Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 544

Records of the Women's Economic Round Table, 1976-2005 (inclusive), 1978-2004 (bulk)


The records of the Women's Economic Round Table®, Inc., a New York City-based educational and networking forum, document over 25 years of public programs featuring speakers prominent in national and global business, finance, and economics.


  • Creation: 1976-2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1978-2004

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in records created by the Women's Economic Round Table®, Inc. is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the director of the Schlesinger Library before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


5.84 linear feet ((14 file boxes) plus 8 photograph folders, 43 audiotapes, 24 videotapes, 4 PhotoCDs)

The records of the Women's Economic Round Table®, Inc. (WERT) document more than 25 years of public programs featuring speakers prominent in the business, financial, economic, and journalism professions. Material includes correspondence, clippings, printed programs, audiotapes, videotapes, photographs, board minutes, biographies of program participants, background material on program topics, and background information on prizes and awards given by WERT.

Folder titles are the donor's; additional descriptions and information added by the processor are in square brackets. Faxes on fragile paper have been photocopied for preservation purposes, and cover sheets without substantive information discarded. Some folders contain clippings or other material written in Greek, as noted.

Series I, ADMINISTRATIVE, 1978-2005 (#1.1-5.1), is arranged alphabetically, as received from the donor. Twenty-eight folders of board minutes include program ideas, correspondence, lists of new members, biographies of directors, and financial information. The 1989 minutes (#2.12) are slim. For general press coverage about the founding of WERT and also about women's networking in general, see #4.6. "Trademark registration of WERT" (#5.1) contains official documents. A complete printout of the WERT website from ca. 2005 is in #4.15.

Series II, PROGRAM, 1979-2004 (#5.2-14.6), is arranged by the donor's filing schema, using donor's folder titles. Programs were identified by the capitalized name of a prominent participant (or sometimes the most prominent woman), and are filed alphabetically by surname. Folder titles include names and identifications of all participants, as well as the program name and date; material in each file may pre-and post-date the program by several months. In most cases, other participants listed with names in capital letters are considered to be "key" participants, and panelists and moderators considered to be "second-tier" participants are not capitalized. Those instances of a moderator being the lead name on the file are noted. Many participants appear in several programs.

Program files contain all or some of the following: flyers advertising programs to members, lists of registered attendees, biographical information on presenters, written summaries of programs, press releases, transcripts of programs, photographs, clippings, correspondence (including email) with participants before and after programs, transcripts of radio and television coverage relating to programs, seating assignments (for larger programs), event programs, website printouts with program information, background research and/or printed material on program topics, administrative and logistical notes, and other details about programs. Those programs with more prominent participants, or those which were also a WERT annual meeting or an awards dinner, tend to include more material.

Most correspondence is to or from Amelia Augustus. Correspondence with frequent panelists and advisors, including John Brademas, Constance Ford, Louis Rukeyser, and Paul Volcker, can be found throughout the program files, even in those in which the correspondent was not a named participant. Several programs occurred in a different form than the listing in the inventory.

Following the alphabetical run of program files is material relating to a 1980 "Presidential dialogue" between candidates Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter that was planned by Ladies' Home Journal and WERT. Due to candidates' time constraints, the actual debate did not take place, but all the organizational files and press coverage are included here. Ladies' Home Journal and WERT appealed to the leaders of many women's organizations to submit their questions or key issues to be addressed by the candidates; for responses, see #14.1.

Manuals for the prize board for the 2003 and 2004 journalism prizes can also be found in this series. Files include lists of prize board members, guidelines for nominating and voting on finalists, and biographies and writing samples of nominees. Similar information for earlier journalism prizes can be found with the award program information.

Some program files are accompanied by large numbers of photographs of the event. Photographs that show the key participants or prominent WERT members or attendees will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database.

Series III, PHOTOGRAPHS AND AUDIO-VISUAL, 1976-2004 (PD.1-PD.8, PhotoCD-1 - PhotoCD-4, T-337.1 - T-337.46, Vt-144.1 - Vt-144.24), contains audio- and videotapes of WERT programs, and photographs of programs and participants.

Subseries A, Photographs, 1979-2003 (PD.1-PD.8, PhotoCD-1 - PhotoCD-4), includes portraits of program participants and documentation of programs. Formal headshots of participants were generally sent to WERT to be used for publicity.

Subseries B, Audio-visual, 1976-2004 (T-337.1 - T-337.43, Vt-144.1 - Vt-144.24), is organized with tapes pertaining to the adminstrative files first, followed by video- and audiotapes filed in the same alphabetical run as the program files. Tapes are listed by the main program name; for more information, see Series II (above). Where a transcription is available, it has been noted. Many WERT programs were taped for broadcast on National Public Radio or C-Span.


The Women's Economic Round Table®, Inc. (WERT), an educational and networking forum in the fields of national and global economics, finance, and business, was founded in New York City in 1978 by Maria Vernicos Carras Rolfe (1913-1983). Rolfe was an Egyptian-born Greek national who grew up in London and worked in international business, investing, and philanthropy. She emigrated to the United States in 1959, and the following year married her second husband, international economist Sidney E. Rolfe (1921-1976). Upon his death, Maria Rolfe determined to continue his legacy in the field of economics by working to include more women in the higher echelons of that and related fields. Amelia Augustus, who first served WERT as consultant, went on to become executive director, and to head the organization as president following Rolfe's death. Also of Greek heritage, Augustus had previously worked with the United Nations and Amnesty International.

The Women's Economic Round Table®, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) organization, held bimonthly roundtable discussions, open to the public, featuring noted policymakers, and strived to educate its members (who included both men and women) about economic issues, and provide them with access to national decision-makers in the fields of economics, business, and finance. Part of WERT's mission was to highlight and make visible women who were experts in their fields; althought both men and women served as panelists, only women were featured as questioners and moderators at the programs. Program topics included business journalism, fashion marketing and trends, micro-finance, investment strategies, national and international economic news and forecasts, and the effects of national and global economic policies. Speakers included ambassadors and ministers of foreign countries, United States Cabinet members, senators and congresspeople, governors of the Federal Reserve Board, journalists and editors at newspapers and television stations, authors, professors and private-sector CEOs and executives.

On its tenth anniversary, WERT launched the Maria and Sidney E. Rolfe Awards for contributions affecting national and global economic policy and for contributions to educating the public about economics, business, and finance. These awards were given nine times between 1988 and 2003. In 1998 WERT celebrated its twentieth anniversary by honoring several founding members with Business Enterprise awards. From 2000 to 2004, WERT awarded two journalism prizes: a Lifetime Achievement award for women financial journalists, and an award for distinguished reporting on entrepreneurship.

In 2004, WERT was dissolved as an organization, but it continues in the form of a yearly Women's Economic Round Table®, Inc. program at the Columbia University School of Journalism's Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Program in Business and Economics.


The collection is arranged in three series:

  1. Series I. Administrative, 1978-2005 (#1.1-5.1)
  2. Series II. Program, 1979-2004 (#5.2-14.6)
  3. Series III. Photographs and audio-visual, 1976-2004
  4. ___Subseries A. Photographs, 1979-2003 (PD.1-PD.8, PhotoCD-1 - PhotoCD-4)
  5. ___Subseries B. Audio-visual, 1976-2004 (T-337.1 - T-337.43, Vt-144.1 - Vt-144.24)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2004-M136, 2006-M39, 2006-M48

The records of the Women's Economic Round Table®, Inc. were given to the Schlesinger Library by Amelia Augustus, president of the Women's Economic Round Table®, Inc., in 2004 and 2006.

Processing Information

Processed: March 2007

By: Jenny Gotwals

Women's Economic Round Table. Records of the Women's Economic Round Table, 1976-2005 (inclusive), 1978-2004 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Women's Economic Round Table®, Inc., the Radcliffe College Class of 1950, and the Radcliffe College Class of 1956.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA