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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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Cohen and someone else. They invited me to a meeting occasionally. I went and saw more of the union. I was beginning to ask, “Why don't women belong to these unions?”

They said, “Women don't belong because they don't want to.”

But I became more and more convinced that the women were the most exploited in this whole industrial picture. Whatever the men got, they got lower - in wages, in types of work, in privileges, in opportunities for employment. They just had no place at all. They were very poor, therefore, and had very little opportunity.

I knew by then a little about the subject. From my own reading I recognized the fact that I knew so little about the whole field of social work that I'd better make some wise contacts. I made some contacts with Mary Richmond, who was then head of the Philadelphia Charity Organization Society, Miss Hannah Fox, Miss Helen Paddock and a few of the other standbys there. Miss Richmond said, “Why don't you go out to the university and take some courses in economics and sociology?”

I said, “Would they let me in?”

She said she thought so. I made an application and went to the Wharton School of Economics under Simon Nelson Patten, Henry Mussy and some of the other people there. I just lapped it up there. It was Patten who said to me,

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