NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1234086
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Educating Women for Self-Reliance and Economic Opportunity: The Strategic Entrepreneurialism of the Katharine Gibbs Schools, 1911-1968
Mullaney, Marie Marmo; Hilbert, Rosemary C.
History of Education Quarterly, v58 n1 p65-93 Feb 2018
Established in 1911 as a simple owner-operated commercial school in Providence, Rhode Island, the Katharine Gibbs School expanded over the decades to acquire an international reputation for excellence in secretarial training. This essay examines the origin, development, and ultimate demise of the chain, placing it within the context of the expansion of office work and the growth of clerical education. In presenting a secretarial career as an attractive option for women, the school developed a gender-specific message that was very much in keeping with the vocationalism that became a major component of women's education in both public high schools and proprietary institutions. Promoting the career secretary as a desirable career path for women, Gibbs used class and gender-based marketing to separate itself from competitors. Thriving at a time when educated women had few opportunities, the school declined when the feminist upheavals of the 1960s sparked a new ethos of workplace egalitarianism and widening cultural definitions of self-fulfillment for women.
Cambridge University Press. 100 Brook Hill Drive, West Nyack, NY 10994. Tel: 800-872-7423; Tel: 845-353-7500; Fax: 845-353-4141; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Rhode Island (Providence)