Earlier this semester I had a student in one of my management classes complain that he didn't understand why we had so many employment laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. While I attempted to answer him as to the purpose of equal employment laws, I don't think he really "got" it.
Recently a friend emailed me a link to an article originally published in the July 1943 issue of Mass Transportation Magazine. The article was written for male managers that were supervising female employees during WWII.
The advice included:
hiring young married women as they were considered to be more responsible, needed the work, and were less likely to flirt with co-workers;
If forced to hire older women, hiring ones who have been in the workplace before as women with no work experience "have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy;"
Having a physician on sight to give an "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;"
"Giving the female employee 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;"
Providing a number of rest breaks as "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."
This article should make for an interesting class discussion...