Mary Odom


As Interviewed by Asa Shepard, March 21, 2018
"It was like you weren't a full-fledged citizen."
Mary Odom

Introductory Profile: About Mary Odom

My grandmother, Mary Odom, worked as a financial secretary and later opened a brokerage firm in New York City. Her work as a secretary focused on keeping records of stocks and on similar duties. Working as one of the very first women in her business during the 1960s, she experienced blatant gender-based discrimination firsthand. She now lives in Texas.

Mary Odom was interviewed about her job in New York and about the discrimination that she experienced on a daily basis. She described how hard it was to perform normal tasks as a woman during the time that she was working in New York, and how it seemed like there was no hope for change. Most shockingly, she emphasized that nobody tried to do anything about the sexism that was encountered often. She used a serious, matter-of-fact tone while discussing the dark topic. Throughout the interview, Mary Odom gave an intriguing account of her experiences during her time working in New York, describing in great clarity the difficulties that were encountered by women of that time. She explained that conditions have improved greatly since the 1960s, but that discrimination is still present and needs improvement.