Lillian Moller Gilbreth (1878-1972) was a pioneer in two separate, very different fields: not only was she one of the first working female engineers with a PhD, she was also the first industrial/organizational psychologist. Her work as an efficiency expert contributed greatly to the study of industrial engineering.

She was the first person ever to be awarded a degree in industrial psychology, in 1915. She was the first American engineer to combine psychology and scientific management, and applied her principles even to domestic tasks, enabling women to shorten the time spent with domestic duties and pursuing careers outside the home. She additionally worked as a volunteer on the President’s Emergency Committee for Unemployment in order to tackle this problem for American women.


The Original Films of Frank B. Gilbreth (time and motion studies)