Interviewee: Mildred Knightner
IWY SC 651
Interviewer: Elaine Mayo Paul
Date: June 10-11, 1977
Mildred Knightner, an accountant, attended the state IWY conference to attend the workshops on management and finance. At the time, she was one of the earliest African-American woman credit union director in South Carolina. Knightner operated the credit union at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. The interview includes discussion of her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated banking industry.
Elaine Mayo Paul: Your name?
Mildred Knightner: Mildred Knightner.
EP: Mildred Knightner. And would you tell me why you came?
MK: Because I’m interested in the, one of the workshops they’re having tomorrow, the workshop on management and finance, I think. Those aren’t the exact terms, it’s pertaining to finance and management. And that’s the area that I’m currently working, and it’s a kind of a new area that’s opening up to women.
EP: And what are you actually doing at this time?
MK: As far as employment?
MK: I’m an accountant and I operate the credit union with Benedict College. Yes, and I am the only female, black female director of a credit union in South Carolina. And it’s an interesting field, the money in the bank and feels really interesting.
EP: Is it now? I always thought it would be very difficult.
MK: Well, the training, the only difficulty is the training. And it just, anybody cannot very easily get into that field, especially the woman.
EP: Of course that’s it. When did you – is it because you have come this distance, again this is what interested you, can you tell me how you yourself got interested in women’s issues?
MK: By being one of the few female working in an all-male domain. Realizing that the female has as much intellect, as much intelligence as the male. Somehow the business world seems to be just males, it’s male dominated. It was. Working at a college, when I started at a college in the business office and through the low financial management that I saw at that time really interests me.
EP: And you decided you could do it as well.
MK: I could do it as well. And I did, I proved myself. Those things that the men were doing I just, I learned, I read, and I started doing them. And as I started proving myself then new jobs – (interview cuts out at 2:16).
End of Interview