“If education is to be any good, it must be good for something,” was the pedagogical philosophy that drove Katharine Gibbs.

 
 Via Boston.com

We’re continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month, with its 2014 theme of “Women of Character, Courage, & Commitment.”

One of the year’s honored women is Katharine Gibbs, founder of the famed Katharine Gibbs School and women’s employment pioneer.

Gibbs wanted to provide young women the means to support themselves. In an era when few women worked, and those who did were primarily teachers or nurses, secretarial work was relatively prestigious and well paid. Gibbs’ secretarial school, founded in 1911, turned out generations of skilled office workers.

Related: 25 Years Since Women Needed a Male Co-Signer

The school was closed in 2011, but Gibbs’ legacy can still be seen in the workplace today. Though secretarial work has sometimes been labeled the “pink-collar ghetto” in today’s world, her vision of skilled women earning their own wages was revolutionary in 1911.

Who are your female role models? How do you embody character, courage, & commitment? Tell us more about your entrepreneurship journey by filling out our 1000 Stories form. Or if you’re under 35, apply to be part of our Young Women to Watch List.

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