Jo Anne Miller graduated in December 1967 with a degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan, where she had experience with computer programming. She took a job in Boston at GTE Sylvania working on military projects, then moved to St. Louis (when her husband was drafted) and ran a computer center at Parks College of St. Louis University, then did research at University of Colorado where she worked on a Master’s degree. She was recruited (a second time) by Bell Labs and began work at Bell Labs Naperville in March 1976, as a Member of Technical Staff working in software restructuring for electronic switching systems. She describes her experience with affirmative action, the women’s movement, and work culture and career expectations at Bell Labs. In 1978 she became a technical supervisor for 5ESS software development, relating short-term rotational experiences with installing 5ESS in California and in southern Illinois. She describes challenges advocating for part-time managerial positions, child care, and suggests there were changes in the support for affirmative action in the 1980s. Working for the Western Electric organization in the mid-1980s, she completed an executive MBA at the University of Chicago. After leaving Bell she became involved with MentorNet in 2003 and in investing in women-backed businesses.
This material is based on work funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation award B2014-07 “Tripling Women’s Participation in Computing (1965-1985).”