G.G. Michelson, Macy’s Executive Who Broke Glass Ceilings, Dies at 89

In May 2012 I went on strategic planning retreat with myself, and emerged with a goal that shocked me: to place at the center of my purpose helping feminists from the leading edge of the Baby Boom share their stories of participating in the social and political change that marked a generation. As a marketer I thought, “Are you KIDDING? You’re taking a small niche service–personal history–and targeting an even smaller niche?” But I like fearless foolishness, and I set out on that path. Within a few months, A Fund for Women (AFFW) tapped me to collect and edit women’s stories about their personal experiences with gender equality. Our book What She Said was the result. The audacious goal is turning out just fine. Which brings me to….

I’m an obsessive obituary reader; I find the first draft of the history of our times is being written in those brief essays. Knowing that, you can easily imagine why I want to share the obituary of G.G. Michelson with you.

G.G. Michelson, Macy’s Executive Who Broke Glass Ceilings, Dies at 89

Photo credit: Don Hogan Charles/The New York Time

Photo credit: Don Hogan Charles/The New York Time

Mrs. Michelson’s climb to the executive suite was strewn with obstacles, a passage marked by the struggles of the Depression, family illness, stays in orphanages and a college career that took her through law school but could not promise a woman a job in her chosen field…

…When she graduated in 1947, most law firms had little need for female lawyers, so she focused her job search not on legal positions but on companies that employed large numbers of women, assuming that they would need executives who could bridge the gender divide…

“The purpose of an obituary is to help the world appreciate the person we’ve lost,” says my APH colleague Sue Hessel. G.G.’s obituary makes me sorry I did not know her. I feel she’s a true mother and mentor to the Boomer feminists I admire.

How would you like YOUR obituary to read?

 

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About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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