Month: April 2014

All Month: April 2014

April 30, 2014

A Guide to Hiring Women

Here are eleven tips on getting more efficiency out of women employees.

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


An excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine. Written for male supervisors of women in the workforce during World War II.

While you may be shocked at the concepts and the words used in this article, this was reality just 60 years ago. Some of the women described in this article have just retired in the last decade. Generations of women have come and gone from the workforce, each making its mark and pushing for more equality. Each generation has been shaped by events or circumstances aging into the next phaseundefinedfrom youth to young adulthood to midlife to elderhood, having its attitudes and behaviors mature, producing new currents in the public mood.

For a variety of reasons, the workforce of today has changed dramatically. Laws have been implemented since this article was written requiring people of all genders, ages, races, nationalities, sexual orientation and abilities to have equal access to jobs, pay and status.

Those who watch Mad Men marvel at how much Peggy and Joan sacrifice to get ahead, get their talents noticed, and get the opportunities for which the men of that era felt entitled.

What path will the women of your generation (Boomer, Gen X, Millennial, Gen Edge) make for those following you?

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April 1, 2014

Spread Your Wings and Fly

The lessons we teach, passed from one generation to another, perpetuate traditions of discrimination.  Women hold an equal place to men in terms of population; women comprise roughly 50% of the population around the world and in the workplace.  Yet, women have an unequal place around the world and in the workplace when it comes to education, healthcare, professional opportunities and their place in societies.

This month we celebrate the ATHENA Awards. The women nominated, all worthy of the title winner, are educated, proven leaders and passionate to make a difference.  Many of these women did not have equal opportunities handed to them but they have succeeded nonetheless. 

Founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz, ATHENA International is a non-profit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders.  The program inspires women to reach their full potential and strives to create balance in leadership worldwide. 

Mertz was inspired to create this organization after serving as the only woman on the Board of Directors of the Lansing Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce.  She quickly recognized that the Chamber’s boardroom did not reflect the reality of the business community.  The more she observed, the more she became convinced: If women’s strengths and contributions as leaders were publicly acknowledged, they could no longer be dismissed. 

Founded in 1982, the award is an honor for those nominees who excel in their professions, give back to their communities and help raise up other leaders, especially women.  Since the program’s inception, more than 6,000 awards have been presented in over 500 communities in the United States, Canada, China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

In a recent ATHENA International Leadership Conference, Martha noted: “Think about Rosa Parks, who from the authenticity of her core, refused once again, to go to the back of the bus. Consider Mother Theresa who expressed her leadership by the touch of her hand, by the healing of her voice, by the power of her presenceundefinedalways giving hope. These are but two examples, albeit great examples, of women’s ways of leading that have changed the world.”

Yet another example of this kind of leadership has shown up in a young girl from Pakistan.  Pakistani educator Ziauddin Yousafzai reminds the world of a simple truth that many don’t want to hear: Women and men deserve equal opportunities for education, autonomy, an independent identity. He relates the story of his daughter Malala who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 simply for daring to go to school. “Why is my daughter so strong?” Yousafzai asks. “Because I didn’t clip her wings.”

Cable is proud to be the lead organization for the ATHENA Awards in Middle Tennessee and to have 30 other organizations supporting it through their nomination of Women and Young Professionals each year.  

This year the question that each nominee was asked to answer:  Why is it important and necessary to focus on contributions made by women in our society?  We only need to reflect on the stories of Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa and Malala to answer it.  Without their teachings, the cycle of discrimination will continue.  What are you teaching?

Also this month we kick off our fifth year of the Cable Mentoring Program.  Fifteen women will join the program from five organizations.  Fifteen women will unclip their wings and fly.

Donna Yurdin, SPHR is President of Credo Management Consulting and is a consultant specializing in Diversity and Inclusion.

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