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Betsy Wade Speaks at Eastern

Published on March 27, 2017

Betsy Wade Speaks at Eastern

On March 22, Eastern Connecticut State University hosted “Time with Betsy Wade: A legend in the Fight for Women’s Rights.”  Wade was the first woman to hold the job as a copy editor at The New York Times, where she worked for 45 years as a copy editor.

During her time at the newspaper, Wade served on the union contract-negotiating team and later serving as a trustee of the union-management pension fund, designing a plan that was without gender bias.  She was elected to two terms as the first woman to serve as president of the New York local of the Newspaper Guild, the largest in the nation and a named plaintiff in the landmark sex discrimination lawsuit against the New York Times.

During her talk Wade described her first day as copy editor, recalling a male coworker saying to her, “So now you want my job right?”  Her response was, “No I don’t want your job.  I want the one ahead of yours.”  Wade said she just wanted to be paid the same as her male coworkers, since she worked just as hard. Once she gathered enough women who felt the same, she decided to take the issue to court.

When asked by a student if there was any advice she could give to someone, she said, “Whatever you do, don’t go at it alone.  If you catch yourself out on a limb, you’re going to want someone to hold your hand and catch you before it breaks.”

Written by Casey Gagnon

Categories: Women's Center