Tuesday, March 04, 2008

1943 Guide to Hiring Women


The following is an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine. This was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II. And yes, it's true. At least according to Snopes, it is.

Come on ladies! What's your favourite part? Or least favourite part?

"Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees: There's no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage.

Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from Western Properties:

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 to 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 time 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 physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of 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 the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes 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 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 wash 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."

6 comments:

ignorant redneck said...

Now you're going to hate me, but in regards to paragraph 3:

I used to manage a business, in which I hired quite a few college women. I found, on the whole, that the best predictor of job performance was if they had a demanding major. But the second was--are they overly involved in fasion? Do they look like they are very concerned with their diet--their size? Some one who presented themselves as being very concerned with being stylishly slim usually turned out--I'm tempted to say invariably turned out--to be a poor performer, who balked at taskes that weren't typica;;y feminine, as defined by their subculture, and became upset when the physical demands of the job meant that their hair, manicure or make up would suffer.

The three best majors? Nurshing, Music performance and dance--three fields tht were exacting, and difficult. The worst? Outdoor recreation, followed by "textile design and Marketing"--the longest a woman with one of these majors lasted was three days.

I'm a sexist pig. Sue me.

Tom O'Toole said...

Very funny post and I was happy to be led to your blog because of it. We've added this post to our links for today!

Cathlete.net

Marilena said...

this is a hoot! i almost chortled through the whole thing. the only thing i agree with if you hire married women, they are less likely to flirt.

Terry Nelson said...

Having worked in management for years, I think these rules are pretty much right on - but you can never tell women that.

Mairin :o) said...

my favorites are three and eight!

Paul Nichols said...

Wow - I work alone these days (mostly a good thing), but back in the 90's, I supervised a slew of women.

We had all types, married, unmarried, "loose", young, old. "Loose" types were totally unreliable. Married were generally more stable.

As a boss, I delegated responsibility, not to relieve myself of work, but to "test" their ability and determination.
Those who rose to the challenge went on to bigger and better things. But ONLY because they were given the opportunity to be something more than what they were when they were hired.

Some people may laugh at the Caveman mentality of that article, but it's true that men & women must be dealt with differently.