Gender Discrimination & Sexual Harassment

Discrimination against women in the workplace in Minnesota history
Subjects: Social Issues
Tags: business, women


Feminist Sexual Harassment Card. Records of Twin Cities NOW, 1967-1984
Historical materials documenting the activities of an activist organization embodying all aspects of the feminist agenda through education, publicity, and legislation programs. The chapter is a local affiliate of Minnesota NOW and the National Organization for Women. Includes photographs of Willmar 8 strike.  
MNHS call number:  Digital Finding Aid 

Kathleen A. Olson Papers, 1969-1992
Papers of a Minnesota feminist documenting her participation (1970-1980) in voluntary organizations dedicated to achieving full rights for women and the elimination of sexism and sex discrimination in Minnesota schools, and her involvement (1980-1984) with University of Minnesota committees working under terms of the Rajender consent decree to end sex discrimination by the University in the hiring and promotion of women faculty and academic staff.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid 

Ann Wynia Papers, 1976-1989
Biographical information; political records; and personal and legislative subject files reflecting Wynia’s career as a Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor state representative from St. Paul’s District 63B.  Collection includes legislative subject files on sexual assault and harassment.
MNHS call number: ALPHA notebooks under the heading: Wynia, Ann.

Equal Rights Alliance Organizational Records, 1980-1990.  
Articles of incorporation and bylaws (1984), minutes, (1984-1990), treasurer’s reports (1983-1990), membership lists, correspondence (1983-1990), subject files (1983-1988), and a video recording (1987) of an organization formed in 1983 to support the Equal Rights Amendment when it was reintroduced in the U.S. Congress and the Minnesota Legislature.
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (P2010)

Coya Knutson Papers, 1905-1999.
Congressional files and biographical materials documenting Minnesota’s first female member of Congress (Democratic-Farmer-Labor, 1955-1958). Collection includes Photocopies of the letter and press release sent by Knutson's husband that asked Knutson to quit her reelection campaign and return to being a wife and homemaker.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

B. J. Metzger Papers (1965-1998)
Materials relating to GLBT and feminist organizations, and other papers of a community organizer, democratic political activist, theological student, and GLBT activist who also held positions on commissions and task forces in St. Paul city government. Included in this collection is a folder of records from Postal Employee Network [PEN] for lesbians and gays, which details workplace discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Oral History

Oral History Interview with Irma M. Wyman, 1992.
Wyman discusses her childhood and the people and events that influenced her, including her college years and the barriers she faced as a female. She also goes into detail about her involvement in the fledgling computer world of the 1950s and her continuing struggle with being female in a male-dominated career field. She discusses her role at Honeywell and the changes that occurred within the company during her tenure.
MNHS call number: OH 38

Oral History Interviews of the St. Paul Police Women Oral History Project , 2010
This project documents the challenges and successes of female officers that served in the St. Paul Police Department between the 1960s and the 2000s. The project evolved out of the larger St. Paul Police Department Oral History Project when it became evident that the female officers’ experiences were significantly different. The interviews trace the changing roles of female officers and record their stories of discrimination, public success, and private pain.
MNHS call number:  Transcripts and Digital Audio

Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Oral History Project: Interview with Valerie Buchan, 2005
Valerie Buchan was born in Minnesota and obtained a nursing diploma from Hamline University. She worked as a nurse for several years before deciding to enlist in the U.S. Army. She served in Japan before going to Vietnam. Upon returning to the United States, she worked at the University of Minnesota and then became involved in the Reserves in Fort Snelling. She retired from the Army with the rank of Colonel. Interview discusses her personal and professional life, including gender discrimination in the military.  
MNHS call number: Transcripts and Digital Audio

Government Records

Minnesota Department of Human Rights. 

  • Records, 1947-2010
    Annual/biennial reports, minutes, commissioners' correspondence, topical background and subject files, news clippings, and published records and reports documenting the main administrative activities and duties of the department.  
    MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid
  • Division of Women's Affairs Records, 1965-1977
    Reports, newspaper clippings, newsletters, articles, bills, and correspondence concerning various aspects of women's rights, particularly sex discrimination.
    MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid
  • Enforcement Division Discrimination Case Files, 1955-1976
    Correspondence, worksheets, memos, transcripts of statements, and other material concerning the discrimination cases investigated and closed by the Human Rights Department. Most cases concerned discrimination in employment, in the provision of services, or in housing; some concern discrimination in education
    MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Minnesota Attorney General. Human Rights Division.  Litigation Files, 1964-1985
Selected files regarding cases heard in the state district courts and the Supreme Court, and cases heard before administrative boards. Cases concern violations of the Human Rights Act in the areas of employment, housing, athletics, and membership in certain organizations, and involve discrimination for race, gender, physical and mental disabilities, and marital status.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

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