Kate Gleason Biography
Birthday: November 25, 1865 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Rochester
Kate Gleason was the first female member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Even though she did not have any thorough engineering training, she made a name for herself as one of the few accomplished women engineers of her era. She was also a successful businesswoman who became a role model for many other aspiring career women in the 19th century America. Intelligent and curious from a young age, she was first exposed to the concepts of engineering at the age of 12 when she began helping out her father in his machine tool company, later named Gleason Works. She decided to get formally trained in this field and became the first female to be admitted to study engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She then continued her studies at the Mechanics Institute, later renamed Rochester Institute of Technology. Over the years, she became increasingly involved in the family business and played a pivotal role in its considerable expansion and growth. She never let her gender hinder her professional aspirations and toured Europe extensively, looking to expand the company’s business. In 1918 she was appointed the president of First National Bank of East Rochester, the first woman to serve as president of a national bank. In addition to her successful career, she was also well known for her charitable activities.