Wednesday, July 27, 2011

11 Tips on Getting More Efficiency out of Women Employees (‘40s style)

The text below is an actual article in the magazine Mass Transportation published in 1943. As checked with Snopes, it is real and here is the cover. (To see the story in full, go to

If you think attitude towards women in Mad Men is bad, just read these golden tips...

1. Pick young married women

They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters. They are less likely to be flirtatious. They need the work, or they would not be doing it. The still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.

Really? Married women don’t flirt? Or *gasp* are unfaithful? How naive!

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 is always well to impress upon older women, the importance of friendliness and courtesy.

OK, so old (over 30?) women are considered to be witches... How can they not have had contact with “the public”? Did they live on Mars?

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

Bring in the chocolate, bagels, and muffins for snacks and let’s have pizza for lunch! Stay off the diet soft drinks! Christy Alley – you’re hired!

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.

Are the worried about PMS and menopause? News flash: all my male bosses were moody....and had mood swings!

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.

Did they preach the same to male employees?!

6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties

(so that they will 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.

OK, I get it, women can not think for themselves. Do you agree Marie Curie? Angela Merkel? Hillary Clinton?

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.

I just don’t get this point. Isn’t it rather inefficient to have employees change jobs every day? Time for a McKinsey audit!

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.

Mmm, so male employees can work non-stop because they don’t need to wash their hands – heck, who cares about infections? Guys obviously can run around with untidy hair and ALL women were lipstick!

9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms

Women are often sensitive; they cannot shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.

Please, go on verbally abusing male employees......they can take it, the insensitive brutes!

10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women

Even though a girl's husband or father may swear vociferously, she will grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.

How insightful! So it is OK for husbands and fathers to curse? What if they work at the same place as their wives/daughters?

11. Get enough size variety in operator's uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit.

This point cannot be stressed too much in keeping women happy.

Bring in Armani! I want my uniform tailor-made!