In 1953, American Airlines announced that all female flight attendants would retire at age 32. In 1963, a group of female flight attendants issued a response to the edict, claiming gender and age discrimination. Among them was Dusty Roads, who spoke to PBS for their "Makers: Women Who Make America" project, which premieres February 26.
In the short clip above, Roads discusses what it was like being a female flight attendant for American Airlines in the 1950s ("It was a fabulous career. We were looked up to, we were admired," she says), the barriers she and other female flight attendants had to overcome--including sending the first case to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1965--in order to maintain their jobs passed the not-so-ripe age of 32.
Of the decision to fight for her right to work for the Airline past the age of 32, Roads says, "I wanted to make it a career instead of just a job." Roads proceeded to work for American Airlines until 1994.
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