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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

From Typist to Trailblazer: The Evolving View of Women in the CIA's Workforce


This collection consists of some 120 declassified documents, the majority of which are being released for the first time. The collection includes more than 1,200 pages from various studies, memos, letters, and other official records documenting the CIA's efforts to examine, address, and improve the status of women employees from 1947 to today.

Key documents include the 1953 Panel on Career Service for Women (dubbed the "Petticoat Panel"); a 1976 letter written by DCI George H.W. Bush nominating three female officers for the Federal Woman's Award: a poignant 1984 memo on career opportunities for women; a 1992 summary of he CIA's Glass Ceiling Study; the 2013 Director's Advisory Group Report on Women in Leadership; and a transcript of four SIS women speaking candidly about the course of their careers.

This declassification effort is the first thematic release in the history of the Historical Review Program. An event was held to mark the release of the documents on Oct. 30, 2013 at Smith College.

Video of Event: From Typist to Trailblazer: The Evolving View of Women in the CIA's Workforce. A Symposium at Smith College Oct. 30,2013

Symposium in the Carroll Room located in the Campus Center

  • Welcome: Joe Lambert, Director, Information Management Services, CIA
  • Collection synopsis and speaker introductions: Professor Brent Durbin, Smith College, Government Department
  • Panel Discussion: Jeanne Tisinger, Director for Support Carmen Middleton, Director, Center for Mission Diversity and Inclusion Abby Whitlow, Executive Assistant for the Office of the Chief Information Officer Martha Neff Kessler, DHS Ombudsman, former CIA analyst
  • Q&A Session Closing remarks and presentation of awards: Joe Lambert

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