Skip to main content
Women's Participation in Local Union Leadership: The Massachusetts Experience
Industrial and Labor Relations Review (1992)
  • Dale Melcher
  • Jennifer L. Eichstedt
  • Shelley Eriksen
  • Dan Clawson, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

A 1989 survey of leaders of a sample of Massachusetts AFL- CIO-affiliated union locals indicates that although women are represented in these union locals' leadership in numbers nearly proportional to the female percentage of membership, they are under-represented in the most influential positions. Women are over-represented as secretaries and seriously under-represented as presidents; they chair many committees, but rarely the key grievance or negotiations committees. Minority women appear to be even more under-represented in leadership positions than are white women. Both male and female union leaders said they would like to see more women in leadership, but most of the men did not seem to view the need for more female leaders as urgent, since they indicated that women's issues were adequately represented by male leaders.

Publication Date
January, 1992
Citation Information
Dale Melcher, Jennifer L. Eichstedt, Shelley Eriksen and Dan Clawson. "Women's Participation in Local Union Leadership: The Massachusetts Experience" Industrial and Labor Relations Review Vol. 45 Iss. 2 (1992)
Available at: