Tasneem Raja revisits the early days of women in the CIA:
A few years ago, four veteran CIA officers, with more than a 100 years of collective experience over four decades, were asked to speak frankly about serving in the agency as women. The taped conversations, used for internal review by the CIA, reveal encounters with male attitudes from the officers’ early years that aren’t surprising—it was indeed a Mad Men world, albeit with security clearances. The transcripts, part of a trove of recently declassified CIA documents, also contain wry, Peggy Olson-esque recollections in which being a woman proved an asset—and hardly in the “femme fatale” vein of intelligence gathering.
Carla, who joined the agency in 1965 and was Deputy Chief of the Africa Division by the time she retired in 2004, recalled a time when male higher-ups in the agency warned that women would be ineffective for recruiting agents and gathering intel abroad…
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