Jan Scott: A Woman on the Move

By: Bridget McMahon, Spring Intern

"My name is Jan, I like to be with women who are bold, as together we go for the gold. We've worked together through the ages, now it’s in the Women’s Yellow Pages."

Press Club board member Jan Scott is an inspiration for women to excel and become leaders in society. A Saint Louis native, Scott has set standards and goals for women to surpass expectations and to flourish in their chosen careers. She has many achievements in the various industries in which she has worked. St. Louis Women on the Move magazine and the Women’s Yellow Pages are a result of her commitment to female leaders in the workforce.

Music has played a vital role in Scott’s life. In 1958, she received her BA degree in music and in 1976 she received her master’s degree in flute performance at Washington University. “My first love is music;” says Scott, “I have been passionate with music as soon as I could respond to it”. This passion brought her to a professional career at age 21, when she started as the Second Flutist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra where she played for seven years. She then accepted a full-time appointment to the music faculty of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where she taught from 1970 until taking early retirement in 1993 as a full professor.

Through the years Scott has performed with a variety of music groups, including: Young Audiences, Rarely Performed Music, the Bach Society, American Kantorei, the St. Louis Little Symphony, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Gateway Festival Orchestra. As a highly accomplished musician, Scott also performed a solo debut recital at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1974 receiving a positive review in the New York Times.

Despite Scott’s many successes in her music career, she has also encountered gender discrimination, which inspired her to form a network for aspiring female leaders. In the early '90s Scott co-founded St. Louis PublisHers, Inc, -- a networking system within women-owned businesses. Currently, she is the sole owner of the company which publishes the Women’s Yellow Pages of Greater St. Louis and a bi-monthly magazine, St. Louis Women on the Move. "The inspiration for starting this company came from my experience in CORO’s Women In Leadership. I knew I could do something to make the world better for us women, and we did it", says Scott.

St. Louis Women on the Move highlights issues that women face in the workforce; it enlightens its readers on how to make money and how to handle difficult situations when a woman is in power. "I want to change things for women. I want women to be prepared in life and know the dynamics in what their working in and how to make money".

Scott is an active member of several organizations advocating women’s equal rights, women in education and women in the media. She has been a member of the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) Board of Governors-Institute for Women's and Gender Studies in 1996 and is presently on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Gender Studies. She served on the Board of the Southern Illinois Arts Council from 1990-1994, holding the position of vice president from 1992-1993. She has been a participating member of the Missouri Women’s Network since 1999 and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) since 1994. She is past president of the St. Louis Branch of the AAUW, serves on the state board and the Resolutions Committee for the national organization.

Throughout the years, Scott has been in several local and national leadership positions in both the community and women’s organizations. She has received dozens of awards recognizing her leadership and most recently was recognized with the Women’s Trailblazer Award in a ceremony at UMSL as part of their National Women’s History month – an award recognizing her “trailblazing” accomplishments in her field.

Scott is an independent woman who has experienced obstacles due to her gender, which only served to spark her interest in equal rights. Her goal has been to empower women to push themselves upward and never strive for anything less. She has taken great strides in support of women’s’ education in the workforce and inspired countless women to overcome traditional boundaries in their careers.