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NWSBM: Things Women Couldn’t Do in 1970

Since we’ve been celebrating National Women’s Small Business this month, we thought it appropriate to share just how far women have come

Here are some things American women could NOT do in the seventies:




Get a credit card

Until 1974, when President Richard M. Nixon signed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act into law, it was illegal for a woman to obtain a credit card. To put this in perspective, my 15-year old daughter just opened her first bank account and the only prerequisite was that she present her photo ID. Easy peasy but this hasn’t always been the case.




Keep her job if she was pregnant

Just wow. When I was pregnant with my first child, not only did my company keep me on, they graciously allowed me to work from home!




Attend an Ivy League College

Harvard didn’t admit women until 1977. Yale and Princeton allowed women to come a full year earlier. As a mom of both girls and boys, I can’t imagine telling my girls that only their brothers would be allowed to go to these universities. They don’t really even know what they’re talking about when they say “No fair!”



Practice Law

Until 1971, women could be denied the right to practice law based soley on gender. One of my girls has been “practicing law” since birth and argues with almost everything I say. I’m glad to know that she actually could practice law if that’s the route she chooses. 



Attend a military academy

Additionally, female recruits have only been able to serve in active combat roles as recently as 2013.



Serve on a jury

Honestly, they didn’t even know what they were missing. Women don’t miss a thing.




Become an astronaut

Here’s what Nasa told one woman in 1962, “We have no existing program concerning women astronauts nor do we contemplate any such plan.” It wasn’t until 1978 that women were admitted as astronaut candidates.




Run the Boston Marathon

It wasn’t until 1972 that women could first officially enter to run. Crazy.





Report sexual harassment in the workplace

Before the nation’s courts finally ruled otherwise in 1977, women were not allowed to report any sexual harassment committed against them. In light of current events, we’re grateful that this is no longer the case.



This is not an exhaustive list and the further back in time we go, the longer the list grows. Suffice to say, women have come a long way. Listen to your grandmother’s, mother’s, aunt’s and older sister’s stories. Their hard work got us to where we are today.


WebPunch is a champion for women and here is a public service announcement from our own Ginger Jones:

WebPunch is mostly run by women, but that’s not to say that men don’t play an equal role. We just believe in supporting women in tech. Here are some interesting womanly WebPunch stats:


*WebPunch is co-founded by a woman

*84% of those who work at WebPunch are women

*62% of the women who work at WebPunch are mothers


We strongly believe in providing a work environment that gives our team members flexible time; a guilt-free atmosphere where they can attend their children’s school plays, soccer games, or engage in things that will help them grow as people.

Stay tuned as we continue to celebrate more inspiring women!


Karin Siccardi

Karin Siccardi is a Reputation Defender, Blogger, and Proofreader/Editor at WebPunch. Originally from Oregon, she migrated to Tennessee where she lives with her husband, four children, and the family dog who lounges at her feet as she enjoys the luxury of working from her home office. An avid reader, she enjoys all wordy things as well as coffee, chocolate, and wine.