Current News
Women at Work
Non-labor Related
Find a Union
My Labor Site
Union Directory
Labor Law
Maps & Directions

AFL-CIO - Women

For Every Woman Who Wants to Make Changes on the Job.

Go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau

A Look Back... continued

Mabel Edna Gillespie

Gillespie was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and educated at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She became interested in labor problems through settlement-house work. When Massachusetts became the first state to mandate a minimum wage in 1912, Gillespie was appointed to the Minimum Wage Commission, serving from 1913 to 1919. Aware that the needs of women workers differed from those of men, in part because occupations held predominantly by females tended to offer less chance of upward mobility, she organized and became the first president of the Stenographers' Union in 1917. A year later, she was the first woman elected to the executive board of the Massachusetts State Federation of Labor and joined the National Women's Trade Union League, serving on its executive board from 1919 until 1922. Interested as well in the educational needs of women workers, Gillespie also helped to establish the Boston Trade Union College in 1919.

Continue this story...
< - main - Sarah G. Bagley - Rose Schneiderman - Leonora O'Reilly - Caroline Gleason
Elinore Morehouse Herrick - Mabel Edna Gillespie