Vintage

This '1943 Hiring Guide For Women' Is Downright Insulting

Women have fought long and hard to get equal treatment in the workplace and frankly, we still have a long way to go.

So you'll understand our outrage when something like this surfaces.

Take a look at this "Guide To Hiring Women." And no, it's not a joke. This is a real article that was published in an issue of Transportation Magazine in 1943. It was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II. The article was called "Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees" because apparently they never considered paying women equally enough of a motivator.

Honestly, it's ridiculous and insulting and embarrassing that this EVER existed. At this point, we need to just be happy that it's not still in place today. Or if it is, it's not made public.

Take a look at this ridiculous "guide" and try and imagine someone using these standards today.

"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. If you can get them, pick young married women. They have these advantages, according to the reports of western companies: they usually have more of a sense of responsibility than do 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.

Well clearly my heathen self would be unemployable from step 1. Did no one tell these men that flirting, ESPECIALLY when dealing with the public, can be an incredibly useful sales tool? Apparently not.

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

Refer to anyone as "cantankerous and fussy" and chances are you're the problem. Also, show me a woman who has never dealt with the public and I will show you a woman who needs medical attention because she has just gotten out of solitude.

3. While there are exceptions, of course, 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.

As a girl who is "a little on the heavy side" I can tell you with the utmost confidence if you refer to me as that, you will certainly not find me even-tempered.

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 also reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job. Transit companies that follow this practice report a surprising number of women turned down for nervous disorders.

Is this woman pulling a carriage like a horse? What physical condition could she have that would not only prevent her from doing her job but also give her grounds for a lawsuit?

5. In breaking in women who haven't previously done outside work, 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.

Women are not a pair of shoes or a new leather jacket. They are not something to "break in." If transit schedules in 1943 were anything like they are today, it seems this point was not stressed enough with the male drivers because I waited 20 minutes for a bus that's supposed to come every 10.

6. Give the female employee in garage or office a definite day-long schedule of duties so that she'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.

BREAKING NEWS: Employee* performs better when they are told what their duties are rather than being thrown in a garage with a tool box and a work shirt while working for a manager that does not want to be bothered with questions from said employee even if it means things won't get done properly.

*in this instance, employee refers to literally every gender and is not strictly limited to women because that's ridiculous.

7. Whenever possible, let the inside 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.

Now, I'm just as shocked as you are that women want change. I, for one, love sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day doing the absolute same thing over and over and over and over and over and over. Plus, I always get a kick when I'm not allowed to ask my manager questions for fear of being considered annoying. But my, oh my, if only I could get my irrational nerves out of the way.

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

All this tells me is that men don't wash their hands during the day, frankly. But maybe that's just my "feminine psychology" running wild! Better give me a rest period...aka a nap. (<--- I would actually be 100% okay with nap time in the work place)

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

"Don't mock your employees" should just be a general rule overall, no? If history taught us anything, men can't really shrug off harsh words, either. We've got the wars to prove it.

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.

She'll probably also grow to dislike a place of business where she's treated like a toddler, but hey, you're the experts here.

11. Get enough size variety in operator uniforms that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can't be stressed too strongly as a means of keeping women happy, according to western properties.

I CANNOT BELIEVE WOMEN WANT THEIR CLOTHES TO FIT PROPERLY. HOW DARE WE. THAT IS SO RIDICULOUS. WHY DO PEOPLE EVEN HIRE WOMEN EVER?

So there you have it. What a totally informative and not at all sexist way of hiring people!

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