APA’s Committee on Women in Psychology
celebrates 40 years.
BY ANNA MILLER • Monitor staff
In the mid-1960s, 33-year-old Helen Astin, PhD, moved to Washington, D.C., hoping to find a job as a psychology professor. But each door she knocked on closed quickly
in her face. Potential employers cited her lack of research
experience, but Astin suspected the real strike against her was
To watch a video on the history of
feminist psychology, go to: www.
well-being of all women through advocacy, training and
research, is celebrating its 40th year.
“I look to what APA is now and what APA was then, and
think that the CWP and the Women’s Programs Office were
major contributors to that change,” says Keita, who served as the
committee’s chair-elect in 1986 before becoming the director of
the Women’s Programs Office in 1987.
Before there was a Committee on Women in Psychology,
there was a Task Force on the Status of Women in Psychology.
Before there was a task force, there was outrage: In 1969,
APA’s leadership had no statement on the status of women in
psychology and its Annual Convention did not provide child
care. So that year, 10 members of the Association for Women
in Psychology stormed APA’s council meeting with a list of 52
resolutions and demanded to be heard. The council developed
the task force in 1970 and tapped Astin as chair.
In its early days, the committee (officially formed from the
task force in 1973) routinely challenged psychology department
chairs to consider how they were improving the status of
women in psychology. Its members — including men, in some