I saw Night The World Exploded a while ago and remember being impressed with the woman scientist (and not just because her name was "Hutch"). For the 50s, she was pretty liberated and, as I recall, the men on the team treated her as indispensable-- and not because she made good coffee, but because she was a good scientist.
Yeah, but it was still taken for granted that she'd have to give up her career when she got married, and implied that the main reason she stayed in her science work was because she was in love with the main scientist. And they still put her in the traditional damsel-in-distress role more than once. And she did spend a lot of time making coffee.
Really, there are a lot of "liberated lady scientist" characters like her in '50s sci-fi movies, because it was deemed obligatory to get a romantic interest into the story somehow, even if it was a story about a scientific expedition or a pioneering spaceflight. There are similar characters in movies like It Came from Beneath the Sea, Tarantula
, and others.
Well, I did say "for the 50s." However-- and it's been a while since I actually saw it-- I seem to remember that her motivation to be a scientist was the science itself; and that she didn't intend to give up her career, but that she had given up on the clueless hunk and had found another guy.