Renee Weisman, Marge Inden, and Bernice Brody StoryCorps Interview, Clip 1, 2008

Renee Weisman, Marge Inden, and Bernice Brody discuss the difficult first days they each had as women engineers in a male-dominated profession in the late 1960s and 1970s, and how they succeeded despite rocky starts. Weisman describes how rooms would suddenly become quiet when she walked in, and how women engineers posed a change for industry. Inden recalls that she was given a desk but no actual job assignments when she first started, and Brody remembers that her manager would not talk to her. Weisman is envious of Inden's desk, explaining that she originally had to use the desks of whichever colleagues were on vacation. Despite the rough start, she explains how a crisis on her second day of work led her to quickly take on leadership roles. Inden confesses that when male colleagues didn't believe her when she pointed out their mistakes, she quickly learned to pretend to be ignorant to force them to explain something to her and hopefully discover their mistakes in the process. She also recalls how she stunned her male colleagues by cobbling together a needle threader to fish a frayed rope through a plumb-bob.

Weisman, Inden, and Brody all began their engineering careers at IBM. After nearly 40 years with the company, Weisman retired in 2007 as a distinguished engineer and director of engineering and has since started a leadership consulting firm. Inden transitioned from a career in engineering to one in the financial sector and is currently a senior registered client service associate at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Brody is currently an executive project manager at IBM Global Services. Inden is a Fellow of the Society of Women Engineers and a member of the Board of Trustees. Brody has served in numerous positions within SWE and is currently the Speaker of the Senate.

This recording is Clip 1 of 5. Click on the "Weisman / Inden / Brody Interview" link above to find all clips from the interview. Click on the "2008 StoryCorps Interviews" link above to find all audio recordings from the 2008 SWE StoryCorps interviews.

This oral history interview was recorded November 7, 2008 at the Society of Women Engineers WE08 National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland as part of StoryCorps (, a nationwide initiative of Sound Portraits Productions to record and collect oral history interviews. This excerpt was selected and produced by the SWE Archivist. The excerpt may have been edited for length and clarity. Audio excerpts may be used for research and educational purposes only.