The Camden Public Library will present the Honorable Barbara Hackman Franklin, the 29th U.S. Secretary of Commerce for an online presentation Thursday, Sept. 3, at 6 p.m. She will be discussing the book, “A Matter of Simple Justice” by Lee Stout, in a program hosted on Zoom. The book, originally released in 2012, has been re-released this year to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage.  Email to request a link to attend.

Based on the “A Few Good Women” oral history project at the Penn State University Libraries, “A Matter of Simple Justice” illuminates the Nixon administration’s groundbreaking efforts to expand the role of women —and the long-term significant advances for women in the American workplace. Barbara Hackman Franklin was a staff assistant to the president, hired to recruit more women into the upper levels of the federal government.

Franklin, at the direction of President Nixon, White House counselor Robert Finch, and personnel director Fred Malek, became the administration’s de facto spokesperson on women’s issues. She helped bring more than one hundred women into executive positions in the government and created a talent bank of more than a thousand names of qualified women. The Nixon administration expanded the numbers of women on presidential commissions and boards, changed civil service rules to open thousands more federal jobs to women and expanded enforcement of anti-discrimination laws to include gender discrimination.

Also during this time, Congress approved the Equal Rights Amendment and Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments into law. The story of Barbara Hackman Franklin and those “few good women” shows how the advances that were made in this time by a Republican presidency both reflected the national debate over the role of women in society and took major steps toward equality in the workplace for women.

Currently, Franklin is president and CEO of Barbara Franklin Enterprises, a private consulting firm in Washington, D.C. She advises and advocates for American companies doing business in international markets, notably China. Franklin has served five U.S. Presidents. In 2017 TIME Magazine named her one of the “50 Women Who Made American Political History.”