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Bureau of Vocations for Women, September 1915. (Woman’s Occupational Bureau)


College Women’s Club Plans to Vigorously Assist in Forward Movements This Winter.


Equal Suffrage League Members Will Give Their Views to Charter Change Committee at Meeting to Be Held on September 13.


   The organization formerly known as the Woman’s Occupational Bureau has resumed work under the new name which it adopted last spring, being now known as the Bureau of Vocations for Women. This change in name was thought necessary because of the frequent misunderstandings as to the purpose and work of the bureau. The idea is to secure, for a nominal fee, positions for women other than those of teachers or household domestics. Hence the word “occupation” was found too broad a one, and “vocation” was substituted.

   The secretary of the bureau will be, as formerly, Miss Bessie Stearnes. This organization was started in Richmond at the instigation of Miss Orie Hatcher, and its existence is largely due to her efforts and those of the College Women’s Club, the Richmond Branch of the Southern College Woman’s Association.

   Since its formation, six or seven years ago, this organization of college women has assisted in almost every forward movement in the city in which women have been particularly interested. The idea of its founders was not to adopt, for all time, any particular line of work, but rather to draw together in one body all the college women in the city, that they might be more easily called upon when their assistance wanted to push any needed reform or fight any harmful legislation. 


   In the last few years a great many reform movements in the city have received impetus as a result of the help of this organization. The first idea to which they lent their support was that of putting trained nurses in the schools, and since that has been accomplished they have turned their attention to many other things. When it seemed as if Richmond were really going to have a public library and suffer no longer the ignominy of being the only city in the United States with a population of over 50,000 that did not have one, the College Woman’s Club made every effort to bring the hope to a fulfillment.

   They worked with even more zeal if that were possible for the co-ordinate college, and will plunge into that fight again with renewed vigor when the next Legislature convenes.

   They were brought in on a hurry call when some watchful person discovered that several politicians were trying quietly to slip a harmful child labor law through one of the Legislatures. Thanks to their prompt assistance and that of many others, the bill was defeated. In addition to these things, members of the club have helped to work for or against a good many other bills concerning, both municipal and State laws, and represent their organization on boards of many of the principal uplift societies in the city.

   Almost as a recreation from their labors in other fields, they have entertained college women attending the annual convention in Richmond, and last but not least, raised the money for and gave a college scholarship of their own, in addition to the dozen or so others for which they have the privilege of naming and recommending applicants.


   There was a meeting yesterday at the Equal Suffrage League rooms of the charter committee, to plan for the meeting shortly to take place between the league members and the charter change committee. Since all the organizations in the city have been invited to present their ideas to the charter change committee, the league has accepted with enthusiasm, and unless for some reason the date is changed, they are to be given their opportunity to do so on September 13.



(1915, September 5) Richmond Times-Dispatch, p. 4.


For further reading:

Richmond School of Social Economy – Beginnings. October 1916 – July 1917. Social Welfare History Project.

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