Mary Lou Anderson

College Dean and Professor
I think that many things have changed in our society so that there are more opportunities for young women and for people of other ethnic and racial backgrounds. Certainly things have changed. But they haven’t changed so much that the obstacles aren’t there. In my own experience sometimes somebody will automatically think to ask a man before a woman and that still exists. You also have to always be aware that when you come into any kind of a position that you have to double check that the man is not being paid more than you are being paid and there are all kinds of ways of getting around that. . . So I think that there still are struggles out there.
Mary Lou Anderson was born and brought up in Worcester, in The Island and Vernon Hill. She went to Anna Maria College, then earned an M.A. at Assumption College and her Ed.D. at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She taught English in the Worcester Public Schools, later became Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education at Assumption College, and now is Dean of the College and Graduate Studies at Assumption. She comes from a political family and has been active politically throughout her adult life, including a stint as Vice Chair of the Worcester City Manager’s Advisory Commission on Women. She reflects on attempting to break down gender stereotypes in her own teaching, and discusses women being held to different standards than men, and preference being given to men in a variety of settings. She reflects on the debate over whether gender differences have physical or environmental bases.
Interview Date: 
March 23, 2009