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. 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 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. It's always well to impress upon older women the
importance of friendliness and courtesy.
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. 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.
6. Give the 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 initiative
in finding work themselves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Mass
Transportation. This was serious and written for male
supervisors of women in the work force during World War II--
a mere 54 years ago.