Clarkson’s Pioneering Women in Engineering:
Oral History Interviews

Engineering remains the undergraduate major with the smallest percentage of women in the United States. The percentage of women engineers in the workplace is even smaller. Researchers have tried to understand why women are less likely to become engineers and what social norms and institutional biases have kept girls and women away from engineering. Understanding the context of the current situation for women in engineering education and for women engineers requires an understanding of issues faced by women engineers in the past. This project, led by historian Dr. Laura Ettinger, focuses on oral history interviews with pioneering women engineering alumnae and staff who studied or worked at Clarkson University, a small, private technological university in northern New York, shortly after it reintroduced coeducation in 1964. The goals of this project are 1) to produce new information about the history of women and gender in engineering and to explore the choices Clarkson engineering alumnae have made, the experiences they had in college and beyond, and the challenges they have faced, and 2) to inspire young women and men who are considering or currently in careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields by highlighting the careers of women pioneers in these fields.

We continue to record interviews with Clarkson’s pioneering women engineers, as well as with their male and female classmates and the faculty, administrators, and staff who supported them. If you want to tell your story or know people who might want to tell theirs, please contact the project director, Dr. Laura Ettinger, at for more information.

History of Clarkson

In the lab, The Girls at Clarkson, 1971 promotional pamphlet

Learn about women at Clarkson from 1896 to the present

Oral History Interviews

Martha Callahan Annoni ’76

Cynthia Dowd Greene '78

Read and listen to interviews with Clarkson’s pioneering women in engineering

Images Courtesy of Clarkson University Archives and Clarkson University Website