Survey: Initial Results and Analysis” (2017), 14. The WArS Salary Survey provided more inclusive gender identity options than previous surveys, see pages 7–9. See page 2 of the WArS/SAA Survey report, which states that the survey distribution targeted SAA and regional archival organization members, government and municipal archives workers, information technologists engaged in adjacent archival work, as well as nonarchival organization members via social media (Facebook and Twitter). The report does not address possible bias (e.g., women archivists responding in higher numbers than men because the survey originated from WArS), nor does it juxtapose respondents' membership in SAA against the entire survey population.

72Irons Walch et al., “A*CENSUS,” 350.

73Irons Walch et al., “A*CENSUS,” 498.

74Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 7.

75Schlesselman-Tarango, “The Legacy of Lady Bountiful,” 667–86.

76Two of the authors, Alexandra A. A. Orchard and Leslie Van Veen McRoberts, provided input and feedback to SAA during the creation of the SAA 2015 Employment Survey as part of their roles as SAA Women Archivist Roundtable cochairs.

77Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 384.

78Society of American Archivists, “2015 SAA Employment Survey, Question 7, compared Question 11.

79Society of American Archivists, “2015 SAA Employment Survey,” Question 7, filtered once by Question 22 (Women) and filtered once by Question 22 (Men).

80Society of American Archivists, “2015 SAA Employment Survey” Question 23, filtered by Question 11, compare Question 22.

81At the time of the research, the Obama Library had not named a director and the Kennedy Library director was acting. The Ford Library and Museum are separate physical institutions but share the same director and were thus counted as a single institution with one director. Director names were taken from presidential library websites found at https://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries/about. Exceptions were the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, and G. W. Bush libraries, which were called individually because director names were unavailable on the respective websites.

82“About the National Archives: Archivists of the United States 1937–Present,” National Archives, https://www.archives.gov/about/history/archivists.

83Presidents,” Society of American Archivists, http://www2.archivists.org/history/leaders/presidents.

84“Vice Presidents (1936–1957),” Society of American Archivists, http://www2.archivists.org/history/leaders/vice-presidents-%281936-1957%29. This was a separate vice president position, not to be confused with the current vice president/president elect.

85“Editors, American Archivists,” Society of American Archivists, http://www2.archivists.org/history/leaders/editors%2C-american-archivist.

86“Council Members,” Society of American Archivists, http://www2.archivists.org/history/leaders/council-members. The page does not include all current council members, therefore we also reviewed and added those missing from “SAA Council Liaisons to Component Groups,” Society of American Archivists, https://www2.archivists.org/governance/SAA-Council-Liaisons-to-Component-Groups. Gender was determined by name.

87“Executive Directors (1972–Present),” Society of American Archivists, http://www2.archivists.org/history/leaders/executive-directors-%281972-present%29.

88Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 416.

89Society of American Archivists Women Archivists Roundtable, “What Matters to WAR Survey,” WAR Priorities raw data, closed summer 2013, GoogleDocs.

90Society of American Archivists Women Archivists Roundtable, “Priorities Survey,” raw data, closed September 30, 2015, SurveyMonkey.

91The WArS/SAA Salary survey also notes (p. 16) that “over 81% of those who identify as neurodiverse are also 40 or under, so this may have some effect on readiness to negotiate.” Neurodiversity is not defined in the WArS/SAA Salary Survey. According to the National Symposium of Neurodiversity at Syracuse University: “Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. These differences can include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and others,” National Symposium of Neurodiversity at Syracuse University, https://neurodiversitysymposium.wordpress.com/what-is-neurodiversity.

92Israel and Eyre, “The 2017 WArS/SAA Salary Survey: Results and Analysis,” 16–18.

93Women Archivists_SAA, Twitter post, February 7, 2014, 9:53 a.m., https://twitter.com/WomenArchivists/status/431848245845716992.

94Kathleen Roe, Twitter post, February 7, 2014, 12:15 p.m., https://twitter.com/KDRoe122/status/431849293880639488.

95Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Twitter post, February 7, 2014, 2:30 p.m., https://twitter.com/tzanish/status/431864744673153024.

96SNAP is now known as Students and New Archives Professionals Section.

97The authors received the data in Tables 2 and 3 after correspondence in May–June 2018 with the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee regarding increasing costs for participation in both SAA and the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC).

98Per the National Committee on Pay Equity, the average woman in the United States still only makes 80.5 cents for every dollar a man makes, http://www.pay-equity.org. This varies depending on location and other demographic data, most predominately race, “Women of Color in the Workplace,” http://www.pay-equity.org/info-race.html.

99Note that we did not remove duplicate entries, i.e., individuals who applied more than once during the database's use, as we took that to mean interest in serving in the mentoring program (rather than an error) and that an individual can have more than one mentor/protégé relationship. However, three blank records were not included here, which reduced the record total from 906 to 903. Database records were reviewed in spring 2017. Mentor and protégé gender was determined by selection made in the associated database “Gender” field (selectable options at the time were “Female,” “Male,” and “Prefer not to say.” The option “Non-binary” has since been added.).

100Society of American Archivists, “2015 SAA Employment Survey,” Question 22.

101In addition to this field, applicants can indicate a list of interests as well as a ranked list of up to 5 sections (and previously roundtables) in which they have an interest.

102Karen M. Mason and Tanya Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own: Women's Archives in the Year 2000,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, ed. Tanya Zanish-Belcher and Anke Voss (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013), 125.

103Joanna Schneider Zangrando, “Women in the Archives: An Historian's View on the Liberation of Clio,” American Archivist 36, no. 2 (1973): 205.

104Mason and Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own,” 137.

105Mason and Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own,” 137.

106Alexandra Orchard, Kate Donovan, Traci Drummond, Elizabeth Novara, Catherine Powell, and Deborah Rice, “Laboring for Access: Rearing Records in Labor Archives,” presentation, Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, August 15, 2014.

107Anke Voss-Hubbard, “‘No Document—No History’: Mary Ritter Beard and the Early History of Women's Archives,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, 31–56.

108As quoted in Voss-Hubbard, “‘No Document—No History’,” 43.

109Mason and Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own,” 126.

110Voss-Hubbard, “‘No Document—No History’,” 37.

111Alexandra A. A. Orchard, CA; Kristen Chinery; Alison Stankrauff; and Leslie Van Veen McRoberts Elizabeth Novara, “Documenting Maryland State Legislators: The Politics of Collecting Women's Political Papers,” American Archivist 26, no. 1 (2013): 201.

112Novara, “Documenting Maryland State Legislators,” 202.

113Novara, “Documenting Maryland State Legislators,” 202.

114Eva Moseley, “Sources for the ‘New Women's History’,” American Archivist 43, no. 2 (1980): 180.

115Audrey T. McCluskey, “The Current Status of Black Women's History: Telling Our Story Ourselves,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, 68.

116McCluskey, “The Current Status of Black Women's History,” 66.

117Voss-Hubbard, “‘No Document—No History’,” 41.

118Novara, “Documenting Maryland State Legislators,” 207.

119Mason and Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own,” 140–42.

120Kristen Chinery, Alexandra Orchard, Alison Stankrauff, and Leslie Van Veen McRoberts, “Our Archives but Not Ourselves: Filling the Gap of Research about Women Archivists,” presentation, Society of American Archivists Research Forum, Atlanta, August 2, 2016.

121Rita Casey, Kristen Chinery, Alexandra Orchard, Alison Stankrauff, and Leslie Van Veen McRoberts, “Representation without Leadership: Assessing Stress and Gender in the Archival Workplace,” presentation, Society of American Archivists 2017 Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, July 27, 2017.

122Brenda S. Banks, “Seeing the Past as a Guidepost to Our Future,” American Archivist 59, no. 4 (1996): 395.

123Alice Dreger, “The Delicate Art of Dealing with Your Archivist,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 29, 2018, https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Delicate-Art-of-Dealing/244070.

124David B. Gracy II, “What's Your Totem? Archival Images in the Public Mind,” The Midwestern Archivist 10, no. 1 (1985): 19.

125Arlene Schmuland, “The Archival Image in Fiction: An Analysis and Annotated Bibliography,” American Archivist 62, no. 1 (1999): 36–37.

126Schmuland, “The Archival Image,” 35.

127Schmuland, “The Archival Image,” 40.

128Tania Aldred, Gordon Burr, and Eun Park, “Crossing a Librarian with a Historian: The Image of Reel Archivists,” Archivaria 66 (2008): 82.

129Aldred, Burr, and Park, “Crossing a Librarian with a Historian,” 71.

130Aldred, Burr, and Park, “Crossing a Librarian with a Historian,” 81.

131Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 440.

132Cobble, “‘A Spontaneous Loss of Enthusiasm’,” 38.

133SEIU District 925 Legacy Project Oral Histories, Gloria Steinem Interview, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, 2.

134SEIU District 925 Legacy Project Oral Histories, Ellen Cassedy, Karen Nussbaum, Debbie Schneider Group Interview, 3.

135Louis Jones, “Guide to the SEIU District 925 Collection,” Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University (2004), 1.

136Jones, “Guide to the SEIU District 925 Collection.”

137Alexandra Orchard, “Notable Women of SEIU,” Walter P. Reuther Library, http://reuther.wayne.edu/node/10120.

138SEIU District 925 Legacy Project Oral Histories, Valerie Long Interview, 9.

139SEIU District 925 Legacy Project Oral Histories, Cassedy, Nussbaum, Schneider Group Interview, 16.

140SEIU District 925 Legacy Project Oral Histories, Long Interview, 5.

141SEIU District 925 Legacy Project Oral Histories, Kim Cook Interview, 13.

142SEIU District 925 Legacy Project Oral Histories, Steinem Interview, 2.

143Letter from Organizing Committee for the Southern Alameda County Chapter of CLUW, Box 1, Folder 2, Coalition of Labor Union Women Records, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.

144The Spokeswoman 4, no. 10, April 15, 1974, Box 1, Folder 4, Coalition of Labor Union Women Records, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.

145Committee for National Conference Planning Committee Agenda, January 18, 1974, Box 1, Folder 1, Coalition of Labor Union Women Records, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.

146John Herling's Labor Letter 24, no. 12, March 30, 1974, John Herling Papers, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Walter P. Reuther Library.

147Founding Conference Statement of Purpose, March 23–24, 1974, Box 1, Folder, 1, Coalition of Labor Union Women Records, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.

148Letter from Organizing Committee for the Southern Alameda County Chapter of CLUW.

149Diane Balser, Sisterhood & Solidarity: Feminism and Labor in Modern Times (Boston: South End Press, 1999), 163.

150The Spokeswoman 4, no. 10.

151The Spokeswoman 4, no. 10.

152Michigan AFL-CIO News, April 4, 1974, and The New York Times, March 25, 1974, Box 1, Folder 4, Coalition of Labor Union Women Records, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.

153Michigan AFL-CIO News, April 4, 1974.

154Society of American Archivists, “2015 SAA Employment Survey,” Question 7, filtered once by Question 22 (Men) and filtered once by Question 22 (Women).

155Casey, Chinery, Orchard, Stankrauff, and Van Veen McRoberts, “Representation without Leadership.” Analysis included descriptive statistics, standard personality measures, and inferential analyses.

156Bruce W. Dearstyne, Leading the Historical Enterprise Strategic Creativity, Planning, and Advocacy for the Digital Age (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

157Giordana Mecagni, “Starting the Archives for Women in Medicine: Advocacy in Creation, Survival—and Beyond?,” in Many Happy Returns Advocacy and the Development of Archives, ed. Larry J. Hackman (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2011), 200–214.

158Mary Caldera, “The Lesbian in the Archives: An Overview of the History, Themes and Challenges,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, 215–45.

159Caldera, “The Lesbian in the Archives,” 224.

160Kathleen Roe, “The Year of Living Dangerously for Archives,” September 3, 2014, Off the Record (blog), http://offtherecord.archivists.org/2014/09/03/the-year-of-living-dangerously-for-archives.

161Roe, “The Year of Living Dangerously for Archives.”

162Elizabeth W. Adkins, CA, “Our Journey toward Diversity—and a Call to (More) Action,” American Archivist 71, no. 1 (2008): 29–30.

163Banks, “Seeing the Past as a Guidepost to Our Future,” 398.

164Examples include, “Research in many countries has suggested that the more feminised any occupation is, the more likely it is to be poorly paid (O'Connor 1998, 198)” in Sheelagh Drudy, “Gender Balance/Gender Bias: The Teaching Profession and the Impact of Feminisation,” Gender and Education 20, no. 4 (2008): 317; and “the prestige and pay are often less [than male-dominated professions],” in J. Andrew Forsman and Joan M. Barth, “The Effect of Occupational Gender Stereotypes on Men's Interest in Female-Dominated Occupations,” Sex Roles 76 (2017): 462.

165Adkins, “Our Journey toward Diversity,” 26.

166As discussed in the literature review, Lindsay's study on the feminization of physician assistants (PAs), found that, like veterinarians and pharmacists, women PAs are more likely to be in lower-paid specialties and lesser-status areas, and they were less likely to be self-employed. Lindsay, “The Feminization of the Physician Assistant Profession,” 57.

167See endnote 164 for women having lower pay within female-dominated professions. For a discussion of the potential reasons for lower pay rates in predominantly female occupations, see Paula England, Paul Allison, and Yuxiao Wu, “Does Bad Pay Cause Occupations to Feminize, Does Feminization Reduce Pay, and How Can We Tell with Longitudinal Data?,” Social Science Research 36 (2007): 1237–56.

168MacLean, “The Hidden History of Affirmative Action,” 66.

169“National Committee on Pay Equity,” http://www.pay-equity.org.

170Schmuland, “The Archival Image,” 53.

171Gracy, “What's Your Totem?,” 21.

172Novara, “Documenting Maryland State Legislators,” 207.

173McCluskey, “The Current Status of Black Women's History,” 69.

174McCluskey, “The Current Status of Black Women's History,” 69.