Society of Woman Geographers
Excluded from membership in most professional organizations that promoted world exploration, geography, anthropology, and allied fields because of their sex, a small group of women founded the Society of Woman Geographers (SWG) in 1925. The SWG filled the need to exchange ideas and offer mutual encouragement among these professional women. Amelia Earhart, the famous female aviator, was elected to the SWG in 1931 and received the organization’s first gold medal in 1933. Later, anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978) received the prestigious medal, which is still awarded today. As women gained entrance into a broader array of professions over the course of the twentieth century, SWG member occupations and scholarly output reflect changes in women’s career opportunities.