Monday, November 02, 2009

Special Tips for Hiring Woman

In my latest copy of "Bathroom Reader", I came across this interesting directive put out during the height of World War II on tips for hiring women in the workplace, due to the shortage of men, most of whom were off fighting the war. 

To my regular female readers of this blog, THESE ARE NOT MY VIEWS.  I only post it to show you how far we've come from such prehistoric thinking.  Yes, we have "come a long way baby", but we still have a long way to go.

Special Tips for Hiring Women

We’ve come a long way, baby. And it should be obvious once you read this article, which originally appeared under the title “Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency out of Women Employees” in the July 1943 edition of Mass Transportation magazine.

There’s no longer any question whether companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The military draft and the manpower shortage have settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and to know how to use them to the bet advantage. Here are 11 helpful tips on the subject from Western Properties:

1. If you can get them, pick young married women. They have these advantages; they usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters; they’re less likely to be flirtatious; as a rule, they need the work or they wouldn’t be doing it – maybe a sick husband or one who’s in the Army; 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 and get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Most companies have found that 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. While there are exceptions to this rule, general experience indicates that “husky” girls – those who are just a little on the heavy side – are likely to be 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 against the possibilities of lawsuit but also reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job. Companies that follow this practice report a surprising number of women turned down for nervous disorders.

5. In breaking in women who haven’t previously worked outside the home, stress 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 slow.

6. Give the female employee a definite schedule of duties so that she’ll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous companies 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 employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be nervous and they’re happier with change.

8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. Companies that are already using large numbers of woman stress the fact that you have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick, and wash her hands several times a day.

9. Be tactful in issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are sensitive; they can’t shrug off harsh words the way that men do. Never ridicule a woman – it cuts her efficiency.

10. Be 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 uniforms so that each girl can get a proper fit. This point can’t be stressed to strongly as a means of keeping women happy.


  1. not every point is out of date - that last one, for example...

  2. Ron.

    I found this ironic: "If you can get them, pick young married women". This certainly wasn't always the case. My wife's mother was a supervisor for bell telephone. For a number of years she kept her marriage a secret because the company had a rule against hiring married women. They would employee only single women and if a woman married she had to resign. They believed a married woman would be o preoccupied with her husband and perhaps children to make a dependable worker.


  3. It is interesting to read this type of business corporate crap from prehistoric times isn't it? I remember when I was a remittance clerk at Girard Bank. Hugh, the guy who sat behind me (same job, same pay) got a $4.00 raise (this was in 1965 when $4.00 raise was something - we only made $70 a week) because his wife was pregnant! Excuse me? I asked what his raise had to do with his job. Our supervisor told me that "Hugh will need more money because now he will have a family." And I've been paying ever since I am a single man without children. No one can tell me that men with families don't get more money generally in the workplace. This is just another example of life's injustices that continue to this day.

  4. Kim,

    Funny thing, I also thought that not every point was out of date. Take for instance the "husky girls are more even tempered." I have found that to be true myself. The skinny broads are usually the bitches on wheels. Just saying.

  5. Or should I say "Bitches in heels." I worked with one like that. We called her "Hitler in heels." She WAS my boss.

  6. Anonymous9:38 AM

    Hi Ron,

    That was a great posting. It is very interesting that some points ring true today. I had a "skinny bitch boss in heels" too! I think the problem is that they are always hungry & take it out on their employees. If I had a choice of having a male or female boss I'd take a male any day. You would think females would be a little more concerned when it comes to family problems , sick kids, dr's appts., etc. I never found that the case. I think they just get off on cracking the whip. Maybe because they have no control at home, who knows. Anyway, loved the post!! Have a great day! Oh btw...are your friends in CA ok? They haven't posted lately & was just wondering.


  7. Fran,

    I've had several female bosses. All of them have been wonderful save the one ("Hitler in Heels.") While I don't believe in the stereotypes in the posting, I do find male bosses easier to work for. At least if I have a disagreement with them I can let it all out (tell them what I really think - which I have done on occasion.) With a woman boss I would never do that. Somehow I just can't see myself using that "language" with a woman. I would always be thinking of my Mother and would I want anyone talking to her. Now with my father, it's a whole different story. :)

    To tell you the truth, the worst bosses I've had were gay males. They're the worst which is ironic because that is what I am! You know what Pogo said: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

  8. Ron, would you really begrudge a man an extra $4 when he has years of sleepless nights and endless diapers to change ahead of him?

  9. Would I begrudge a man an extra $4 when he has years of sleepless nights and endless diapers to change ahead of him?............ABSOLUTELY! Why should he get paid more just because he can make a baby? That's his choice. The analogy I like to use is should I get paid an extra $4 because I decided to get a new boat and had those extra expenses and work? Having a baby is his choice. Already I'm paying too much as a single man paying a higher tax rate than he pays as a married man. Plus, I have never had kids to take advantage of the school system but yet I have paid the full load of school taxes for my whole adult life. No, this is where I have to disagree with you Kim.....having a baby is a decision my co-worker made and with that decision he has decided to take on those expenses. Don't ask me to go without a pay raise to pay for his life decision. It is not fair.


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