1940s Guide on How Men Should Manage Female Employees

Every boss can have tough days, and apparently, back in the 1940s, those days were even tougher when you were in charge of supervising female employees.  Thank goodness that RCA created a user manual geared specifically towards helping men in charge of women know how to properly manage them.

I’m guessing that some of the excerpts from the manual below wouldn’t go over so well with women nowadays.


When You Supervise Female Employees

  • Make clear her part in the process or product on which she works.
  • Allow for her lack of familiarity with machine processes.
  • See that her working set-up is comfortable, safe and convenient.
  • Start her right by kindly and careful supervision.
  • Avoid horseplay or “kidding”; she may resent it.
  • Suggest rather than reprimand.
  • When she does a good job, tell her so.
  • Listen to and aid in her work problems.

Whenever You Employ a Woman

  • Limit her hours to 8 a day, and 48 a week, if possible.
  • Arrange brief rest periods in the middle of each shift.
  • Try to make nourishing foods available for lunch periods.
  • Try to provide a clean place to eat lunch, away from her workplace.  Make pure and cool drinking water accessible.
  • See that toilet and rest-rooms are clean and adequate.
  • Watch work hazards – moving machinery; dust and fumes; improper lifting; careless housekeeping.
  • Provide properly adjusted work seats; good ventilation and lighting.
  • Recommend proper clothing for each job; safe, comfortable shoes; try to provide lockers and a place to change to work clothes.
  • Relieve a monotonous job with rest periods.  If possible, use music during fatigue periods.

When You Put a Woman to Work

  • Have a job breakdown for her job.
  • Consider her education, work experience and temperament when assigning her to that job.
  • Have the necessary equipment, tools and supplies ready for her.
  • Try out her capacity for and familiarity with the work.
  • Assign her to a shift in accordance with health, home obligations and transportation arrangements.
  • Place her in a group of workers with similar backgrounds and interests.
  • Inform her fully on health and safety rules, company policies, company objectives.
  • Be sure she knows the location of restrooms, lunch facilities, dispensaries.
  • Don’t change her shift too often and never without notice.

While some of these may have merit, they can and should equally apply to men.  Then again, it seems like far more care was given towards female employees way back than how some people get today.



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