Upbeat Former Prof
My mom was offered jobs over other applicants solely on the basis of her shorthand ability.
As a kid I was obsessed with the lady in The Westing Game who kept notes in Polish shorthand so no one could read them.
My take-home is that shorthand is like so many talents that were highly gendered and required a ton of effort but weren’t valued as much as they should have been, like weaving, baking, mathematical computing, etc. Our mothers and grandmothers deserved so much more.
My mom was trained by a brokerage to do commodities training on Wall Street and did this work on the down low. But she wasn’t allowed to get her trading license because gender. Then she finally got married at the advanced age of 30, so the firm fired her as a matter of policy.
My Mom was (and may still be) proficient at it. I spent afternoons in her office after school and watched her write it so much that I could write basic words in shorthand. I even practiced it for a bit and I still have her shorthand dictionary on my bookshelf. It's a cool skill.
I had to ask if she still could do it, and apparently she still uses it occasionally at work. This is various versions of "my son is awesome, wonderful, great, superior". She also says no one is supposed to read her shorthand except her, so she'll likely be mad I posted this.