Linda Clarke

As Interviewed by Isabella Trejo, March 8, 2019

Linda Clarke: In her own words

When I was working for Bowie on Project Apollo there was an opening that came up for a scheduler, and at the time I was a secretary. The scheduler paid about $25 dollars week more, than a secretary. So I took the test and made a high score, but they gave the job to a man. And I said, well why does he get the job instead of me, when my score was higher. The supervisor said well he’s got a wife and children to support and you’re single. Yet even though I’m better qualified, I lost the job because I was a single female and he was a married male.

In 1977, which is a long time, I had been married, divorce, and had two children. I was taking a graduate course managment and the proffesor said that women should not get scholarships for graduate school, because they take it away from men and they have families to support. And I raised my hand and I said “Excuse me Dr. Lacko, I take issue with that statement, because I’m a single parent with two children to support”, And he says,”Well I wasn’t talking about you Linda” I said “But you were Dr. Lacko, cause you said women, and I fall into that category, so I have to take it personally.

Well I’ve always been a high acheiver, but the problem was is I would be doing a better job and more work and they would get more money, so it’s kind of. I was doing more, as far as pressure goes. I was outperforming them, but they would get more money because they were male, so I was angry and frustrated like what more could I do.
They have free child care to go to school. They had their tuition paid to go to school. They get grants for their books. I got none of that. I had to pay for my books out of my fellowship, which was the same as the boys. There was not free childcare and they couldn’t understand how very structured my life had to be because I had no help. I had to do everything.