“No, I don’t want your job. I want an equal shot at the job beyond yours.” - Betsy Wade Boylan, the first female copy reader ever hired by The New York Times, to a male colleague.
On November 7, 1974, six women employed by the New York Times - Elizabeth Wade Boylan, Louise Carini, Joan Cook, Nancy Davis, Grace Glueck, and Andrea Skinner - sued the paper for sexual discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The first all-female class-action lawsuit was filed in the southern district of New York on November 7, 1974.
Five hundred and sixty other Times women joined in the suit (Boylan et al. v. The New York Times, 74 Civ. 4891) when, in February 1977, a Federal District Judge Henry F. Werker ruled in favor of class action.Although it denied charges of systematic discrimination, the New York Times agreed in 1978 to an out-of-court settlement that changed how women were promoted to influential editorial and managerial positions at the paper.
The design printed on this shirt reflects the case number, the Judge (Werker) who heard the case, and the date the suit was filed. This exact design was originally printed on canvas totes worn by several of the New York Times women who sued the paper, and their supporters, shown in the black and white photograph on this page.