by Rick Winterson

   To be sure, Gillette here in South Boston is now owned by Procter & Gamble, a large corporation more frequently called “P&G”.  That results in the combined corporate title “P&G Gillette”, which South Boston Online will use in the rest of this article about a visit to their headquarters.

There’s a group of female students at Excel High School, who are very interested in achieving their justly deserved equality and rights.  This is a young women’s group that has existed for several years in support of each other.  They are very serious about their efforts and recently, they began calling themselves “Pretty Tough Women”, abbreviated “PTW”.  The PTW gather in classrooms in Excel High School during their Advisory periods.

There’s another, newer group of female students at Excel High.  This is a group called the Young Women’s Professional Group, which focuses on skills and achievements its members will need beyond high school, in order to have challenging careers.  One key step for these students, of course, is to look into college degree programs, but there are other avenues of advancement they can follow as well.

And finally, there is a group of about half a dozen adult women, who live on Dorchester Heights in the shadow of Excel High School, and who volunteer to work with the two student women’s groups at Excel.  This group of adult neighbors of the High School was started by Kate Brown, and now includes Karen Rocco, Alice Carberry, Caitlan Carberry, and Sarah Dailey.

This is all under the guidance of Excel’s Headmaster Renee McCall, Faculty Mentor Michelle Caine, and Tracey Kimsey, Excel’s Work Based Learning Coordinator.

What is the connection between P&G Gillette and these three women’s groups from South Boston?  Well, P&G Gillette recently hosted the members of these women’s groups described above, in a conference with their own female employees.  That conference included a tour of the facility along A Street and the Fort Point Channel, followed by interviews with P&G Gillette’s women employees.  For the female Excel students, it was a truly memorable experience – P&G Gillette is not only technically advanced, but it aggressively pursues total equality among its work force.

According to comments afterward, some of the students’ reactions were, “it was great to hear about P&G Gillette’s zero tolerance for harassment and discrimination.”, and “Great seeing so many women at Gillette who are engineers, managing projects, in research and development … etc.”.  One high point on the P&G Gillette tour was a visit was paid to their “Envision Center”, where the visual effect seemed to be actually standing inside a Gillette razor to see how a new design really works.

Previous activities by Excel’s young student women have included college prep counseling and a conference at Massachusetts General Hospital with a dozen medical professionals in various medical careers.  The MGH conference included a trip to the MGH ether dome and the ambulance helipad there.  Future projects include arrangements to see if Andrea Muccini of South Boston’s legendary Ultimate Self Defense can conduct a class or two for PTW.

If you live near Excel and would like to volunteer, contact:  Thanks.