van Kleeck, Mary


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(1883–1972) Mary Ann van Kleeck began her career as a settlement worker and became a noted labor researcher and strong advocate for workers rights, especially the rights of women workers. Following graduation from Smith College, van Kleeck worked for the College Settlement Association on New York's Lower East Side. After she studied at Columbia, the Russell Sage Foundation hired her to head the committee on Women Work. In 1916, she was named director of the newly created Department of Industrial Studies at Russell Sage, a position she held for over 40 years. Her early labor research led to legislation protecting women workers. Later, van Kleeck examined numerous aspects of labor and the workplace. Her study of the role of employee representation led to the conclusion that labor is more productive and efficient when workers participate in the management of organizations. One of the first to study the effect of technology on employment and standards of living, her findings indicated that introduction of technology often led to unemployment.


From Encyclopedia of Social Work in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Social Work.

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