Houston Matters

Researcher Aims to Tell the Stories of Woman-Owned Businesses in Post-War Houston

Today, the idea of women owning businesses is not a novel one, like it might have been back in the middle of the 20 Century. But gender roles started to fluctuate slowly after World War II, including here in Houston, and women took the initiative to start more and more businesses over the decades. But […]

Today, the idea of women owning businesses is not a novel one, like it might have been back in the middle of the 20 Century. But gender roles started to fluctuate slowly after World War II, including here in Houston, and women took the initiative to start more and more businesses over the decades.

But what was it like for women who owned businesses in Houston in that pivotal post-war period?

Meredith May is studying just that as she works on a Ph.D. in history from Texas Christian University. She’s focusing her dissertation on researching and recording all the women-owned businesses in Houston from just after World War II up until 1977, the year when a large women’s conference was held here. It was the International Women’s Conference and 20,000 attended what would be the first – and only – national women’s conference to be sponsored by the federal government.

That’s where the conversation began between May and Houston Matters producer Paige Phelps.

And you can share the story of a woman business owner in Houston between World War Two and 1977 at talk@houstonmatters.org.

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