Today marks the 50th anniversary of the acclaimed book “The Feminine Mystique.” In honor of that, I am reprinting the piece below to remind women that, while we have a long way to still go, we have made some progress — thankfully!
In 1943, an issue of Transportation Magazine was devoted to tips to help male supervisors manage women:
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.
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. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so they keep busy without bothering to ask for management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.
6. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowance for female 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.
7. Get enough size variety in operator’s uniforms so each girl can have a proper fit. This point can’t be stressed too much in keeping women happy.