Wednesday, April 30, 2008

1943 Guide to Hiring Women - Priceless!

We've come a long way baby!

This is a is from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine. This was written for male supervisors of women in the workforce during World War 2 (WWII). The clipping is difficult to read so I have rewritten it.

This is priceless!

1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they're less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn't be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and deal with the public efficiently.

2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some point in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves, and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It's always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.

3. General experience indicates that "husky" girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.

4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibility of a lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.

5. Stress at the outset the importance of time, that a minute or two lost here or there make serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.

6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they'll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack the initiative in finding work themselves.

7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.

8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and was her hands several times a day.

9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can't shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.

10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl's husband or father may swear vociferously, she'll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.

11. Get enough size variety in operator's uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can't be stressed too much in keeping women happy.


S'onnie said...

too funny! What is scary is that there are still men out there who would firmly agree with what was written.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi S'onnie,

I'm afraid your right. Although the part about frequent breaks did appeal to me.

Romulus Crowe said...

I laughed, I admit, then realised that when this was written it was intended to be perfectly serious.

Harry Enfield has made several spoof 'public information films' on things like this. Here's one guaranteed to raise any wonam's hackles...

Now, I'm going to hide for a while.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi romulus crowe,

I have never heard of Harry Enfield, but watched the video. What a roit!

Hey, why go into hidding? Hope you come back soon. (Who was that masked man?)

LadyBanana said...


It's a little like the "Women Know Your Limits" which I think maybe Romulus is referring to:

I blogged this a while ago Here

I've tagged you HERE Hope you don't mind :)

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi LadyBanana,

Yes, It is the same video that Romulus was talking about.

Tagged? Oh, you tricky, slippery banana! ;o)

tom sheepandgoats said...

My wife worked for several years in the machining industry. The poster you’ve pictured is the same one she kept in her toolbox. She’s not in machining anymore. She is in health care.

There is the well-known phenomenon of nurses who “eat their young,” in an atmosphere in nursing so sniping and backbiting that it’s a real challenge to work in the field. My wife's instructors have commented on it. She has observed it. I, who am also in health care, sort of, have observed it. I suspect it has little to do with women per se. The health care field is so saddled with absurdly petty rules covering the most minute event that anal people find a natural home, everyone else hunkers down with an “they’re out to get me” mentality and strives first of all to cover their rear ends. Since nursing is still populated overwhelmingly by women, it is women who get the bad rap.

Maybe it’s not everywhere. And most of the rules are ultimately inspired, most likely, by the need to safeguard oneself from lawsuits, the type brought by lawyers, who are still mostly (gulp) guys.

Admittedly opinionated, Awake. But you’re in nursing. What do you think?

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi Tom sheepandgoats,

I have been in health care for most of my adult life, so I don't have anything else to compare it to. It can be a very stressful place to work, and has numerous rules. The State, Health Department, HIPPA, OCHA, etc., have laws, rules & regs. Besides that everyone has the states number, and can confidentially turn a peer in at any time. I knew a new C.N.A who overreacted, and turned a nurse in for something. The nurse was temporarily suspended due to investigation. I believe she was cleared of the wrong doing, but she said she would change careers soon, and was bitter about the incident. When your dealing with human lives, there needs to be laws, rules and regs, but it's a lot of pressure. On top of that you have to satisfy the nurse manager who may have 101 rules of her own. So the environment can be very stressful, and led to a kind of paranoia.

Rochester Man said...

This can be really touchy when the "older" man in your firm put pressure on you to do things you know are illegal. I am sorry to say that I've experienced that. They think that because you are a man that you will "understand." Boy were they surprised when I stood up to them and said - 'hey that's illegal, not to mention really unfair.' Do what's right people... Not just because it's the law.