Monday, 28 January 2013

The 1943 Guide to Hiring Women

This week’s blog post isn’t a Laurey-related story, rather a Second World War magazine article that a friend gave me when I was doing some freelance work last week…I could have done with a Tena Lady as I really nearly did wet myself with laughter. It’s from a bygone era and one of good riddance!

The 1943 Guide to Hiring Women: Transportation Magazine
                              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 your advantage.

1.      Pick young married women. They usually have more 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.

Laurey says: Hahahaha!

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.

Laurey says: I have met many cantankerous creatures and they’re not always older women. I’ve met many a crabby man too!

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.

Laurey says: I think this translates as ‘larger girls are bubbly and less likely to be bitchy because they’re not starving themselves and existing on a diet of celery and diet coke.’

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 possibility of lawsuits but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.

Laurey says: Ironic that today, most of the lawsuits now are from sexual discrimination and sexual harassment.

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 that point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.

Laurey says: I doubt that men’s eyes were fixed firmly on the task in hand and more likely in the legs out of skirt in those days. Loss of productivity? Me thinks so! 

6.      Give female employees 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 to find work themselves.

Laurey says: Wtf? I have worked with many a man that has needed to be spoon-fed work while women got on with their own! Very often the men made the women more work when they failed to complete theirs properly.

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

Laurey says: Agreed. Women love change. Otherwise we’d still be following these rules.

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.

Laurey says: Is this after she’d had sex with the boss in the store cupboard?

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.

Laurey says: Agreed. Never ridicule a women – they often have more guts and balls than men do.

10.  Be reasonable 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.

Laurey says: Bollocks.

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.

Laurey says: Lol – I’ve met a number of girls who choose to have smaller sizes in clothes, therefore creating four breasts and pushing cleavage into chin, and copious amounts of muffin top.

So there you go folks – 70 years on and a lot has changed. Thank goodness for that! I Hope you had a little laugh too, but not so hard that you’ve had to change your underwear.



  1. Woman, know your place!
    By Jove, this brought back memories.
    I must compliment you on your restraint. especially the response to the advice on swearing!

  2. How the world has changed - in some ways!