Though schools no longer separate boys into shop class and girls into home economics, girls continue to be under-represented in math and science fields, something Barbara Bitters has spent much of her career trying to change.
Bitters, 62, recently retired as assistant director for the career and technical education team at the Department of Public Instruction where she spent 37 years.
Bitters helped establish the women’s studies program at UW-Madison while a graduate student from 1972 to 1975. That led to a job at DPI helping the state figure out the implications of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law that prohibits gender discrimination in schools.
In December, the White House honored Bitters as one of 12 “Champions of Change” for leading the effort to recruit and retain girls and women in what are referred to as the STEM fields.