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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ellen Black Winston, December 2, 1974. Interview G-0064. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Opportunities for professional women in social welfare

Winston again emphasizes opportunities for professional women. According to Winston, when she was the North Carolina Commissioner for Public Health, other women occupied top administrative positions as well. For Winston, this served as evidence of opportunities for professional women and was demonstrative of a female professional network.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ellen Black Winston, December 2, 1974. Interview G-0064. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ANNETTE SMITH:
Well, one thing that I've gathered from talking about your success as commissioner, is that you found it very important to be a southern lady at all times.
ELLEN WINSTON:
I wouldn't use the word, "Success", in referring to my efforts. I always felt that there was a certain image to which one had to try to live up to and that image certainly included how one looked. One of the problems of so many young professionals today is that they don't look like professional women and in fact, seem to feel resentful over that approach. I also was careful in a good many areas, because I felt that the Commissioner of Public Welfare had to live up to what I would designate as the accustomed standards. In the Department in Raleigh, of course, we had women carrying much more responsibility relatively than I think they do today. We had a woman heading up our child welfare program. We had a woman heading up our program for the aging. We had a woman responsible for enforcing the licensing laws. A good part of this time we had a woman directing our research. One of the early people that I brought in, by the way, was a director of research, because I just couldn't see administering the program without more facts. So, I would say that women had a rather good deal. My experience has been that it is the women administrators that give the other women the breaks. Certainly, I found this to be true when I was in Washington.