Past Women at Corning | Diversity | Corning

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“It generated a real source of pride to know that over 100 years ago, Corning had women working in their manufacturing locations, in the research center, getting patents, beginning to take on management roles."
- Christy Pambianchi, Senior Vice President, Human Resources 

Throughout its more than 160-year history, women have played an integral role in the development and success of Corning. From opening doors for Corning women of the present and future to paving the way toward innovation in the materials science industry, women at Corning have never backed down from a challenge.

“We talk about wanting to leave Corning in the hands of the next generation of leaders better than we received the company,” said Christy Pambianchi, senior vice president, Human Resources. “One of the reasons we were excited about building the history of women’s contributions to Corning was it generated a real source of pride to know that over 100 years ago, Corning had women working in their manufacturing locations, in the research center, getting patents, beginning to take on management roles. It’s exciting to know I sit on top of a history and timeline of women having made substantive contributions to the company.”

Take a look back at some of the influential women at Corning who not only made achievements for women but achievements for the company as well.

Women at Corning Through the Years

Women at Corning Through the Years

1913
Bessie Littleton’s baking skills inspire the development of PYREX®.

1915
Sara Tyson Rorer, nutritionist and Ladies Home Journal editor, paves the way for women at Corning after consulting on the PYREX® design and becoming the “first woman to play a formal role in the Corning business.”

1917
Evelyn Hortense Roberts becomes one of the first female research scientists at Corning. Beginning her career at Corning in 1917 as a physicist, Roberts would go on to co-author a paper with JT Littleton on the annealing temperature of glass in 1920.

1942
Not willing to take “no” for an answer, Mary Purcell Roche followed in the footsteps of other Corning female scientists after initially being told “women were disruptive in the lab.”

1953
Serving as the technical librarian for Corning and the first librarian for the Corning Museum of Glass, Catherine Mack expands the museum library’s initial collection to 17,000 items in the first year, making it the largest glass and glassmaking collection in the world as of May 1952.

1955
Opening the door for women Ph.D.s, Corning employs Ellen Mochel, the first woman Ph.D. at the company who goes on to be named on a patent in 1966 for method of glass treatment and product.

1957
Mary Hanrahan sets an achievement among the overall workforce at Corning by being the first hourly employee to reach 50 years of service. Hanrahan goes on to become the first woman in the nation to receive a lifetime membership in the American Flint Glass Workers Union.

1962
Margaret Layton is the first woman Corning employee to be awarded a patent. 

1972
Marcella Gustafson is named the first female corporate officer, leading the way for many Corning women to come.