Jean Cleary

As Interviewed by Samantha M., March 20, 2019

Jean Cleary: In Her Own Words

My name is Jean Cleary and my occupation is an attorney at law. Through the course of my career, I occupied a number of different positions at counsel’s office. At the time I left counsel’s office to retire, I occupied the position of Deputy General Counsel.

Discrimination did not directly affect my work and success, in counsel’s office. At the time, there were a number of prohibitions and requirements, however, that were discriminatory. And one I can mention is that a provision in the administrative manual allowed my employer to terminate my employment if I became pregnant.

When I went to law school, the attendance of women at law school and the number of women in the legal profession was minimal. I was one of 12 women in a class of 212 students. So, we were definitely a minority. It was very different to be a woman among a large number of male students.

And so, there was plenty of work to do, and if you were good, you were serious, and you completed the job, there was no dissatisfaction or discrimination.

The restraints on women should be lessened. That women are fully capable of competing on the same level as with men. But, over the course of history, there have been many impediments, restrictions, prohibitions. Women should be allowed to compete equally with men and on an equal basis. And therefore my focus is that hard work is necessary to eliminate any kind of impediments that restrain the success of women.