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Bulletin No. 223-5



The Outlook for Women
Architecture and

Bulletin of the Women’s Bureau No. 223—5


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government
Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. Price 25 cents

This bulletin is No. 223-5 in the following series on

No. 223-1
No. 223-2
No. 223-3
No. 223-4
No. 223-5
No. 223-6
No. 223-7

The Outlook for Women in Science
The Outlook for Women in Chemistry
The Outlook for Women in the Biological Sciences
The Outlook for Women in Mathematics and Statistics
The Outlook for Women in Architecture and Engineering
l1he Outlook for Women in Physics and Astronomy
The Outlook for Women in Geology, Geography, and

No. 223-8

The Outlook for Women in Occupations Related to Science

Note on Pagination.—Throughout the series, page numbers show both the
volume number and the page number in that volume. For example, page 24
in volume 3 is shown as 3-24; in volume 6, as 6-24.

United States Department



Women’s Bureau,

Washington, December 22,19J/.7.
: T have the honor of transmitting a description of the outlook
for women in architecture and engineering which has been prepared as
a part of a study on the outlook for women in science. The extraordi­
nary demand for women with scientific training during World War II
and the resulting questions which came to the Women’s Bureau
prompted us to undertake this study. The paucity of published infor­
mation on women in science and the encouragement of the scientists
and educators wTho were consulted in the course of this study con­
firmed the need for the information here assembled and synthesized.
The study was planned and directed by Marguerite Wykoff Zapoleon
and completed with the assistance of Elsie Katcher Goodman and
Mary H. Brilla of the Employment Opportunities Section of the
Bureau’s Research Division. Other members of the Bureau staff who
helped to broaden the coverage of this study through interviews in
the field were regional representatives Margaret Kay Anderson,
Martha J. Ziegler, Rebecca G. Smaltz, and another member of the
research staff, Jennie Mohr. Corinne LaBarre, research assistant, of
the Western Personnel Institute, Pasadena, Calif., furnished the
information obtained from western colleges.
The part of the study here transmitted was written by Marguerite
Wykoff Zapoleon.
Respectfully submitted.
Frieda S. Miller, Director.
Hon. L. B. Schwellenbach,
Secretary of Labor.



Much has been written about science and scientists, but little has
been told about the work women trained in science have done and can
do in the future.
Although these women are few in number when compared to men
in science or to women in such occupations as teaching and nursing,
their contribution to the national welfare, so strikingly demonstrated
in World War II, goes forward daily in the laboratories, classrooms,
offices, and plants in which they work.
The everyday story of where these women work, of what kind of
work they are doing, and of what other young women who join their
ranks in the future may do has been the subject of this report on the
outlook for women in science. Unlike the usual monograph which
describes an occupation in detail at a particular point in time, this
study, like the Women’s Bureau series on occupations in the medical
and health services which preceded it, is concerned primarily with
changes and trends.
Although more than 800 books, articles, or pamphlets were culled
for background information, the principal raw material for the entire
study of which this bulletin is a part came from such primary sources
as scientific organizations, employers and trainers of women scientists,
and men and women scientists themselves. Principal sources were as
Scientific organizations: The National Research Council supplied
useful directories of scientific laboratories and organizations.
Helpful criticism and direction to other authorities were ob­
tained from its Office of Scientific Personnel. Sixty separate
organizations of scientists supplied information on their women
members, by interview or correspondence.
Federal agencies: Unpublished information on personnel in
scientific fields was supplied by:
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics,
The National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel,
The United States Office of Education,
The United States Civil Service Commission, and
The United States Public Health Service.
In addition, 52 separate bureaus, offices, or other operating
units of the Federal Government known to employ scientists
were solicited for information regarding the number of women
employed on jobs requiring scientific training and the type of
work they were doing. Detailed statistics over a period of years




were available from some agencies, while only fragmentary
data were obtained from others. The women’s military serv­
ices likewise supplied information on the wartime use of
women trained in science in the WAC, WAVES, and the
Marine Corps.
Pi ivate industry: One hundred industrial firms were visited in
1945 and 1946 to obtain information, usually by interview
with the director of research or the personnel director, on the
women employed by any part of the organization in any ca­
pacity requiring scientific training of college level. Prewar,
wartime, and postwar statistics were obtained where avail­
able, as well as suggestions and comments. In many instances,
some of the women in scientific work were interviewed on the
job. The firms visited included:
Seventy-eight firms listed in the National Research Council’s
1946 directory of 2,443 firms having research laboratories.
Ihe firms visited are listed in the directory as employing
24,816 persons as scientific or technical personnel in their
laboratories. This number represented 28 percent of the
total personnel of this type estimated as employed in all
the laboratories listed.
In addition to this numerical
coverage, an attempt was made to include among the 78
firms visited small as well as large firms, plants in all
parts of the United States, and a variety of industries.
However, the intricate industrial organization, inter-rela­
tionships, and variety of research revealed in the directory,
added to the fact that some firms did not report personnel
statistics and none reported women separately, made the
selection of a true sample complicated beyond its value
for this purpose. The firms visited were chosen rather
as a clue to industrial firms most likely to be engaged in
the type of work in which women trained in science are
used. In all firms, information was requested for the en­
tire organization rather than for the research laboratory
Eighteen commercial testing laboratories which offer testing
services to industry and individuals and which employed
women were also visited. Seven others contacted did not
employ women. These 25 laboratories represented 10 per­
cent of the 244 commercial testing laboratories listed in the
National Bureau of Standard’s 1942 Directory of Com­
mercial Testing and College Research Laboratories. Since
personnel is not reported in the directory, there is no clue
to the coverage of workers.



Three large additional industrial firms which employed
women in laboratory work but were not listed as having
research laboratories were visited, as was one biological
supply house.
Research institutions: Eight research institutions or centers, some
of them identified with a particular college or university, also
supplied information on women members of the scientific
Colleges and universities: Statistical information on the number
of women graduated with degrees in science, mathematics, and
engineering over a period of years from 1939-40 to 1946 was
obtained from 30 colleges and universities and from 9 engineer­
ing schools. Again an attempt was made to obtain wide geo­
graphical coverage and to cover different types of institutions,
such as women’s colleges, State universities, and small liberal
arts colleges. The information available from these sources, too,
varied. Placement bureaus and heads of science departments
as well as deans of women at these institutions and at 6 other
colleges contributed reports on the demand for women trained
in the sciences. The Western Personnel Institute made possible
the inclusion of data which it collected for the Bureau from its
affiliated colleges and universities in the far West.
Since no recent data were available on the number of women
teaching science in the colleges, a count was made in 1947 of the
women identifiable by name who were listed on science faculties
in the catalogs of 330 institutions of higher learning which were
then available in the United States Office of Education Library.
These institutions were selected because they are believed by
the United States Office of Education to be representative in
their enrollments of the 1,749 institutions of higher education
in the United States and, therefore, are likely to have faculties
equally representative.
Other sources: In addition, 97 individuals not included in the
afore-mentioned sources, most of them women scientists, con­
tributed information, suggestions, or helpful criticisms of the
preliminary manuscripts circulated before l'evision for publica­
While every effort has been made to obtain wide coverage, there re­
main some dark corners still unexplored because of the range and
variety of these fields and the difficulty of obtaining information from
widely scattered sources. Perhaps this beginning will result in fur­
ther additions to our so-little knowledge.


Letter of transmittal______________________________________
The outlook for women in architecture and landscape architecture______
Prewar distribution _. _ _
Annual addition to the supply
Wartime changes________________________________
Earnings, hours, and advancement
Organizations___ __
The outlook_______
The outlook for women in engineering
Prewar distribution_________________
Annual addition to the supply_________________
Wartime changes___
Earnings, hours, and advancement 5-20
The outlook_______________________________
Women in civil engineering 5-26
Women in mechanical engineering 5-31
Women in electrical engineerings
Women in industrial engineering_________ _
Women in mining and metallurgical engineering 5-42
Women in chemical engineering 5-44
Suggestions to women considering engineering as an occupation_____
The outlook for women as engineering aids
Prewar distribution
Wartime changes ______________________________________
Earnings and advancement_____________________________________ ___
The outlook
The outlook for women as draftsmen
Prewar distribution_____________________________ __________ ________
Wartime changes- - ____________ _______________________________ _
Earnings and advancement 5-68
The outlook_____
The outlook for women as surveyors
Minimum requirements for membership in the principal engineering
Minimum education and experience requirements for application for
beginning Federal civil service position as junior professional assistant
with option as engineer
Minimum education and experience requirements for application for
Federal civil service position as engineering aid__________ ’....... .................
Minimum experience, education, and work sample requirements for ap­
plication for beginning Federal civil service position as draftsman_______
Sources to which reference is made in the text






1. Distribution by branch of engineering of men and women employed
as professional engineers, 1940— ------------------------------------------2. Distribution by major field of students enrolled in final year of under­
graduate engineering program 1940-41 in 155 schools compared with
that of all employed engineers in 1940
3. Distribution of employed engineers by branch of engineering, 1943____
4. Estimated distribution of active engineers by place of employment,
January 1, 1943
5. Percent distribution of men and women engineers by branch of engineer­
ing, 1946:---6. Distribution of women and of all students receiving first degrees in engi­
neering from 130 of the 155 accredited engineering schools, by major
field, 1945-46
7. Distribution of women and of all undergraduate students in engineering
in 130 of the 155 accredited engineering schools, by major field of
study, November 5, 1946----------------------------------------------------------------Illustrations:
1. Architectural students prepare map in a Municipal Planning Com­
2. Students in architecture at work in drawing class-----------------------------3. Civil engineer from Greece engaged in graduate work
4. Junior engineer setting an assumed future rate of production________
5. Student whose wartime work made her decide on engineering degree _
6. Students in mechanical engineering prepare to test steam turbine-----7. A radio tube engineer. _-------------------------------------8. Traffic engineer charting collision sites
9. Student in metallurgical engineering testing a metal sample--------------10. Students learning practical application of chemical engineering---------11. Engineer explains design of acorn tube to engineering aid-----------------12. Students being trained for engineering aid work in aircraft company..
13. Draftsman at work on maps in production department of oil company..
14. Mechanical drafting in a machine tool company------------------------------Index







■ ■>'




Courtesy University of Cincinnati

Figure 1.—Architectural students on cooperative jobs prepare a use map
in a Municipal Planning Commission.

Architect and Landscape Architect as Defined in the Dictionary
of Occupational Titles (54)
“Architect (professional and kindred) 0-03.10. Plans, designs, and
oversees construction of buildings, such as private residences, office
buildings, theaters, municipal buildings, factories, and similar struc­
tures: Consults with clients to determine needs and preferences as
to style and plan, furnishes professional advice on such matters as
cost, design, materials, equipment, and estimated building time. Plans
lay-out of structure, coordinating its structural and ornamental ele­
ments into a unified design. Prepares sketches of proposed building
to enable client to visualize appearance of completed structure. Writes
specifications, and prepares scale drawings and full sized detail draw­
ings for use of building contractors and craftsmen. Oversees opera­
tions at building site to insure compliance with plans and specifica­
tions. May plan and oversee remodeling or repair of buildings.
Ordinarily, required to meet State licensing laws with respect to pro­
fessional training and experience. Workers concerned chiefly with
ornamental development of building sites or other areas of land should
be classified as landscape architects.”
“Architect, landscape (professional and kindred) 0-03.20 land­
scape designer. Plans and prepares drawings for ornamental develop­
ment of an area of land: Studies condition of site, such as drainage,
topsoil, trees, rock formations and buildings. Prepares sketches and
scale drawings for development, locating roads, footpaths, buildings,
bridges, fences, and sewers. Recommends types and location of trees,
shrubs, and flowers, harmonizing improvements with existing land
features and architectural structures. Prepares specifications and
cost estimates. Supervises execution of plan details, including pur­
chase of nursery stock, statuary, and other items. Sometimes spe­
cializes in a particular phase of landscape architecture and is desig­
nated according to the field of specialization, such as golf-course archi­
tect, park architect, city planning architect, or highway architect.”



Unlike engineers, half of all architects are engaged in independent
practice, and most of them are registered in one or more of the States
(4-6). All but six States have licensing laws for architects, since struc­
tures designed by them can endanger the public if they are not properly
planned (3). Unless an individual does architectural work for some­
one else who assumes the responsibility for public safety, he must be
registered. These licensing laws also usually prevent those without
proper training from calling themselves architects. In New York
State, for example, only those who are registered may call them­
selves “architects.” On the other hand, this State, like most of the
others, does not have a licensing law for landscape architecture since
here safety is not involved.
Architecture is considered by some educators as a better field for
women than engineering, which has similar basic qua!ifications. They
say that in architecture, women who marry may practice independ­
ently and take on as much or as little work as they wish. In fact, a
number of women architects are engaged in practice with their archi­
tect husbands (37). It is also claimed that women can make a special
contribution in the field of home and apartment-house design. How­
ever, most women who are registered architects challenge this view.
They assert that part-time work or occasional work is possible in
architectural drafting, but the successful practice of architecture
requires full-time devotion for success. They also point out that they
must be qualified to design all types of structures and that “there are
no specialists in architecture.” Specialization is not of their choosing,
although the public may have preconceived notions which may affect
or limit the range of their work.
Landscape architecture, too, has been mentioned often as an appro­
priate field for women. Landscape architects usually take a distinct
course in landscape architecture which may be offered in a school of
architecture or fine arts or a school of agriculture. Only a few women
have degrees in both architecture and landscape architecture.
Prewar Distribution
In 1940, there were more than 20,000 architects (including land­
scape architects) employed in the United States, of whom 477 or 2.3
percent were women (43). The largest number of women registered




architects, before the war, were in New York where there were 20 in
1939, and in California where there were 15. Michigan had 6, and
Illinois and Pennsylvania each had 5 (23).
Most of the prominent women architects were engaged in independ­
ent practice, or were partners in architectural firms (23). There were
also some in teaching. A few women trained in landscape architecture
were serving as consultants to local or State playground authorities.
Some were in private practice and some were teaching. A number of
women had written books and articles and had edited publications in
architecture and in landscape design.
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has admitted
women since its opening, more women had been graduated before the
war in architecture than in any other technical field. Sixty-four
women had received the bachelor’s degree, and 7 had received the
master’s degree in architecture from that institution. Most of them
have married and raised families. Three retired after a lifetime of
practice in architecture. In 1940, 16 were engaged in active practice;
1 of them specialized in colonial reproductions, another in restaurant
design, and 3 were practicing jointly with their husbands. Three
were teaching art or architecture, 1 in the landscape field. Three were
architectural draftsmen, 1 with her husband’s firm. Two were project
planners, 1 with a housing authority, the other with a real-estate firm.
Two became dress designers, and 2 were writers; 1 became an interior
decorator, another, an archaeologist. One was a statistician and an­
other a clerk in an insurance company’s actuarial department. Four
women had also taken the relatively new major in city planning, and
all 4 were married and working, too.
The type of work done by 19 women who were graduated with
degrees in architecture or in landscape architecture from Ohio State
University from 1912 to the outbreak of World War II also indi­
cates the range of prewar outlets for women architects. Of 3 who
received degrees in landscape architecture, 1 was engaged in re­
search with an Ohio firm of landscape architects, 1 was in private
practice as a landscape architect and also served part time on a city­
planning board, and the other became a technical librarian. On 5 of
the others, all of whom had bachelor of science degrees in architecture,
there was no report of occupation, although all were known to be mar­
ried and were probably engaged full time in homemaking. One was
a practicing architect, and 4 others had practiced before their marriage
and 1 before her death. Two were employed by architectural firms,
1 of them as a draftsman. One worked for a public utility. Two were
in Federal Government service. One of those became a buyer for the
United States Treasury Department after working as a set designer



and architect in Hollywood; the other worked as a draftsman with
the United States Engineer Corps in the War Department.
Before the war, however, only a few women applied for the occa­
sionally announced Federal civil service examinations for architects.
In the fiscal year of 1940, for example, only 2 women passed examina­
tions (as assistant architects) that year, and none was among the
16 persons appointed to probational or permanent positions as
architects that year (1$).
Annual Addition to the Supply
The profession of architecture grows by the addition of new grad­
uates from architectural schools and of those who qualify by prac­
tical experience obtained in an architect’s office. The number of
these newcomers usually exceeds the annual loss from the profession
due to death, retirement, or other causes. Over the years, an in­
creasingly large proportion of the additions has come directly from
member schools of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Archi­
tecture. However, in 1940, the number of graduates was declining
in spite of an increase in the number of schools. Only 378 men and
women were graduated in 1939 as compared with 472 in 1936 (3.9).
This may have been due to the fact that over 7 percent of the archi­
tects were unemployed in 1940, a rate slightly higher than that for all
professional and semiprofessional workers.
On the other hand, the interest of women students in architecture
appeared to be increasing before the war. About 21 percent of all
resident undergraduate students in architecture in all institutions of
higher education in 1939-40, according to the United States Office of
Education, were women (62). They numbered 914, almost twice as
many as all the women architects employed in 1940. Eighteen women
were also enrolled as graduate students in architecture, forming 15
percent of the total graduate group in architecture. Relatively few
architects, however, as compared with those in other scientific fields,
have higher degrees, since work experience rather than continued
academic training has been emphasized in this field.
No separate information on those training in the smaller field of
landscape architecture was available.
Wartime Changes
During the war, both enrollments and degrees granted in architec­
ture declined for women as well as for men. Only 223 first degrees
in architecture were awarded in 1943-44, -according to the United
States Office of Education, and only 764 women were enrolled as




undergraduates in 1943-44 as compared with the more than 900 in
1940. The drastic reduction from 3,550 to 652 in the number of
men students which took place during this period was to be expected.
But the drop in the number of women students in architecture, in
spite of the general increase in the number of women college students,
was probably due to the fact that architecture was not publicized as
a field of key importance in the war effort, as were engineering ami
chemistry, for example. However, many architects and landscape
architects did serve in architectural and in engineering jobs in both
military and civilian service.
One young woman who was graduated with a degree in landscape
architecture by Cornell University started as a draftsman at a radio
manufacturing plant shortly after Pearl Harbor. In 1946, holding
the title of engineer, she was in charge of properties, being responsible
for space mapping and lay-out for the entire company, the moving of
office fixtures, etc., and had several men working under her supervision.
Because private building was virtually stalled during the war, many
architects, both men and women, gave up their private practice and
did drafting or other production work or entered military or Fed­
eral service, resuming their practice after the war. One, for example,
joined the Women’s Marine Corps Reserve. A few women architects
were employed in aircraft companies covered in the course of this
study. One, for example, after orientation training, was engaged on
tool design; another with long experience taught drafting to women
newly recruited during the war. A number were employed on produc­
tion illustration, preparing pictorial illustrations to supplement the
usual mechanical drawings. A container manufacturing company
used women architects on design and estimating work. One graduate
in city planning who married an Englishman was put in charge of
wartime evacuation plans for English children. During the war, there
was very little demand in the Federal service for architects except in
the National Housing Agency and its affiliates, in the Office of Price
Administration, and in the War Production Board, where a few men
were hired for allocation work. However, 5 women architects were
employed by the Engineer Corps on temporary war work; and a half
dozen, on war housing in Washington, D. C., alone. Only a few
women were teaching architecture during the war, according to a
survey made at the end of 1942 by the National Roster of Scientific
and Specialized Personnel which reported 10 women among a total
of 336 college teachers of architecture (57).
Earnings, Hours, and Advancement
As in all fields where independent practice is prevalent, earnings
vary from a net loss to substantial incomes, according to the employ-



ment or practice of the individual. Most architects in private practice
customarily charge a fee based on a percentage of cost varying with
the type of construction. A New York architect, for example, reports
the following: residential work, 10 percent or more; large-scale
developments, relatively less; interior design, 15 percent or more.
Earnings for those in independent practice and their employees, there­
fore, tend to rise quickly in times of building activity and fall sharply
when the volume of construction is low. In 1936-37, the annual income
of men architects who had been graduated from the College of Archi­
tecture of the University of Southern California during the preceding
8 years, most of which were years of depression, ranged from $200 to
$6,500. The lowest median, $1,250, was found in the depression class
of 1931; the highest, $2,800, in the class of 1928 (66). Late in 1945,
entrance salaries for architectural graduates employed by architec­
tural firms, however, usually approached the top limit of the prewar
salaries of $25 to $40 weekly ($1,300 to $2,080 a year) according to
the Bureau of Labor Statistics (46) and in some cases exceeded it.
The rate of pay for architects at the beginning Federal civil service
professional level was $2,644 in 1947.
A landscape architect may charge a percentage-cost or a flat fee,
depending upon the nature of the project.
Hours in any architect’s office are apt to be long, with periods of
high tension. Clients often want last-minute alterations, and time
schedules with both client and contractors must be maintained.
Advancement for women architects, as for men, lies chiefly in build­
ing up an active independent practice by acquiring a reputation for
outstanding work in a local community. The quality of their work
and their ability to consider the functions to be performed in the
structure as well as pleasing facades are important especially in
dwelling design. A few women have gained distinction in architec­
ture through writing and other nonpracticing channels.
The American Institute of Architects, founded in 1857, is the prin­
cipal organization of professional architects (3). In 1947, it was esti­
mated by the Department of Education and Research of the Institute
that there were about 15,000 registered architects in the United States,
of whom about 6,500 belonged to the Institute. Fifty-six women were
listed as members in the 1945-46 Annuary of the Institute. For full
or “corporate” membership, the endorsement of 2 corporate members
and assurance by the local chapter of the Institute that the candidate
possesses the qualifications required and an honorable standing in the
profession and in his community are required. If he is a registered



architect who has passed an examination satisfactory to the Institute,
or has the approval of the chapter executive committee, submission of
exhibits is waived. Associate membership, usually for a limited 3-year
period, is available to architects, skilled architectural draftsmen, and
other technical employees in an architect’s office, and to professors in
recognized schools of architecture. A junior associateship is available
to draftsmen or other technical employees in architects’ offices who
cannot qualify because of inexperience or financial limitations for the
associateship. There is also provision for student membership.
The American Society of Landscape Architects in 1047 had 381
full members of whom 54, or 14 percent, were women. Members must
be landscape architects at least 21 years of age in good professional
standing and of sound technical training including sufficient knowl­
edge of and practical experience in landscape architectural design and
construction and in the preparation and execution of plans involving
the materials used in landscape architecture. Membership is by elec­
tion of the board of trustees following recommendation by 3 members
of the society and review by the total membership and a special exam­
ining board. “Junior Associates,” who in 1947 numbered 107 of whom
17 were women, are affiliates who have a degree in landscape architec­
ture approved by the society or other acceptable evidence of qualifica­
tions and are recommended by 2 members, 1 of whom must have super­
vised the candidate’s work or study.
The Outlook
The increase in building needed to make up the lag in housing,
commercial, and institutional construction which characterized the
war period and the depression which preceded it will result in a con­
tinuing demand for architects, according to the American Institute
of Architects and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (J)6)
(3). Since the number of persons training for this field during the
war decreased even more markedly than enrollments in other fields,
the outlook for those entering during the next few7 years is declared
to be good. Unfortunately, few women took training in this field dur­
ing the war. _
Women architects take the same basic training as men architects
and are fully qualified to design office buildings, stores of all types, and
large as well as small developments. An idea of the variety of possi­
bilities may be gained from a selected list of books on architecture pre­
pared by the Committee on Education of the American Institute of
Architects (4). However, in the design and remodeling of homes,
institutional residences, hotels, and of dress shops and tearooms,
schools, and community buildings, women can fill a peculiar need.




Courtesy University of Cincinnati

Figure 2.—Students in architecture at work in an architectural
drawing class.
Residential construction is assumed by the public to be an appropriate
field for women, and probably more women architects have devoted
themselves to this branch of work than to any other. In public hous­
ing, women have shown special interest and facility, according to the
executive director of one large planning commission (87). Being
more familiar with home functions, women usually excel in the lay-out
of kitchens, storage, and other rooms. City and community planning,
too, is a growing field; one woman trained in this work was employed
at Tennessee Valley Authority in 1947. The course in this field at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the few at that school
to which men and women trained in social science without the usual
mathematics and science required for technical degrees are admitted
at the graduate level. In 1946, only a few women architects were
employed in the Federal Government: one by the National Advisory
Committee on Aeronautics, one by the Tennessee Valley Authority,
one by the United States Department of Agriculture, and two by the
Federal Public Housing Authority.
There will continue to be occasional openings for women in teaching.
In 1947, 3 women were listed as members of architecture faculties and
3 others as members of landscape architecture faculties in the 113
universities or professional schools selected by the United States Office
of Education as representative in their enrollments of the 418 insti­
tutions of this type in the United States. Two had reached profes­
sorial rank. If these institutions are representative of all similar
institutions in faculty as well as in enrollment, there were 10 women



on architectural faculties and 10 women on landscape design faculties
in 1946-47.
A list of the 42 schools of architecture that were members of the As­
sociation of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in 1947 as well as a list
of other schools and departments offering instruction in architecture
are available from the American Institute of Architects. Thirty-four
schools were on the 1947-48 list of schools accredited by the National
Architectural Accrediting Board. In 1947, women were enrolled in
all but a few of the approved schools. Degrees in landscape archi­
tecture are offered at some of these schools. Some collegiate schools of
design and schools of agriculture also offer degree courses in landscape
design or architecture.
For landscape architecture, a knowledge of horticulture as well as
of certain phases of civil engineering is needed. In architecture,
mathematics and physics are important background subjects as well as
history, art, and drafting. The study of social housing has become
increasingly useful. The engineer’s ability to visualize a structure and
his knowledge of structural materials, the artist’s feeling for balance
and harmony of color and design, and the entrepreneur’s business sense
are necessary for success in architecture. One woman architect says
‘•Only the gifted, thoroughly trained, and vigorous woman will want
to take on a career so demanding. But to her, the profession will be

Engineer as Defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles {54)
“Engineer (professional and kindred). A general term used to
designate persons who meet the educational, experience, or legal quali­
fications established by engineering schools or licensing authorities
for the fields of professional engineering. Classifications are made
according to field of engineering specialization, as chemical engineer;
civil engineer; electrical engineer; industrial engineer; mechanical
“Chemical engineer (professional and kindred) 0-15.01. A classi­
fication title for engineers who apply chemistry and the various
branches of the engineering sciences to the design, construction, op­
eration, and improvement of equipment for carrying out chemical
processes on a commercial scale. Conducts research to develop new
and improved chemical-manufacturing processes. Designs, plans lay­
out, and supervises workers operating equipment, such as condensers,
absorption and evaporation towers, columns, and stills for producing
synthetic rubber, soap, aluminum, high-octane gasolines, and otherproducts. May specialize in engineering fields, such as consulting,
technical sales and service, testing, purchasing, and teaching at the
university level.”
“Civil engineer (professional and kindred) 0-16.01. A classifica­
tion title for engineers who plan, design, and supervise construction
and maintenance of a large variety of structures and facilities, such
as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irriga­
tion projects, pipe lines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and
waste disposal units.”
“Electrical engineer (professional and kindred) 0-17.01. A clas­
sification title for engineers who plan and supervise construction and
operation of electric-power generating plants, transmission lines, and
distribution systems; plan and supervise construction and installa­
tion of illumination, wire communication, and electric transportation
systems; design and develop radio, television, electronic, and allied
equipment and supervise technical operation of broadcasting stations;
design and supervise manufacture of various types of electrical ma­
chinery and apparatus, such as motors and generators, convertors and
regulators, switchgear, and welding equipment. May also specialize
in research, consulting, inspection, testing, teaching at the university
level, specification and other technical writing, and sales and service
of complex electrical equipment.”




“Industrial engineer (professional and kindred) 0-18.01 manage­
ment engineer. A classification title for engineers who supervise pro­
duction departments of manufacturing plants, lay out machinery and
apparatus, and determine flow of work for most efficient production,
conduct and interpret time-and-motion studies, devise means and set
up programs to curb industrial accidents and fires, set up personnel
policies and procedures and evaluate jobs, and devise and install ac­
counting and inventory-control systems. May specialize in such fields
as setting up production cost records and control systems, developing
jigs and fixtures, training production personnel, and wage adminis­
“Mechanical engineer (professional and kindred) 0-19.01. A
classification title for engineers who specialize in design of tools, en­
gines, machines, or industrial equipment; installation and main­
tenance of industrial equipment; supervision of mechanical industrial
processes; or planning and operation of central distribution systems for
heat, gas, water, or steam. May also specialize in research, consulting,
inspecting, testing, teaching at the university level, technical writing
and editing, or technical sales and service.”
“Metallurgical engineer. A general term applied to a worker who
performs professional duties in the fields of processing or physical
metallurgy. Workers are classified according to specialization, as
metallurgist, extractive, or metallurgist, physical.”
“Mining engineer; mine analyst; mine expert (anthracite coal
mining; bituminous coal mining; metal mining) 0-20.01. Makes pre­
liminary surveys of coal deposits or undeveloped mines and plans
their development; examines deposits or mines to determine whether
they can be worked at a profit, making geological and topographical
surveys to determine location, size, and slope of deposits and character
of surrounding strata; lays out plans for development of property,
such as shaft, drift, or slope (mine entrance) location, breaker, or
tipple location, water supply, and power requirements; evolves method
of mining best suited to character, type, and size of deposits, including
type of machinery and equipment to be used; makes safety and effi­
ciency surveys of mine work to develop safer working conditions and
to coordinate work of men and methods so as to secure maximum
production; conducts mine surveys [surveyor, mine]; supervises all
mining operations.”


Courtesy Purdue News Service

Figure 3.—A civil engineer from Greece engaged in graduate work in
her profession at an American university under a grant by the American
Association of University Women.


Of all tlie principal professional occupations, that of engineering
is lowest in the proportion of its members who are women. In 1940,
less than 0.3 percent of the approximately quarter of a million pro­
fessional engineers in the United States were women, according to the
United States Census. Only 730 women engineers were then em­
ployed (i3)- Although women pioneered in engineering as early as
the 1890’s, and although many women were trained for work in en­
gineering departments of war production firms during World War II,
the number of women who qualified as engineers in 1947 was still less
than 1 percent of the national total in this profession.
Engineering shares with medicine and architecture the distinction of
being one of the few scientific fields in which provision for legal regis­
tration is general in the United States. All States, as well as Hawaii,
Puerto Rico, and Alaska, have engineering registration laws, most of
which require a license to practice “professional engineering,” where
public safety and health are involved. (For usual requirements for
registration see p. 5-75.) Unlike physicians, however, many engi­
neers are not licensed because their employment does not require regis­
tration. Most engineers who engage in consulting work or who are
responsible for construction, sanitation, or similar projects find regis­
tration desirable. In 1946, about 93,000 engineers had applied for and
secured licenses to practice professional engineering in the United
States, approximately one-third of the number of engineers in 1940.
In the 1943 directory of registered professional engineers, only 15
women were distinguishable by their names, although there may be
others among the lists from States reporting given names by initial
only (65).
To understand the outlook for women in engineering in the future, it
is necessary to review their place in engineering in the years before the
wai as well as during the abnormal war period. This chronological
view is followed, in this report, by additional information on women in
the principal branches of engineering. In the order of the number of
women employed in them at the time of the 1940 census, these branches
are as follows: civil, mechanical, electrical, industrial, mining and
metallurgical, and chemical (43). The many finer specializations in
engineering have been described in detail by the National Roster of
Scientific and Specialized Personnel.
Transfers from one branch of engineering to another sometimes
take place especially at the beginning level, before specialized experi­



ence has been obtained, or at the top among those who have gained
experience in two or more branches and have broadened the range of
their knowledge. One woman, for example, registered as a construc­
tion engineer, has done consulting work in the fields of chemical,
mechanical, and sanitary engineering. However, specialization usu­
ally starts in the second year of the engineering college course, earlier
than in any other scientific field, and engineers tend to remain in the
branch for which they train (4-5).
Prewar Distribution
The extent to which women and men were employed in the principal
branches of engineering in 1940 is shown in table 1. Women, like
men, were more numerous in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineer­
ing than ■ hey were in the chemical, industrial, and mining and metal­
lurgical branches. But, civil engineering outranked mechanical
engineering in its employment of women, while the reverse was true for
the men. Although each of these two fields employed roughly onethird of all male engineers, each included only one-fourth of all women
engineers. The proportion women comprised of all engineers in the
other branches was consequently higher, especially in industrial and
in mining and metallurgical engineering.
Table 1. Distribution by Branch of Engineering of Men and Women Employed as
Professional Engineers, 1940
Branch of engineering



All employed professional engi­

245, 288

Civil engineers^_______ ___________
Mechanical engineers_________ ____ ____
Electrical engineers ................. ......................
Industrial engineers -_________ -- -Mining and metallurgical engineers
Chemical engineers.. ....................................

82, 443
53, 267
9, 283
8, 813




are of

244, 558





82, 255
9, 209





Source: U. S. Census (43).

The places in which engineers worked varied widely in the different
branches. In 1934, for example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported that chemical, mechanical, and industrial engineers were em­
ployed primarily in manufacturing industries (45). Public utilities
among electrical engineers and extractive industries among mining
and metallurgical engineers combined with manufacturing industries
in each case to account for the principal employment in those branches.
In civil engineering, Government employment predominated; in the



private employment of civil engineers, the construction industry out­
ranked all other sources.
In 1938, there were no women among the almost 20,000 engineers
employed in the Federal classified civil service, where the War, Navy,
Interior, and Agriculture Departments and the Federal Works Agency
were the largest employers of engineers (59) (37). Furthermore, no
women were among the approximately 1,500 persons appointed to pro­
bationary or permanent positions in engineering in the year ending
June 30, 1940, and only 8 women passed examinations for such posi­
tions that year (42). Some women were employed before the war,
however, by State and local governments.
Most engineers were engaged in engineering operation work in con­
nection with current production and other processes, or in design and
research, or, in the case of civil engineers, in engineering construction
activity. Comparatively few, only 5 percent in 1934, were engaged
in teaching (45). This percentage is lower than that for most of the
other scientific groups. A few women were probably among those
teaching before the war, although the first figures available are for
1942 when 50 women were among the 5,394 teachers of engineering
reported by the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized
Personnel (57).
Annual Addition to the Supply
Although about one-third of those entering the engineering profes­
sion each year in the twenties came from the ranks of experienced
workers without benefit of college graduation, the proportion of college
graduates among the beginners in the profession rose steadily dur­
ing the thirties to three-fourths of the total (45). The number of
students enrolled in undergraduate engineering courses in 1940^41
(either in 4-year programs leading to the bachelor’s degree in engi­
neering or in 5-year programs leading to an engineer’s degree) was
almost double the number enrolled 20 years before (31). In 1940-41,
17,684 students wTere in the final year of their undergraduate engineer­
ing program (16). Taken all together, they equalled about 7 percent
of the number of engineers employed in 1940. The corresponding per­
centages for each of the principal branches of engineering in which
these students had specialized differed widely. (See table 2.)



Table 2. Distribution by Major Field of Students Enrolled in Final Year of Under­
graduate Engineering Program 1940-41 in 155 Schools Compared With That of All
Employed Engineers in 1940
Percent stu­
dents in
final year
Students engineering
program in
Employ­ in final Employ­ in final
ed engi­ year en­ ed engi­ year en­ 1940-41 were
of employed
ing pro­
ing pro­
in 1940


Major field

245, 288
Mechanical engineering (including aeronautical
and agricultural engineering) —--------------Civil engineering (including architectural engiElectrical engineering
Chemical engineering---- ------------------------------Industrial engineering___________ _______ ___
Mining and metallurgical engineering (including
ceramic engineering)____ - - ---------------------






5, 608




80, 362
53, 267






1, 229
1, 516




Sources: Statistics on students, Journal of Engineering Education (16). Statistics on employed engi­
neers, U. S. Census (43).

Chemical engineers, in a field where the new entrants from schools
equalled more than one-fourth the employed group, were multiplying
most rapidly, assuming that withdrawals for death, retirement, and
other causes were similar for all branches. The number of mining and
metallurgical engineers was also increasing at a rapid rate. Civil
engineers, on the other hand, were lagging the rate at which
new graduates were being added to their number. Perhaps students
were influenced in their choice of specialization by 1929-34 trends
which showed a 35 percent increase in chemical engineering employ­
ment as compared with a 1 percent increase in civil engineering.
(A decline of 31 percent in private civil engineering employment
was offset by increased Government employment.) However, em­
ployment in all branches was then failing to keep pace with the
growing number of engineers. Although even in 1929, 6 percent of
all professional engineers were in nonengineering employment, by
1934 during the depression period the proportion had increased to 14
percent, and unemployment had grown from 0.7 percent to 8.5 percent
(45). In 1940, according to the United States Census, unemployed
engineers found in a sample count numbered 16,000 or 5.9 percent of
the total number of experienced engineers reported in the labor force.
This was only slightly less than the 6.2 percent rate of unemployment
for all professional and semiprofessional workers in 1940 (44)-



Wartime Changes
The war, affecting both the demand for and the supply of engineers,
altered the 1940 picture rapidly and drastically. The need for engi­
neers skyrocketed especially in manufacturing industry and in the
Federal service, both military and civilian. Because of the vital
importance of engineering services in the war effort, a special analysis
of the personnel situation in engineering was made by the National
Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel in 1943 (58). The
resulting estimates of the number of engineers in both military and
civilian service are shown in table 3. According to these estimates,
admittedly subject to such errors as emergency haste and the use of
miscellaneous sources are likely to produce, the number of employed
engineers in 1943 had increased 14 percent over the 1940 number, but
their distribution among the branches of engineering was roughly the
same as in 1940. Although, for most branches, estimates of the addi­
tional numbers needed for the next 6 months approximated one-tenth
of the employed group, in aeronautical engineering the estimate was
two-thirds and in industrial engineering one-third. In civil engi­
neering a decrease in need of some 8 percent was expected.
Table 3. Distribution of Employed Engineers by Branch of Engineering, 1943
Branch of engineering
Total_____________ _________
Civil engineers_____ _____________________
Mechanical engineers 1_____ _
Electrical engineers_________ _____
Chemical engineers______________
Mining and metallurgical engineers____________
Industrial engineers______
Aeronautical engineers 1___________ _____





10, 600



1 On all other tables in this bulletin, aeronautical engineers are included under mechanical engineers.
Source: National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel (68).

These estimates reflected the marked increase in demand for en­
gineers in manufacturing, especially in the aircraft industry, only one
year after the war began. At that time more than one-third of all
engineers were already in manufacturing employment, and almost
a third were in Government employment. (See table 4.) The short­
age of engineers in manufacturing continued. More than 90 percent
of the 105 industrial companies, large and small, canvassed in 1945
by the dean of engineering at Purdue University as a sample of the
400 with whom it placed its engineering graduates, reported a need
for additional engineers; the average shortage was 47 per company
(33). The Federal Government announced one civil service exami­
nation after another for engineers. Even the Navy Department,




Courtesy Carter Oil Company

Figure 4.—A junior engineer setting an assumed future rate of production
for which a pressure prediction is needed.

largely staffed with men, ultimately sent out a plea for women in
electrical, mechanical, or chemical engineering (1%).
This demand affected all phases of engineering activity. Unfilled
teaching vacancies in engineering ranked next to those in medicine,
as engineers left teaching for war production or military service and
as wartime engineering instruction was begun (60). A few women
became instructors in engineering schools, in some of which women
had not previously been found even among the students.
Table 4. Estimated Distribution of Active Engineers by Place of Employment,
January l, 1943
Place of c m ploy men t



280, 000

Federal, including military and civilian service------- ------ --------- ----State and local governments____________________ _______ _____
Transportation, communications, and public utilities -------------- --------- -----


------ ------------------------ ------ -------------------------------------

Source: National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel (58).


105, 000
88, 000
67, 000
21. 000
40, 000
20, 000
10, 000

7. 5
7. 1



Meanwhile the .war was also affecting file source of supply of young
engineers. At first, enrollments were maintained in engineering
schools by groups of servicemen trained under the Navy Y-12 and
the Army Specialized Training Programs. An enrollment peak was
reached in 1942—43 when 115,000 men were enrolled. By 1944, how­
ever, the full effect of the draft was felt, and enrollments fell below
50,000. Although women were welcomed in many engineering schools
and such institutions as Columbia University, the Drexel Institute
of Technology, and Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute, and the Case
School of Applied Science opened their undergraduate curricula in
engineering to women for the first time, the numbers of women stu­
dents increased by hundreds only and so remained a small fraction of
the total. The 1,800 women undergraduate students in engineering
in 1944r-45 comprised less than 3 percent of the total (19).
That year, the 56 women graduating with first degrees in engineer­
ing were only slightly more than 1 percent of the total of 4,724.
This total was only slightly more than one-fourth of the prewar
1940M1 number.
Most engineering schools also accelerated their curricula so it was
possible to complete the degree course faster, in some cases in less
than 3 years. A few set up special certificate courses of 2 or 3 years
to train women for war jobs as assistants to engineers. Cooper Union
in New York provided for three certificate courses, which when com­
bined were equivalent to a degree course (29). A 2-year certificate
program at the University of Cincinnati included algebra, trigonom­
etry, analytic geometry, calculus, general inorganic chemistry, indus­
trial chemistry or qualitative analysis, general and experimental phys­
ics, statistics, dynamics, engineering drawing, and composition and
literature. Half-time cooperative work experience, alternated with
school and discussed in special classes in coordination, was a part
of this program. Other training programs for engineering aids are
described on pages 5-53 to 5-58.
As early as 1940, the Congress, recognizing that engineering skills
were basic, to an expanding military force, appropriated funds for a
training program in engineering which later expanded into the Engi­
neering, Science, and Management War Training Program. At fii'st,
few women applied for these courses offered in more than 200 col­
leges. But, as the war progressed, women were actively recruited.
Many were paid by war production firms or Federal agencies while
they took these courses in engineering, drafting, fundamentals of
engineering, and such specialized subjects as aeronautical structure,
to prepare themselves for the work for which they had been hired
(29) (10). Subsequent training took place on the job. Requirements



for entrance varied with each of the more than 81,000 courses in engi­
neering subjects offered during the course of the program (61). For
certain ones, only engineers with long experience were eligible. Others
required a college degree with specified credits in mathematics or
science; some were available to high school graduates. In 1943, more
than 56,000 women were enrolled in engineering subjects under this
program, and 62 percent completed the courses in which they had
enrolled (10). For the most part, these women were trained to
become aids, technicians, or engineering draftsmen rather than engi­
neers. (See p. 5-58.) Only a few had sufficient background in science
and mathematics or obtained enough subsequent training and expe­
rience to qualify as graduate engineers.
A 1946 survey of the engineering profession conducted by the
Engineers Joint Council showed that, at the end of the war, elec­
trical, civil, and mechanical-industrial engineers continued to be the
largest groups among professional engineers (18) (see table 5). It is
interesting to note that these percentages, although not exactly compa­
rable to those reported in the 1940 census (see table 1), show a higher
proportion of the total in chemical and mining and metallurgical engi­
neering, although in both reports they are the smallest groups. Corre­
spondingly lower proportions are evident in civil and mechanical
engineering. The Engineers Joint Council Report showed little
change in distribution in 1939,1943, and 1946 of some 30,000 engineers
who in 1946 reported their general field of employment in those years.
For 86 of (he 94 women included in the 1946 survey, the major field
of employment reported showed a distribution not unlike that of the
730 women covered in the United States Census (see tables 5 and 1).
The proportion in chemical engineering was larger in the Council
group; that in mining and metallurgical engineering was about the
same as in the Census. The apparent differences in the larger civil,
mechanical, and electrical groups are probably attributable to the
“other engineering” and “nonengineering” classifications included in
the later report.
Among the “other engineering,” for example, might be some of the
17 women found listed on college engineering faculties in 1947 in a
Women’s Bureau review' of the catalogs of 330 institutions of higher
learning included in a United States Office of Education enrollment
sample. Only 2 of these women held professorial rank; most of them
were laboratory, research, or graduate assistants. How'ever, their
presence indicated that there were probably as many as 33 women
on engineering faculties in the United States 2 years after the close
of the war.
772325°—48------ 5



Table 5. Percent Distribution of Men and Women Engineers by Branch of Engineering,
Branch of engineering



Mechanical-industrial engineering.
Civil engineering_______________
Electrical engineering___________
Mining-metallurgical engineering.
Chemical engineering.._ ________
Other engineering_______________


23. 7
23. 6

26. 7

Source: Based on survey of the Engineers Joint Council, 1946; reports of 37,671 men and 86 women mem­
bers of professional engineering societies included (/<8).

Earnings, Hours, and Advancement
The increasing demand for the services of engineers resulted in in­
creased salaries as well as in earnings which were augmented by over­
time work.
In 1946, according to a Nation-wide survey of the Engineers Joint
Council, the median base monthly salary rate for professional en­
gineers ranged from $231 a month ($2,772 a year) for men with less
than 1 year’s experience to $554 a month ($6,648 a year) for those
who had been in the profession 35 to 39 years (18). The spread in
earnings in each experience group was substantial, especially among
the advanced group.
In 1946, the American Society for Engineering Education reported
current beginning annual salaries for inexperienced men engineers
at $2,520 ($210 a month) for those with the bachelor’s degree, $2,880
($240 a month) for those with the master’s degree, and $3,600 ($300
a month) for those with a doctorate. The 1946 salary for those with
the bachelor’s degree was 45 percent above the 1939 salaries offered
(31). The beginning basic salary in Federal Government service dur­
ing the same period rose from $2,000 to $2,644 ($167 to $220 a month),
a 32 percent increase. (For requirements for such positions, see p.
The median basic salary rates were lowest in civil engineering
according to the 1946 Engineers Joint Council survey. Minimum
annual salaries recommended in 1946 by the American Society of Civil
Engineers ranged from $2,700 to $3,400 ($225 to $283 a month) for
those without experience to more than $12,000 ($1,000 a month) in
the top grades (6). Such salaries would raise the average annual
salary of civil engineers to one considerably higher than the $3,970
($330 a month) average reported in 1938 for members of the Amer­
ican Society of Civil Engineers (5).



According to a Nation-wide 1943 study by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics which covered the actual earnings of chemical engineers,
their median annual income, including salaries, fees, and bonuses, was
only $2 short of $4,000 ($333 a month) and some $700 a year higher
than that of chemists. The beginning salary of chemical engineers,
higher than that of chemists by some $300, was usually $2,452 ($204
a month). The Engineers Joint Council survey also showed that
chemical engineers in 1946 had the highest basic salary rates among
engineers; mining and metallurgical engineers ranked next.
Since there are so few women among the engineers covered in such
studies as these, their salaries or earnings are seldom reported sepa­
rately or in detail. However, the median salary for the 94 women in­
cluded in the Engineers Joint Council survey was $298 a month
($3,576 a year), and the median of their years of professional engineer­
ing experience was 8.6 (18). The median salary rate for men with 7 to
8 years’ experience was $360 a month ($4,320 a year). During the war,
according to one prominent woman engineer, women engineers were
usually started at a minimum salary of $1,800 a year ($150 a month)
(12). With overtime, according to reports from scattered colleges,
recent graduates working in war plants sometimes earned $2,400 to
$3,000 a year ($200 to $250 a month). Experienced women engineers,
of course, earned more, up to $5,000 ($417 a month) and occasionally
Hours of salaried engineers depend upon the nature of the work.
Those of operating engineers, especially, are related more directly to
the hours the plant works than are those of most professional workers.
Development and research engineers, too, are more likely to make ob­
servations and studies in the plant than are, for example, research
bacteriologists or chemists. This may mean shift work. During the
war, this was especially true, and overtime was frequent. Normally,
the engineer’s work is regular and does not involve more than the
normal 35 to 44 scheduled hours of professional staffs.
Advancement for women in engineering is conceded to be difficult.
They seldom follow the usual line from junior engineer to senior engi­
neer to project engineer, nor are they often transferred to nonengineer­
ing work in sales, purchasing, or administration. Usually limited by
custom to office work, as compared with field or plant work, women
engineers rarely find opportunities to obtain the rounded experience
necessary for normal progression. The fact that many of the posi­
tions representing advancement often require field work or travel to
remote locations further reduces their chances. However, a few
women have broken through these bounds.



One, for example, in 1947 was serving in a responsible capacity in
the Philippines as a radio engineer in charge of an ionospheric research
station of the United States Bureau of Standards. Others have
stayed with an organization for years, developing a specialty through
which advancement came. Several have become well-enough estab­
lished to operate independently as consultants.
National associations of engineers are as varied in scope as engineer­
ing specializations. There are organizations of sanitary engineers,
safety engineers, agricultural engineers, and automotive engineers, to
name only a few. The 5 organizations representing the principal
branches of engineering include most of those belonging to more spe­
cialized groups. With 3 other organizations, the American Society for
Engineering Education (which had 3,922 individual and 162 institu­
tional members in 1946), the Engineering Institute of Canada, and
the National Council of State Boards of Engineering Examiners, these
organizations cooperate in raising the status of the engineer through
the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development. The principal
requirements for membership in each of the 5 are given on page 5-75.
They are listed below in order of the size of their membership at the
end of 1946, and for each the number of women members at that time
is given:


American Institute of Electrical Engineers
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers
American Institute of Chemical Engineers___

Total mem­

Number of

The National Society of Professional Engineers includes members
from all branches of engineering who are registered under an appro­
priate State law. (See p. 5-75 for usual requirements.) In 1947,
there were less than 20 women among its 16,500 members.
The American Chemical Society also includes in its membership a
large number of chemical engineers. More than 5,000 members of that
organization reported themselves in a 1943 survey of membership as
having their principal educational background in the field of chemi­
cal engineering (2).
Women belong in small numbers to many other engineering associa­
tions organized within a specialized field or on a geographical basis.
For example, the American Society of Safety Engineers in 1946 esti­



mated its female membership at 20 or less. The Western Society of
Safety Engineers had 2 women members. No women are known to
have held office in any national engineering organization.
During the war, some engineers joined subprofessional and technical
workers in such unions as the A. F. of L.’s International Federation
of Technical Engineers’, Architects’, and Draftsmen’s Union and the
C. I. O.’s Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Tech­
nicians. Statistics on the number of engineers (men or women) in
such organizations were not available in 1946, but the number is
believed to be small in relation to those belonging to professional
engineering organizations, some of which in 1944 were studying the
problem of collective bargaining (14) (75).
The Engineering Societies Personnel Service, Inc., has been oper­
ated for many years by the principal engineering organizations as
a nonprofit placement and vocational guidance service to members.
The National Bureau of Engineering Registration, operated by the
National Council of State Boards of Engineering Examiners with an
advisory board of representatives from engineering societies, verifies
and certifies the experience and educational record of professional
engineers and serves as a clearinghouse for State registration au­
The Outlook
The overwhelming postwar interest in engineering education, which
in the fall of 1946 had more than doubled enrollments in engineering
schools over their 1940 number, introduced an important, unpredict­
able factor into the future outlook for young engineers. No one ap­
peared to question that the long-time trend in the demand for engi­
neers was definitely upward. An estimate of a probable demand for
337.000 engineers in 1950, 29 percent more than the comparable 1940
number, was believed to be a “reasonable guide with respect to the fu­
ture needs of engineers” and “conservative” by a committee of the
Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education which reported
on the outlook in demand for and supply of engineering graduates in
1946 (31).
Allowing for loss by death or retirement from the practice of
engineering and the addition of those receiving degrees in engineering
from 1941 to 1946, the committee estimated that 90,000 additional en­
gineers would be needed during the years 1947 to 1950, or an average
of 23,000 engineers per year. Thereafter, an annual addition of 18,000
was estimated as sufficient to maintain equilibrium between supply
and demand. Actually, according to latest estimates, it appeared that
106.000 persons would be graduated by accredited engineering schools
in the following years, 1947, 1948, and 1949, more than 35,000 a year



(7). Considering these additions and allowing for those without
degrees in engineering who were added to the engineering profession
during the war through training or experience in military or civilian
service, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there would
probably be more than 400,000 engineers available for work in 1950,
more than the number needed under assumed conditions of full em­
ployment. The Bureau in unpublished studies has predicted excess
of supply over demand in engineering after 1950, if the number
graduated in engineering continues at current high levels.
In March of 1946, the number of professional engineers had already
reached an estimated 317,467, almost 63,000 or 25 percent more than
the 254,522 reported as employed or seeking work in 1940 (75). Un­
less enrollments in engineering schools should decline from 1946-1947
levels, there might be serious overcrowding of the engineering pro­
fession in spite of the continued trend in the increase of demand for
Under conditions of this sort, women are likely to find it more
difficult than ever to obtain admittance to engineering schools, on the
one hand, or to obtain engineering employment, on the other. How­
ever, in 1947, the demand for women engineering graduates was
reported to be “still good” by 4 of the 11 engineering schools reporting
placement prospects to the Northwestern National Life Insurance Co.
(28). The remaining 7 noticed a slackening in demand, but most
of them added that there was still no difficulty in placing those avail­
able. One western university described the situation to the Women’s
Bureau as follows: “We can place the few women who graduate nor­
mally but anticipate difficulty if the number is increased too much.”
In June 1946, 86 women were graduated from 130 of the 155 accred­
ited engineering schools. Their distribution by field of engineer­
ing and their relation to the total is shown in table 6. Even at this
time, when the effect of the war on the number of men graduates was
marked, the women numbered only a little more than 1 percent of the
graduates. Only in chemical engineering did they rise above 2
percent (20).
In spite of the extraordinary pressure from returning servicemen
and young men graduating from high school for entrance to accredited
engineering colleges, in the fall of 1946, women numbered 1,269, as
compared with a total of nearly 200,000 undergraduate students in 130
of the 155 accredited engineering schools reporting to the Society for
Engineering Education (20). A list of accredited undergraduate
engineering curricula and the criteria for accrediting are published
by the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (17). Of
these women students, 285 were just beginning their courses as fresh­
men. Their distribution according to the branch of engineering they



were studying, compared to that of all undergraduate engineering
students, is shown in table 7. In all, women comprised only 0.6 percent
of the undergraduate students in engineering.
All but 31 of the 130 schools reporting had 1 or more women enrolled,
although an additional 24 had no women enrolled in the freshman
class. However, the fact that more than half of all the schools re­
porting did admit women to the beginning class in 1946 and that in 8
schools the number of women freshmen was 10 or more is encourag­
ing, in view of the extraordinary competition for admission (20) (38).
The picture in the fall of 1947 will be even more significant, since many
engineering colleges in the spring of 1947 were no longer accepting
applications for entrance to the freshman class of 1948; others re­
ported twice as many applicants as they could accept. Some, however,
still had places available. It appears, however, that women have
gained enough recognition in engineering to open the doors of training

- ■





Courtesy Purdue News Service

Figure 5.—A senior student in electrical engineering whose wartime
engineering aid work made her decide to obtain an engineering



and employment in this field to the relatively few well-qualified young
women who seek entrance to it. Some notion of the work women
have done and are doing in the major branches of engineering is pre­
sented in the following pages.
Tabic 6. Distribution of Women and of All Students Receiving First Degrees in
Engineering From 130 of the 155 Accredited Enginering Schools, by Major
FteLd. 7 94 5—4/1




Major field
Total_____ _____




are of


8 ,8





Chemical engineering. __
Mechanical engineering (including aeronautical,
marine, and agricultural engineering) . ____ ___
Civil engineering (including architectural and sani­
tary engineering)____________
Electrical engineering
Industrial engineering. _ __ _
Mining and metallurgical engineering (including
petroleum and ceramic engineering)
Other (general and unclassified)









Source: American Society for Engineering Education {20).

Table 7. Distribution of Women and of All Undergraduate Students in Engi­
neering in 130 of the 155 Accredited Engineering Schools, by Major Field of
Study, November 5, 1946



Major field
Total . __________
Mechanical engineering (including aeronautical,
marine, and agricultural engineering)
Civil engineering (including architectural and sani­
tary engineering) .......................
Chemical engineering_____
Electrical engineering _
Mining and metallurgical engineering (including
petroleum and ceramic engineering)
Industrial engineering. ___
Other (general and unclassified)



197, 797




51, 598



32, 597
20. 445





8, 428
5, 404

are of







Source: American Society for Engineering Education (20).

Before the war the largest group of women engineers were in civil
engineering. Numbering 191, they comprised, however, only 0.2 per­
cent of the 80,362 civil engineers employed in 1940. (See table 1,
p. 5—13.) At first thought this branch, so closely associated with the
construction industry, might be considered unsuitable for women.
However, as “office-engineers” employed in this field on designing or
specification work women have been successful, especially in municipal



and highway planning and in sanitary engineering, where they appear
to have had greater opportunity for employment. Among the out­
standing women in civil engineering are three who are among the dozen
women listed in the 1941 edition of Who's Who in Engineering (11).
One in 1947 was manager of the business news department and in
charge of market surveys and construction reporting for the Engi­
neering News Record, where she had worked for 20 years. During
World War I, she spent her summer vacations from college drafting
and computing for a mining company, a railroad, and the United
States Bureau of Public Roads. After receiving her bachelor of
science in civil engineering degree from the University of Colorado
in 1920, she taught engineering mathematics at her Alma Mater and
later worked as a draftsman for the State Highway Department. This
work was followed by 4 years of employment as an office engineer for
a consulting engineering and contracting firm. In this job, she pre­
pared specifications, contracts, financial statements, and cost records;
calculated and plotted influence lines for continuous girders; checked
bar lists; and made graphs, obtaining experience which led to her
employment in technical publication (11).
Another of the three was teaching mathematics in a Washington,
D. C., high school at the outbreak of World War I. Following courses
in surveying and experience as a wartime teacher of mathematics and
surveying, she obtained her civil engineering degree from Cornell in
1920. Starting as a draftsman with a railroad, she was soon ap­
pointed engineer of service, a unique job in which she applied her
engineering training and her feminine understanding of the traveler’s
need for comfort and relaxation to the improvement of design.
Among her many achievements is the invention of the Dennis ventilator
for use in railroad passenger cars. Her experience was to some extent
paralleled in another utility, a telephone company, where a woman
civil engineer, after some experience during the last war in surveying
and estimating, specialized in cost studies. In 1946, she was assistant
to the plant extension engineer (22).
The third woman civil engineer listed in Who’s Who in Engineering
received her degree in civil engineering from Cornell in 1924 and
became specification engineer with the Philadelphia City Transit
Department. Following her marriage, she continued to work as an
office engineer on construction projects, being registered as an engineer
in Pennsylvania (11).
As noted earlier, few women engineers are registered. But, among
the 15 or so women identified as registered professional engineers in
1943, there were at least 8 civil engineers. Registered in such widely
separated States as Indiana, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York,
772325°—48------ 6



Michigan, and West Virginia, 4 were employed by State governments,
including 1 junior engineer with the bridge department of a State Road
Commission and a sanitary engineer in charge of a State laboratory.
One was a structural engineer with a steel company; another was as­
sistant office engineer for a major construction project (65). Another
civil engineer, in business with her father, a road builder, illustrates
why many practicing engineers, even in civil engineering, find regis­
tration unnecessary for employment.
In her book “Women Can Be Engineers,” Alice Goff, herself a reg­
istered structural engineer employed by a steel company to design and
estimate reinforced concrete buildings, describes the work of women
in various branches of engineering (22). In her news letters to
women engineers and architects she has described some of the pioneer
women in the field. Among those receiving their degrees in civil
engineering at State universities in the nineties, was one who designed
the structural framework of the old Waldorf Astoria; another who
served as an assistant professor for 10 years and then worked with
a firm of structural engineers for many years; and several others who
through experience or further training went into architecture or
architectural engineering.
Only two women have ever graduated in civil engineering from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology; one has prepared engineering
reports on hydrological surveys for the Government and one checked
drawings and served as editorial assistant for the Civil Engineering
Women in civil engineering, as indicated by these examples,
although few in number, were employed before the war by Govern­
ment, public utilities, educational institutions, and private contrac­
tors, as well as by publishers of technical journals.
A 1938 study of the members of the American Society of Civil En­
gineers showed that 55 percent of all its members were employed prin­
cipally by State, Federal, or local governments. Twelve percent were
self-employed; 8 percent were employed by contractors; 7 percent by
public utilities including railroads; and 4 percent by colleges (5).
During the war, after the first wave of construction for the Army
and for wTar production plants was over, the civil engineers were the
only engineering group which had a personnel surplus. With all non­
essential construction postponed, 7,000 of the 87,600 civil engineers
estimated by the War Manpower Commission as employed at the
beginning of 1943 were declared to be among those not needed in that
field during the next G months (58). It was suggested that displaced
civil engineers transfer to teaching basic engineering subjects, to
local public engineering departments, to naval architecture, aero­
nautical engineering or radar work, after brief training. Some women



civil engineers during the war did work with marine engineers or naval
architects, doing mold loft work in shipyards, laying out the lines and
making full-scale patterns or molds for various parts of the ship.
Until then, women had been unheard of in this field of naval architec­
ture and marine engineering. (See mechanical engineering, p. 5-31.)
Other new trails were blazed. In the WAVES, an ensign with a
degree in civil engineering from Purdue became the first woman
member of the Navy's Civil Engineer Corps in 1943, after serving for
some months without full Corps status. The United States Bureau
of Reclamation, considered to be decidely a “man’s agency” because of
the predominance of field work in connection with such projects as
irrigation, flood control, etc., employed women engineers for the first
time, mostly in field offices and on desk jobs.
In 1943, a woman civil engineer was employed for the first time with
the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey as assistant magnetic
and seismological observer at the Tucson Magnetic Observatory, where
she made observations with delicate scientific instruments for the
determination of basic data in the study of geomagnetism and seismol­
ogy. Two women cartographic engineers were also employed by this
agency. In the Tennessee Val ley Authority, five women were employed
as engineers: one civil, two hydraulic, one materials, and one plant
records. The United States Civil Service Commission also employed a
woman civil engineer during the war, who later transferred to the
United States Public Health Service as a sanitary engineer. Mean­
while, the young women graduating with degrees in engineering were
easily placed. Work with a State Highway Commission, the teach­
ing of college mathematics, employment in the engineering department
of an aircraft company, a position as a junior engineer with an oil
company, and another in sanitary engineering with the State Board of
Health were reported as the wartime jobs of 5 recent women grad­
uates of two midwest engineering schools.
In 1947, at least 6 women were employed as assistants on civil
engineering faculties in universities. If the 142 universities included
in the sample used (a United States Office of Education sample based
on enrollments) are representative, there were approximately 18 or
19 women assisting in university instruction in civil engineering in
More than a year following VJ-day, at the end of 1946, at least 34
women were still employed in the Federal Government as engineers
whose work was in civil engineering or whose degrees had been re­
ceived in that field. The highest positions were held by 2 women in
the third professional grade (or associate engineer category) in the
Engineer Corps of the War Department and in the United States
Public Health Service. Three assistant engineers at the second pro­



fessional level and 11 junior engineers at the first or beginning level
were also employed in the Engineer Corps.
The Tennessee Valley Authority employed two women as civil en­
gineers and two as hydraulic engineers. Another woman hydraulic
engineer was with the United States Geological Survey, which also
had 2 women on the staff as photogrammetrio engineers and one as a
geodetic engineer who had college background and had worked up
from a wartime position as a photogrammetrio engineering aid. The
Department of Agriculture and the Coast and Geodetic Survey each
employed two women as cartographic engineers. (For detailed de­
scription of cartographic and photogrammetrio work, see Bull. 223-7,
section on geography.)
Only one woman engineer was employed after the war by the Bureau
of Reclamation. She was assigned to office work in connection with
irrigation projects. The National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics
also had one woman structural engineer in its Langley Field Labora­
tory. In the United States Public Health Service, at least one sanitary
engineer was a woman. In the United States Civil Service Commis­
sion, a woman civil engineer was serving as administrative assistant to
the head of a division, and in the United States Patent Office, another
was working as a patent examiner.
Although no women are known to be in erosion engineering, this
field, important in State and Federal conservation, may well attract
women who wish to combine an interest in botany with civil engi­
neering {35). The resumption of road and other public construction,
postponed during the war, would indicate that women’s chances for
employment with State agencies were better in 1947 than before
the war and better than they will be later when more male graduates
are available.
Government employment is expected to become increasingly im­
portant in civil engineering in which, in 1946, it accounted for roughly
half of those employed {IS) {36). In such fields as sanitary en­
gineering, the future is described by a professor of sanitary engineer­
ing as presenting “both an unlimited task and an engrossing oppor­
tunity” {69). In this field, so vital in public health, surely, there is
room for women to make their contribution to the solution of prob­
lems of water supply and sewage, insect and rodent control, housing,
and air control. In architectural engineering, too, women can make
a special contribution. In 1945-46, 9 women were among the 78 who
received first degrees in this field, and 92 women wmre among the 4,146
undergraduates enrolled in the fall of 1946 in 130 of the 155 engineer­
ing schools {20).
Because of the widespread destruction in war-devastated countries
and the postponement of construction during the war, according to



the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for civil engineers is ex­
pected to increase more than that for other types of engineers and
will be “exceptionally high” during the next 5 years {48). Not all
of the 205 women undergraduate students preparing to be civil en­
gineers in 1946-47 will complete their courses, the drop-out rate
being high for both men and women. But those who do graduate
should be able to find employment as interesting as that of the women
who have preceded them in this field.
Mechanical engineers, totaling 82,443, were the largest single group
of employed engineers in 1940, slightly outnumbering civil
engineers. However, only 188 women were employed as mechanical
engineers as compared with 191 women who were then civil engi­
neers {43).
Although aeronautical engineering was not emphasized until World
War II, one of the early pioneers in this field, listed in the 1941
Who’s Who in Engineering, was a woman wTho inspected airplane
engines during World War I and then became assistant to the en­
gineer in charge of the Specification and Material Section of the
Navy Bureau of Aircraft Production {11). Later she worked as
a mechanical engineer with several industrial firms and in 1947 was
a registered professional engineer in New Jersey.
Another woman mechanical engineer listed in Who’s Who in En­
gineering was graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1916.
After various research jobs in airconditioning engineering, in 1941 she
became engineering editor for a large corporation {26).
An outstanding woman consultant in the field of refrigeration re­
ceived her basic training as a bacteriological chemist. Her work
in private industry and in the Federal Government led to her special­
ization in the problems of preserving perishable foods in transit,
and she became an expert in refrigeration engineering {22).
Only three women had been graduated in mechanical engineering by
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before the war. Of these,
two specialized in textile technology before they married and withdrew
from practice. The other in 19A) was engaged in engineering design
with an eastern firm. A young woman graduated by the University of
Wisconsin just before the war, after' specialization in automotive en­
gineering, was employed by a Rochest er firm.
Women who were graduated in mechanical engineering during World
War II were quickly placed. The demand for personnel skyrocketed
especially in aeronautical engineering. Engineering departments in
aircraft companies expanded enormously; the percentage of women



Courtesy Purdue News Service

Figure 6.—Senior students in mechanical engineering at Purdue
University preparing to test a steam turbine.

among the engineering department personnel in aircraft companies
grew from zero or a negligible fraction to more than one-third. Few of
these women, of course, were engineers. Most of them did simple trac­
ing and checking, drafting, or engineering aid work. (See p. 5-52.)
Some girls with mathematics and science background worked up to the
grade of junior engineer; a few started off with degrees in engineering.
Two Massachusetts Institute of Technology women graduates in aero­
nautical engineering, for example, were employed as flight-test analysts
by aircraft firms, one on the west coast, and one in the East. The num­
ber of women engineers employed in any one plant seldom exceeded



2 or 3, although there were exceptions. One plant employed as many
as 12 women design engineers.
In addition to aircraft companies, 7 of the 81 industrial firms
visited by a representative of the Women’s Bureau in connection with
this study employed women as mechanical engineers during the war.
One, an instrument manufacturing plant, employed 2 women in the
lower classifications of engineering on development work on processes,
but both left to marry and were not replaced by women. The other
firms continued in 1946 to employ the women mechanical engineers
they had on their staffs during the war. In one, a woman mechanical
engineer was employed on difficult computations; 1 was assigned to the
machine shop in another. A radio manufacturing company employed
2 in its development section; 1 was designing small parts, and the other
worked with electrical engineers. Another radio company employed
several in design and research. Some 10 or 15 women mechanical
engineers were employed in the design engineering division of a large
electrical machinery corporation, which also employed a few in its
general engineering consulting laboratory. Some of these women had
worked into their jobs, starting with a degree in science. One woman
working on tool design had had her original training in architecture
rather than in engineering.
The wartime emphasis on shipbuilding encouraged women to trans­
fer to naval architecture and marine architecture, which women have
seldom entered directly. One of the few women prewar graduates in
this field was working in 1940 with her husband on the preparation
of small engineering laboratories for industrial firms. In 1946, a
woman was elected for the first time as a junior member of the Society
of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Graduating from Stan­
ford in 1943, she has been employed with a firm of naval architects
ever since, working on the interior design and decoration of passen­
ger ships. Only 1 woman was reported enrolled as a student in this
field in the fall of 1946 (20). At least 1 other young woman during
the war period became unusual even among women engineers by ob­
taining a degree in the relatively small field of agricultural engineer­
ing. However, at least 1 woman in the United States in 1947 was
serving as an assistant professor of agricultural engineering. In the
fall of 1946, 5 women were among the 1,908 enrolled in agricultural
engineering courses, 2 of them freshmen (20). Steam turbine and elec­
trical machinery design have been the assignments of 2 young women
recently graduated in mechanical engineering who were placed in
. private employment.
In Government, too, a larger use was made of women engineers dur­
ing the war, and this carried over to some extent into the postwar
period. Two of the women engineers employed during the war by the



National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at Moffett Field, Calif.,
were still there in 1946. Three women similarly continued with the
Civil Aeronautics Administration as aeronautical engineers, having
worked up from prewar positions as draftsmen. Their duties included
work on the application of regulations to existing design and con­
struction and the examination of blueprints submitted by aircraft
manufacturers. A woman aeronautical engineer, hired by the Civil
Service Commission to handle wartime recruitments for the Bureau
of Aeronautics in the Navy, was ultimately employed in that Bureau
as an aeronautical engineer. She and another woman were the only
two women with professional status as aeronautical engineers in the
Navy Department at the end of 1946. The career of the second one
illustrates the type of adjustment women engineers make to changes
in demand. As a mathematics major, she inspected gages for air­
planes and airplane engines in World War I. Following some evening
courses in engineering she worked as an assistant test engineer at an
aircraft plant. In 1927, she became associate editor of the Engineer­
ing Index of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, becom­
ing contributing editor of Aero Digest in 1930. In 1936, she became
a technical editor at the Wright Field Laboratory of the Army Air
Forces, where she worked until her transfer to the Navy Department.
Meanwhile in 1932 she had obtained a degree in aeronautical
engineering (22).
The Navy also used women in related jobs in the WAVES during
the war. For example, 146 college women became officers assigned
to air navigation. Since engineers were not available, women with
science and mathematics backgrounds, preferably with aviation or
teaching experience, were trained for this work. One high school
teacher of mathematics and science became a multi-engine instructor.
Most of the celestial link-trainer instruction was given by women, and
a number of authorities reported that women proved superior to men
in this field.
The War Department also utilized the skills of women in mechanical
engineering. In 1947, five women were employed there as ordnance
engineers. Women with science or mathematics background were
trained for other mechanical engineering jobs. One woman with a
master of architecture degree, for example, ultimately became an
associate mechanical engineer, working on the designing of railway
hospital cars, writing specifications, making drawings and compiling
information on spare parts for locomotives, and preparing patent
drawings. In the Army Air Forces just after VJ-day, three women
were employed as mechanical engineers in addition to four as safety
engineers and four as production engineers. One of the women patent
examiners working on mechanical devices in the United States Patent



Office in 1946 had a degree in engineering, and one of the technical
librarians there was a woman who had had some work in engineering.
One mechanical engineer and one aeronautical engineer were among
the women employed in the National Bureau of Standards.
In spite of this evidence of the continued use of women as mechanical
engineers in private industry and in Government, the future outlook
for women in mechanical and especially in aeronautical engineering
is not very favorable. More than one-third of the employment of
such engineers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is in
plants manufacturing machinery, iron and steel products, aircraft,
and automobiles (50). Except in wartime, few women are employed
by firms of this type. Moreover, the interest of returning veterans
in mechanical and aeronautical engineering has been tremendous.
An ex-Army pilot or mechanic who completes an aeronautical en­
gineering course would prove stiff competition for anyone, particu­
larly for a woman, unless she develops a specialty. With this in
mind, one woman, who graduated in 1946 in aeronautical engineering,
was training to become an attorney, with the idea of doing patent work,
especially on aircraft instruments.
Industrial needs for mechanical engineers were expected to be above
normal, because of the engineers required to produce an expanding
volume and variety of consumer goods and the increasing use of engi­
neers in research. But the supply of mechanical engineers was ex­
pected to grow more rapidly than the demand. As early as the fall
of 1946 many of the larger companies already had more applications
from mechanical engineers than they could accept. Some were be­
ginning to recall the thirties when mechanical engineers, feeling the
tremendous slump in production, were less well off than civil engineers,
who benefited from public work programs, and chemical engineers, who
were developing new products for the chemical industry which de­
clined less than the industries that employ most of the mechanical
engineers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1946 predicted that:
“Because of the wartime expansion, mechanical engineers will be con­
fronted with keener competition than other major engineering groups”
(50). In aeronautical engineering, particularly, difficulty was antic­
ipated, while heating, ventilating, refrigeration, and air conditioning
were thought to offer greater promise. In power, industrial machin­
ery, and automotive engineering, where women have been almost
unknown, competition is also likely to be keen. Although no women
are known to be practicing in textile engineering, this field offers
promise to women who combine a flair for design with excellence in
mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Alabama Polytechnic Institute
(Auburn, Ala.), the Lowell (Massachusetts) Textile Institute, Texas
Technological College (Lubbock, Tex.), the Rhode Island School of
772325°—48------ 7



Design (Providence), and North Carolina State College (Raleigh)
admit women to their special courses in this field (41).
Some of the more than 257 women undergraduate students in me­
chanical engineering in the fall of 1946 (see table 7, p. 5-26) who
survive the course will undoubtedly find work of their choice. But, it
is possible that some, at least, barring unforeseen developments, will
probably have to seek jobs in engineering writing, editing, library, or
secretarial work rather than in plant engineering.
Of the 53,267 electrical engineers reported as employed in the United
States in 1940, only 164 or 0.3 percent were women. More than half
of them were employed in the Northeastern States (43).
Ninety percent of all electrical engineers are employed in private
industry, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
(4*9), and most of the remaining are in Government service. Some,
of course, are in teaching. The number of self-employed is negligible.
Principal private employers are utilities, such as electric power com­
panies and electric railways. These employ more than one-fourth of
all the electrical engineers. Manufacturers of electrical machinery
and equipment, as well as of electrical supplies of all kinds, commer­
cial and household, employ about one-fifth; radio and other communi­
cation systems employ over one-sixth.
Of the dozen women listed in the 1941 Who’s Who in Engineering,
only one was an electrical engineer (11). After college graduation,
she taught mathematics, then worked for 6 years on computations
for a communications company, being placed in charge of calcula­
tions for the transmission and protection department. At the end of
World War I, she entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
where she secured her master’s degree in electrical engineering. After
further computing experience and 2 years as a professor of physics
at Istanbul Women’s College in Turkey, she has since been employed
as an electrical engineer by a large electrical machinery manufactur­
ing company working on special problems in power transmission. She
has invented a calculator and is responsible for another patent in
electrical power transmission.
Only three other women had received degrees in electrical engineer­
ing from Massachusetts Institute of Technology before World War
II. One became an electrical engineer with a radio manufacturer;
another was a college professor of physics and mathematics; another
worked as a technical librarian.
One woman electrical engineer who graduated before the war
from Ohio State University was employed with a radio manufac-




Courtesy Radio Corporation of America

Figure 7.—A radio tube engineer.

turer; another from the University of Missouri was reported on
drafting work in the East.
A 1925 Stanford graduate in electrical engineering worked as a
consulting engineer with her husband, also an electrical engineer,
then became plant electrical engineer with an aircraft company in
1938; at the outbreak of World War II she was supervising more than
20 research engineers on production work (22). Another woman, for­
merly employed as an electrical engineer by a western power com­
pany, during the war became the first woman faculty member of
Cooper Union School of Engineering. A. woman who was graduated
in engineering by a Midwest school in 1929 was employed by Army



Ordnance during the war, after experience as an engineer with a light­
ing company, as a sales engineer, and as a draftsman on a municipal
job. Several women wartime graduates of Massachusetts Institute of
Technology were employed by electrical manufacturing companies,
and one became an illuminating engineer with an electrical utility.
A number of Chinese women trained in the United States have returned
to China to contribute to their country’s progress in electrification.
Although very few women have received degrees in electrical engi­
neering, a number have entered the field through experience, usually
coupled with college training in mathematics and physics. A Hunter
College graduate in statistics, with a minor in physics, in 1916 was pre­
paring pamphlets explaining the use of radar equipment, as a technical
assistant in an engineering laboratory. Another 1941 graduate with a
major in chemistry and a minor in physics took a job as laboratory
assistant in an instrument manufacturing company upon graduation.
Four years later she became the first woman to hold the title of engineer
in that company, because of her design work in optics which increased
the accuracy of a gunsight used during the war (7).
In the WAVES, 121 women officers with a background in science or
mathematics were trained for work in radio, radar, or electronics,
although none of them had engineering degrees. However, most of
them were trained only as aids to engineers, examining and testing
vacuum tubes. (See p. 5-52.)
In 1946, the Navy employed 13 women as engineers in its Bureau of
Ships, a reduction from the 31 employed just before VJ-day. Most of
them were radio or electrical engineers. Some of these had received
degrees in engineering, like the men used on this work before the war;
others with science degrees were trained on the job. Four women radio
engineers were also employed in December 1946 in the Naval Research
Laboratory, 1 at the third professional level. One was also employed
at the Boston field station of the Laboratory. Two women radio engi­
neers were working for the Bureau of Standards in 1947.
Although during the war period, electronics engineering (the sci­
ence of the vacuum tube), in which some 10,000 engineers were then
estimated to be employed, was described as a field in which women
should be equally as successful as men (£j), the tremendous interest of
returning servicemen in this specialty and the large number of tech­
nicians developed in the armed forces will make the competition unus­
ually keen for future openings, although this field is expanding. How­
ever, the first woman to receive an electrical engineering degree from
Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1947 is a specialist in this field.
The first woman engineer graduated by the University of Delaware,
with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1946, was placed in
the aircraft industry, in which competition with men is also likely to



be keen in the future, judging from student enrollments in 1946. In
illuminating engineering, electronics, and the design of household
appliances, women have more natural advantages, however, than in
power and utility engineering, including rural electrification, in which
field-work and travel are more likely. The smaller utilities especially
want their engineers to be available for rough outside work as well as
for desk or laboratory work. Except for computers, therefore, there
is relatively little opportunity for women in this field. Only 3 of the
81 industrial companies visited by a representative of the Women’s
Bureau in the course of this study employed women electrical engi­
neers. Two were radio manufacturing companies which employed 5 or
6 in design or research; the other was an electrical manufacturing firm
which also employed them in design engineering and in research.
On the whole, electrical engineering is expected to offer “good
prospects for experienced engineers and for well-trained new entrants
during the next 4 or 5 years,” according to a 1946 statement by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics {49). Those among the less-than-150
women enrolled in undergraduate courses in electrical engineering in
the fall of 1946 (see table 7, p. 5-26) who complete their course should
also find opportunities for their contributions to this growing field.
Industrial engineers are usually classified as mechanical engineers,
although they are reported separately in the Census. Since they are
concerned both with mechanical operations in industry and with the
personnel engaged in these and other work tasllsfthey may- enter the
field with an engineering background (often obtained in,a®oursoJthat
may be called industrial, management, cpijimercial, production, q|?me­
chanical engineering) or with a background in economics or business
administration (including training in the personnel field). Some
industrial engineers specialize in safety engineering.
In 1940, there were 9,283 industrial engineers in the United States,
including 74 women, 0.8 percent of the total {43). Two of the women
listed in the 1941 Who’s Who in Engineering have; specialized in this
field. One, beginning as a psychologist, became a consulting engineer
with her husband, pioneering in time-and-motion studies. Licensed
to practice engineering in the State of Indiana and qualified in
mechanical and industrial engineering, she has contributed much to
the literature as well as to the performance in her field. At present,
she is professor of management at Purdue University in addition to
her consulting work {11).
The other, an associate professor of economics at a woman’s college,
has specialized in the management field and has contributed to the



Courtesy National Safety Council

Figure 8.—A safety engineer specializing in traffic problems charting
collision sites.



literature on tlie relationships between machines and those who
operate them (11).
During the war, the limitations on the supply of production work­
ers in relation to the overwhelming demand for them in industrial
production made vital the most elfective use of the personnel available.
Industrial engineers were employed in the Federal Government and
in war production plants to study the work processes, to eliminate
unnecessary tasks and motions, and to suggest changes in procedures,
work places, and equipment that would obtain the highest output with
the least expenditure of effort. Women with experience in this field
were especially welcome, since among the pressing problems were the
adaptation of machines and equipment to the smaller average size of
women operators, the solution of problems arising out of the employ­
ment of large numbers of inexperienced women and young people
under wartime pressures, and the shortage of expert supervisors.
Very few women with specialized training were available. One,
graduated by Ohio State University in 1945, was immediately hired by
a Pennsylvania company manufacturing air-conditioning equipment.
Young women college graduates with mathematics, physics, and
chemistry, and some knowledge of production methods acquired by
work experience or special training, were pressed into service. Typi­
cal of these were the five women employed as junior time-study en­
gineers in a radio plant. They did time-studies on repetitive parts or
products, established output rates for various classes of work under a
senior time-study engineer, and suggested corrections to reduce costs
or improve working conditions.
Although only one woman was graduated with a bachelor’s degree
in industrial engineering in 1946, according to reports from most of the
engineering schools (see table 6, p. 5-26), this branch may hold more
promise for women than some others. Those trained in it can make
a special contribution in industries and occupations in which large
numbers of women are employed. The most effective use of human
energy in such professions as nursing and teaching, for example, is a
problem to which industrial engineers can contribute as much in the
future as they have in the past in manufacturing industry.
There ought to be room in this little-explored territory in the coming
5 years for a larger number of women than the 100 or so women in it
and the 28 women enrolled in industrial engineering courses in the
fall of 1946. (See table 7, p. 5-26.) Industrial engineering offers un­
usual opportunity for the woman who combines scientific interest and
competence with interest in the maximum development and effective­
ness of the individual in his job. But, she will also need patience, a
considerable amount of work experience, and the persuasive qualities
needed to obtain the chance to prove the economic as well as the social
value of her skill.



Although mining and the conversion of metals into useful products
are economic activities with which women are seldom associated,
the proportion of women among mining and metallurgical engineers
in 1940 was greater than in any other of the branches except
industrial engineering. Although thejr then numbered only 74,
women composed 0.8 percent of the 8,813 mining and metallurgical
engineers reported employed in the 1940 Census (43). The variety of
specializations in this field and its relationship to others has been
described by the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Per­
sonnel (56) and in pamphlets on careers in the mineral industries
such as those published by Pennsylvania State College (32) and the
American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers (34).
Among the dozen women listed in the 1941 Who’s Who in En­
gineering are two women classified in this field. Both married min­
ing engineers with whom they have at various times worked in con­
sultation. One, who took her bachelor’s degree in metallurgical
engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, became devel­
opment engineer with an Ohio company where in 1946 she was head
of the refractory and ceramic department and in charge of research
and development on beryllium oxide. She has worked with her
husband in South America, Central Asia, and Canada as well as in
the United States (11) (22). The other, beginning as a secretary
to a supervising engineer in an oil refining company, learned petro­
leum engineering by experience. Registered as a mining engineer,
she is listed with her husband as co-inventor of a patent for process
and apparatus for secondary recovery from oil wells and of a patent
for recovering sulphur and iron from ores (11).
Another outstanding married woman in this field, also a Massa­
chusetts Institute of Technology graduate, has her own laboratory
on the development of products out of waste materials, in addition
to a job as metallurgist with a communications company. She also
taught part time in an engineering school during the war.
Even in the steel industry there have been a few women engineers,
including a Stanford graduate in mining engineering employed
with a New York company. During the war, a woman with a degree
m mining engineering was used to survey the possibilities of using
women for surface work in a molybdenum mine. She later super­
vised the women hired.
A few women have become ceramic engineers, who are sometimes
grouped with mining and metallurgical engineers because they are
concerned with the engineering of glass, pottery, tile, and other prod-




mi :

Courtesy Purdue News Servic

Figure 9-—A junior student in metallurgical engineering testing a
metal sample.
nets made from clay, silica, and similar nonmetallic minerals (56).
Two have graduated with degrees in ceramic engineering from Ohio
State University since it originated the first ceramic engineering
course in 1894 (30). Both were employed by tile or pottery com­
panies in the Midwest. During the war, one woman ceramic en­
gineer was employed in the Federal Government with the War Labor
Board. Another was employed at the National Bureau of Standards



in 1947. There were no women among those graduated in ceramic
engineering in 1945-46 according to reports from most of the schools,
and only 17 women were then enrolled as undergraduate students (20).
Some women, after training in mining engineering, have specialized
in work in other sciences. The first woman to receive a degree in
mining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines became an
assistant physicist in the National Bureau of Standards in 1940.
The 22 women who were members of the American Institute of Min­
ing Engineers in 1942 came into the field from various routes including
degrees in engineering, geology, and chemistry. One started out as
a nurse with a mining company (70). A few have become interested
in mining through family connections. One woman whose family
is engaged in the oil industry, for example, did her major graduate
work in the specialized study of oil muds. Although women in this
branch of engineering have been employed in a variety of industries,
the jewelry industry has attracted at least two outstanding women
metallurgical engineers.
Although mining and metallurgical engineering are expanding
fields, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has called attention to the fact
that in total they employ only a small proportion of engineers as
compared with mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering (51) (52).
In 1946, prospects were described as good for the next 4 or 5 years, but
they may become less so depending on the size of the graduating classes
in this branch. However, so far, the number of students enrolled ap­
pears to be more in keeping with the demand than enrollments in me­
chanical engineering. Only one woman was graduated with a degree
in this field in 1946 according to reports from a majority of the engi­
neering schools (table 6), and only 36 women were enrolled in under­
graduate courses in this branch, 0.4 percent of the total majoring in
mining and metallurgical engineering (table 7). These small numbers
of women should be easy to absorb, particularly if they develop unique
specialties. A flair for design would be particularly helpful in ce­
ramics and jewelry work. Research in metallurgical engineering and
small, or family, mining ventures, according to one authority, offer
better opportunities for women than most operating jobs where they
are definitely handicapped by their sex.
Chemical engineering is related on the one hand to chemistry and,
on the other, to engineering. Although training for chemical engi­
neering is usually obtained in a school of engineering, some chemists
whose training has been taken in a school of arts and sciences become
chemical engineers through work experience, by working on problems



Courtesy Purdue News Service

Figure 10.—-Junior students learning practical applications of chemical
engineering principles.

related more to the process of manufacturing a product than to the
composition or nature of the product itself. Two of the women listed
in the 1941 Who's Who in Engineering started as chemists, the one
becoming an engineering consultant in the recovery of precious metals
from waste and the other a consultant on water conditioning and corro­
sion control, having had previous experience in power plant design.



\ ery few women, however, have become chemical engineers either
through training or through experience. Tn 1940, the Census reported
only 39 women employed as chemical engineers in the entire country,
0.4 percent of the total of 11,120 (43). However, this branch of
engineering was at that time one of the fastest-growing groups; the
number of available beginners in that year outnumbered one-fourth
of those already employed. (See table 2, p. 5-15.)
The growth of chemical engineering began in 1935, being related to
industrial expansion especially in the chemical industries and in
petroleum refining. The latter industry in 1940 was reported to be
absorbing one-eighth of the annual supply of graduates in chemical
engineering (13).
\\ omen graduating in chemical engineering before the war, with
some outstanding exceptions, more often practiced as chemists than
as engineers. A 1923 graduate from Ohio State University, for ex­
ample, worked as an assistant chemist in a State laboratory until she
married in 1925. A 1929 graduate, also married, was working as a
chemist in the United States Department of Agriculture in 1946; an­
other Ohio State graduate was employed in the chemical division of a
glass manufacturing company. Three of the 4 women chemical en­
gineers who graduated from the University of Cincinnati before the
war were employed in research in 1945—one in medical research, one
with a distillery, and one at a State agricultural station. All three
had had other jobs in industry varying from work with a fur company
lo work as a bacteriologist with a pharmaceutical firm; two married
but have continued to work most of the time. The fourth took a law
degree following graduation and was practicing law in 1945. Two
of the four women who have received degrees in chemical engineering
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were employed in in­
dustry in 1946; one on flavoring research with a foods company, the
other on a laboratory job with a large chemical corporation where
her husband was also employed. A third was taking graduate work.
The fourth, after obtaining her master’s degree in chemical engineer­
ing some years ago, taught on the faculty of a State university. Later,
she obtained her doctorate at that university, where she now holds the
rank of assistant professor of chemical engineering and research and
serves as research chemist and consultant at its petroleum refining
laboratory (22).
Only 4 of the 81 industrial establishments visited in the course of
the Women’s Bureau survey in 1946 employed women who had degrees
in chemical engineering. One foods company employed 1 as a control
chemist and another as a junior technologist in bio-assay work. The
latter was an older woman with a bachelor’s degree in chemical en­
gineering supplemented by 10 years of teaching experience and in­



dustrial experience with a chemical company. She was declared to
have by far the best technical background of any of the junior tech­
nologists in that company, employed as persons who perform all types
of food laboratory work with a minimum amount of supervision. Two
chemical companies were among the 4 employing women with chemi­
cal engineering training. One in 1946 employed 2 women with bache­
lor of science degrees in chemical engineering, 1 as an engineer in
research and development and 1 as a chemist. Another chemical com­
pany, having employed a woman with a degree in chemical engineer­
ing on patent work involving drafting during the war, was so well
satisfied with her work that when she left in 1946 a special and suc­
cessful effort was made to replace her with a woman of equivalent
training. During the war, 4 or 5 women with degrees in chemical en­
gineering were employed in analytical work in the research laboratory
of this firm, but most of these left to be married. The fourth firm
was an electrical machinery company which employed a few women
chemical engineers in its design engineering division.
Among women, as among men, there are a few whose degrees were
in chemistry rather than in engineering but who became engineers by
virtue of their jobs. At one research institution visited by a Women’s
Bureau representative in 1946, seven women who had bachelor’s de­
grees in chemistry were working as research engineers.
At that time women chemical engineers were scarce also in Federal
agencies. One was employed at the Aircraft Engine Research Labo­
ratory of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, and 1 was employed
at the Tennessee Valley Authority, where, in addition, 11 women with
less training were classified as chemical engineering aids. In the
Chemical Corps of the War Department, where 2 women had been em­
ployed as engineers during the war and 2 as engineering aids, only 1
woman engineering aid remained at the end of 1946.
Government, as a rule, is a relatively insignificant employer of
chemical engineers, more than 90 percent of whom in 1946 were em­
ployed in private firms, mostly manufacturing industries (18). Only
7 percent were in Government work, mostly Federal. Less than 2
percent were working in educational institutions in 1943 ( 53). Un­
doubtedly, expanding enrollments will increase faculty openings.
But in 1947, only 2 women were listed among faculty members
in chemical engineering in the catalogs of 42 universities in­
cluded in a United States Office of Education enrollment sample
of 131 institutions of higher education of this type. One was a
laboratory assistant and 1 an investigator. The sample would indi­
cate that there are not more than 6 women on chemical engineering
faculties throughout the country. In any case, the demand for chemi­
cal engineers will rise or fall with industrial needs, especially in



chemical manufacturing and petroleum refining which engaged more
than half of all chemical engineers (55). The small proportion of
chemical engineers in technical writing and editing suggests the possi­
bility for further development in this type of work for a woman who
may choose a desk job following her training.
In most chemical engineering work, whether it be research and
development, production, administration, or control work, a consider­
able amount of work in the plant is involved. One authority included
chemical engineering in the classification of “overalls” work, fre­
quently requiring strong arms and mechanical work. This char­
acteristic must be added to the fact that field assignments, shift
work, and construction jobs that are often involved tend to limit
a woman’s usefulness in the eyes of an employer. However, one
employer suggests that chemical engineering is valuable background
for girls who want to become technical secretaries or assistants to
executives, especially in such industries as drugs, foods, textiles,
and cosmetics. One head of an engineering school doubts that
women will ever be hired as chemical engineers in industry except
perhaps in foods and canning. The history of the women trained
as chemical engineers bears out these predictions—only a few are
working as engineers, and most of these are doing laboratory work.
The number who have gone into medical research or organic chem­
istry indicates the trend for women to specialize in biochemistry and
organic chemistry rather than in inorganic and physical chemistry.
In spite of the lack of demand for women as chemical engineers,
more women received first degrees in chemical engineering in 1945-46
than in any other branch. (See table 6, p. 5-26.) More than 200
women were also enrolled in undergraduate courses in chemical engi­
neering. After the next few years, during which the prospects for
employment are good, the absorption of women will be further compli­
cated by a possible oversupply of men if male enrollments in chemical
engineering continue at a high level. In November 1946, they
amounted to almost twice the number of engineers employed in 1940.
(See tables 7 and 1.) If enrollments continue at a high level, the Bu­
reau of Labor Statistics predicts keen competition for jobs in this field
within a few years (-17). However, one woman chemical engineer in
1947 offered a silver lining to the black picture, “Chemical engineering
offers the best training for any work in chemistry or allied fields. I
feel very strongly that the point of view of the engineer is one of the
best things I received as a result of that training. I have found myself
automatically doing things and thinking in a practical way where
others stumbled around quite a bit.” Most women engineers in other
branches, too,, seem to share this opinion of their training.



Because women are so small a minority in the field of engineering,
where there is also a prevailing preference for men, the young woman
who plans to apply for entrance to an engineering school must have
superior qualifications. In 1946, a summary of research findings
on the qualifications needed for success in engineering training was
made by the Veterans Administration for use in its advisement
and guidance program {63). Superior aptitude for college work and
demonstrated proficiency in mathematics and science are the best in­
dications of success in the study of engineering. Average mechanical
aptitude and spatial visualization (the ability to picture in one’s mind
the space relationships between objects) are also important factors.
'Fhe coordinator at one accredited engineering school, who reported
to the Women’s Bureau that “The girls are as good as the boys, some
poor, some excellent,” explained the equal success of the girls on the
basis of high admission requirements. They must be in the upper fifth
of their high school class and have 3 years of mathematics plus physics
and chemistry. Another school, enthusiastic about its women students,
reported that 2 girls led its 1943-44 freshman class of 200.
Not all comments from engineering schools were favorable. One
dean of an engineering school complained that most of the women
students it had admitted since 1939 had not done very well. Those
who entered during the war were affected by glamorous publicity.
However, he went on to say that the few women who are really inter­
ested will continue to find places in engineering, but in research de­
partments rather than in competitive engineering work. A number
of employers also mentioned that tradition makes it difficult to use
women in engineering work where they must go into the plant to
set up the job. Another dean of an outstanding engineering school
which has long admitted women says that those who are really inter­
ested and have the ability are very successful. The problem is how
to encourage them and at the same time discourage the girls whose
interest in engineering is a passing fancy.
During the war, the problem of obtaining well-qualified women
for engineering training was analyzed by representatives of an engi­
neering school which previously had not admitted women to its under­
graduate courses. Entrance tests given to both men and women indi­
cated that while some women scored as high as men, the women were
usually low in both technical knowledge (especially of physics) and
space sense. Although women excelled in reasoning, computing, and
report writing, only one or two out of 10 women who met the entrance
requirements were found to possess suitable aptitudes and interest



for engineering training as compared with about five out of 10 of the
men applicants (8). Possibly if more women studied science and
mathematics in high school, their ratio might be higher. Even so, it
indicates that there are a number of potential engineers among women
although they are fewer than among men.
In addition to assurance that she has a fundamental interest in and
superior qualifications for engineering, a young woman should be
aware of the handicaps she is likely to face and must be ready to
overcome or circumvent, if she is to be successful in engineering. A
prominent woman industrial engineer, Lillian M. Gilbreth, outlined
them in an article on mechanical engineering as follows:
1. Attitudes of family, friends, and schools toward more women going into
2. Inadequate selection. Wrong women sometimes get in ; right ones some­
times stay out. Even the preparatory schools often discourage promising candi­
dates for engineering.
3. Inadequate training in the preparatory schools, in colleges, etc. Even those
who admit and give equal opportunities may not have adequate courses. This
is especially true in the field of management, as yet the neglected area in the
engineering field.
4. Prejudices of employers, technical societies, public.
5. Inadequate “in-service” training.
6. Inadequate promotion.
7. Difficulty of combining marriage with career. This, while less in engineering
than in many areas, still exists.
8. A feeling that man should have first call on all jobs.
9. A feeling that man should have first call on engineering jobs.
10. Unemployment and all hazards that men face (21).

Beth Schmid Kerrmann, from her engineering experience, adds to
these another which was more noticeable in the thirties when young
graduates from engineering were plentiful. At that time young engi­
neers often had to work up from a subprofessional or a skilled job to
engineering. This created an additional handicap for women, since
many of these entering jobs involved heavier physical labor than most
women could safely perform.
Another outstanding woman engineer, Olive Dennis, says, “The field
of engineering is still a pioneer one for women.” Women who enter
it, therefore, need not only talent but the vitality and personality that
characterize a pioneer. They will do best if they develop unique
specializations in which they have a natural advantage: Engineering
related to the styling of consumer products, to household appliances
and equipment, and to such products as textiles, clothing, and foods.
The possibility of applying engineering techniques in fields in which
women are especially interested has never been fully explored. The
woman who received her Ph. D. in 1945-46 from Purdue, specializing
in general engineering and home economics, suggests the possibilities



that lie in this direction. A new course at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in biological engineering, developing processes and equip­
ment for medical and biological fields, attracted eight women students
in 1946, one of whom planned to enter medical school. A food tech­
nology program is also offered. The sound field, including the reduc­
tion of vibrations and the absorption of sound to add to efficiency and
comfort, is almost wide open according to one woman engineer and
offers no particular barriers to women.
Perhaps because so many of the men in engineering have not de­
veloped facility in writing, opportunities for women engineers will
continue in the writing and editing of reports, in the preparation of
operating and training manuals used in engineering departments, and
in work for trade journals. Some women trained in engineering may
also use their background in such nonengineering jobs as budgeting,
cost work, and statistical control. One or two, in the past, have
become purchasing agents.
A machine-tool firm recently asked an engineering college to recom­
mend a woman graduate for a position as sales engineer. They
wished to try her out on selling their products to purchasing agents,
many of whom have little or no mechanical training.
Although women who become engineers may have to adapt them­
selves to unusual competition from men in the next decade, their status
is likely to differ very little from that of the women engineers who
have worked in this field in the last 50 years.
It is unlikely that, in the immediate future, many women will make
engineering their lifework. For those who do, however, there will be
opportunity for the interest, vitality, and talent they must possess
to join the successful women pioneers in this profession.

Although few women are employed as engineers, an additional num­
ber are engaged in assisting engineers with those duties that can be
turned over to one with only partial training or experience in engi­
neering. Before the war, computers and engineering draftsmen were
the most usual type of assistants in engineering departments or on
engineering projects large enough to employ specialized staff. Many
of these and other assisting jobs in the larger firms have been custom­
arily filled by young engineers who stayed in them only temporarily
as part of their in-service training for more responsible work. How­
ever, some have been regularly filled by persons who specialized in this
work, called engineering aids or engineering assistants.
Prewar Distribution
The term “engineering aid” was used by the United States Civil
Service Commission before the war for certain subprofessional workers
who assisted engineers, especially in field work. Few women applied
for positions of this sort. In the year ended June 30, 1940, only
12 women were among the approximately 12,000 who passed Federal
civil service engineering aid examinations (4&). In that year 1 woman
was among the 758 appointed to such positions.
Only a few large industrial firms, almost exclusively those in the
electrical and communications industries, employed women in this
capacity before the war. One large company, in addition to computers,
had about 50 women engineering assistants on its prewar staff. Most
of them were women with college degrees in physics, mathematics, or
chemistry who were given special training by the company after they
were employed.
Wartime Changes
During World War II, the attempt to conserve the skill and knowl­
edge of engineers included supplying them with more assistance than
they were accustomed to having. There was the additional problem
of replacing the usual supply of young engineers, virtually cut off by
the draft.
Early in 1942, the Federal Government began to recruit “student
aids” to be trained for work in engineering, at a salary of $1,440.
Later, women were actively sought as “engineering aids” for all fields



Courtesy Radio Corporation of America

Figure 11.—Engineer explains design of special purpose acorn tube to
engineering aid.
of engineering for jobs varying in pay from a basic salary of $1,440
to $2,600.
In the War Department, where the demand was greatest, the Engi­
neer Corps, Ordnance, and the Signal Corps were the principal
branches needing engineering aids. On February 1, 1943, the Office
of the Chief of Ordnance announced a 3-month intensive training
program (8 hours a day for 6 days a week) to train women to become
junior engineering aids in ordnance. High school graduation, includ­
ing courses in algebra, plane geometry and trigonometry or mechani­
cal drawing, was required to enter the course set up at the University
of Michigan. Although the course was established primarily to train
civil service appointees, ordnance manufacturers working on Govern­
ment contracts were also invited to send employees for training. The
basic course included: Drafting, mathematics, machine shop practice
or plane surveying, metallurgy or iron and steel or engineering calcu­
lations, and shop visits to study production methods. Similar pro­
grams were later given at Drexel Institute, Temple University, and
the University of Pennsylvania to train personnel for the Frankford
Arsenal. A group of college graduates and, later, high school gradu­
ates were trained at Rutgers University for engineering aid work at
1 icatinny Arsenal. No record of the total number of women em­



ployed during the war as engineering aids in the various arsenals is
available. But at the Frankford Arsenal, for example, a maximum of
18 women engineering aids and 3 women junior engineering aids
were employed during the war.
The Signal Corps, beginning early in 1942, trained about 400 women
as engineering aids. Women were placed at the Aircraft Kadio
Laboratory at Wright Field in Dayton after a 24-week course for
engineering aid trainees (aircraft radio) offered at a number of
Midwest universities covering mathematics, radio circuit theory, radio
laboratory, practical radio communications, d. c. and a. c. (direct
current and alternating current) theory, transmission lines, electrical
measurements, radio laboratory and selected readings and supervi­
sion. For this course, college graduates or students with at least 6
hours of college mathematics and physics were preferred. An intelli­
gence test was one of the factors used in selection. After assignment,
these women worked in the Development Division on every phase of
aircraft radio equipment. Some tested apparatus, assembled com­
ponents, or worked on modifications designed to improve the most
intricate communications devices (6£). Others were assigned to cleri­
cal work for which a technical understanding was necessary. Many
of the girls, expecting to do technical work, did not like the clerical
assignments, and turn-over was high. Out of a class of 31 women se­
lected for training at one college, for example, 19 completed the course
and were placed at Wright Field Signal Corps Laboratories. In
1945, only 5 or 6 were still employed there. Some WACs were also
trained for work as engineering aids with the Signal Corps.
At the October 1944 peak of its wartime employment, the Army
Air Forces employed 474 women as engineering aids. However, many
of these women, like those in the Signal Corps, were assigned to clerical
jobs. The Air Forces also recruited women with electrical engineering
or technical radio experience for positions as instructors in radio
In 1943 the Engineers Corps employed 151 women as engineering
aids, ranging from the lowest level of “under engineering aid” to the
highest grade of “principal engineering aid.” Other branches of the
War Department employed an occasional woman as engineering aid.
The Chemical Corps, for example, had 2 and the Quartermaster
Corps, 5.
Industry, too, finding few women with engineering training im­
mediately available, made a special attempt to recruit college women
with mathematics and science backgrounds who could be trained as
engineering aids. The dearth of young assistants to engineers, in the
face of overwhelming expansion, was especially critical for the air­
craft industry. One company, in spite of vigorous recruiting in the



summer of 1942 to obtain women for vibration analysis work (to
analyze ocillograph records of tests made on airplane propellers for
stress factors), was able to hire only 5 women with sufficient college
training in mathematics; during subsequent war years, 10 more were
hired. A number of aircraft companies, therefore, in cooperation with
selected universities set up special training programs for which young
women were recruited as “engineering cadettes”; the full cost was
borne by the companies which in turn were covered in such expendi­
tures by the “cost-plus” contracts under which they were manufactur­
ing planes for the armed forces. The estimated cost per girl trained
ranged from $1,500 to $2,500, since the students were paid while learn­
ing. Almost all of the larger aircraft companies inaugurated such
programs, although they varied somewhat in detail. Complete in­
formation was obtained by the Women’s Bureau on 5 of these pro­
grams operated by the larger firms in this field.
Altogether 1,670 women completed engineering aid training courses
conducted by these 5 companies on a number of college campuses; the
first course started early in 1943. One company recruited only college
graduates, but the usual requirement was 2 years of college, preferably
with mathematics and science background. Actually, selection became



■;■ : :■

: t*,
Aj «t«e,




Y<‘l ?!

Courtesy University of Cincinnati

Figure 12.—Students being trained during World War II as engineering
aids for work in an aircraft company.



highly individual, and students ranged from outstanding high school
graduates with a background in mathematics and science to women
with master’s degrees. Intelligence and aptitude tests, school records,
recommendations from colleges, and physical examinations were used
in the process, but final selection was based on an interview with 1 or
more company representatives.
The courses of study varied in length from 6 months to 1 year. All
of them included: Mathematics (ranging from a course in “aircraft
mathematics” to a review of algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry,
introduction to calculus, and computational and graphic procedures);
engineering drawing; aircraft materials and processes; aircraft ter­
minology; mechanics; aerodynamics; and shop practice. One com­
pany operating a 12-month program provided for specialization dur­
ing the final 6 months in drafting and design; aerodynamics; chemistry
and metallurgy; or engineering laboratory work.
Those wdio completed the training were assigned to jobs in one of
the company’s plants at basic salaries ranging from $130 to $150 a
month. The first assignment was usually to the drafting board, al­
though there were variations depending upon the needs of the com­
pany and the background of the new employee. In one company, the
title “technical aid” was used to classify these women during the first
year of their employment. They were then given regular assignments
throughout all sections. About 40 percent of those in one plant re­
mained in drafting and design, while the others were assigned to other
sections such as aerodynamics and structures; experimental section;
blade design section; material laboratory; research analysis; color
design; administrative section. Next to drafting, the most common
assignment was that of computing. In some plants, the title “engineer­
ing computer” was created for these women, since such work before
the war was done by young junior engineers as part of their induction
training following graduation from an engineering college. Others
were called engineering aids, technical assistants, or laboratory as­
sistants, according to their assignments. A few women with the best
backgrounds after 1 or 2 years of employment were assigned to such
jobs as junior aerodynamics engineer, junior structural engineer,
junior stress analyst, junior weight engineer, and test engineer in
the lower classifications. These jobs involved more complicated calcu­
lations than those usually done by computers and were performed with
less direct supervision. Junior weight engineers, for example, assisted
weight engineers in making estimates or calculations necessary to in­
sure that the weight of aircraft and aircraft parts was kept to speci­
fications and that proper loading and balance was secured. Junior
stress analysts and junior aerodynamicists assisted engineers with
mathematical work and records pertaining to wind-tunnel, vibrations,



and other tests to check on the performance and stability of aircraft.
Few reached this level however. One aircraft company in 1944, for
example, employed 9 women in such capacities as compared with 2G
computers, 200 draftsmen, and 28 illustrators.
A follow-up report on one group of young women trained for the
propeller division of an aircraft company illustrates both the successes
and the failures of these programs. One hundred girls were selected
for a 10-month course given at Kensselaer Polytechnic Institute in
1943, and 83 of them completed the course. The school drop-out rate
for this group was 17 percent—slightly above the 15 percent average
for all groups. The 83 who completed the course were assigned to
jobs in one of the plants on January 1, 1944. About 25 percent of the
girls left during the first 6 months, usually because they didn’t like
the living conditions (the plant was located in an isolated spot for
security reasons) ; others were homesick or found they lacked interest
in the work. Early in 1945, at the end of their first year of employ­
ment, 48 were still working at the plant. Of these, 15 were in the draft­
ing section; 6 in propeller design; 4 in aerodynamics; 4 in vibrations
department; 2 on testing at the airport; 3 in the propeller test unit; 1 in
the structures department; 4 in the experimental laboratory; 4 in the
materials laboratory; and 1 in the chemistry laboratory. Another
was in the engineering library, another on research analysis, 1 on serv­
ice liaison, and the other in the mathematics department of another
plant. That many of those still employed looked upon the work as a
temporary war job was shown by the fact that of those still employed
at the company in 1945, 5 already had plans to leave for further study,
3 of them planning to enroll with their husbands. Eight others were
married or engaged. In the fall of 1945, 6 or 8 left to return to school.
In March 1946, only 20 of the group were still employed. Those re­
maining were assigned as follows: 9 engineering computers (3 on aero­
dynamics analysis; 3 on vibrations analysis; 1 each on stress analysis,
test equipment analysis, and color design); 5 laboratory assistants (2
in experimental laboratory; 1 each in chemical laboratory, physical
testing laboratory, flight testing) ; 5 detailers; 1 technical librarian.
Several electrical and radio manufacturing companies followed the
aircraft industry in inaugurating special resident college courses to
train women assistants. The arrangements and pay were similar to
those offered by the aircraft manufacturing companies, but the course
emphasized subjects in electrical rather than aeronautical engineering.
One large electronics company operated a “Cadette Program” for ex­
ample. Using tests, rating scales, and interviews, it selected young
women between 18 and 22 years of age, with 1 or more years of college
and an interest in mathematics, from among hundreds of applicants
for a special 10-month course at Purdue University. Eiglity-six were



enrolled, 49 of them coining directly from colleges. Twenty-three
of the remaining group were girls already employed by the corpora­
tion. Seventy-three girls completed (he course which covered, besides
mathematics, engineering drawing, and shop practice, alternating and
direct current, electrical measurement, radio theory and laboratory
electronics, and statistics of quality control. They were assigned to
jobs in 6 different plants. Fifty-five of them worked in engineering
departments assisting in the designing and development of plans used
later in the factory. Eighteen had engineering assignments in the
factory in quality control engineering, process analysis, or instruction
book writing. Most of them carried the title of engineering aid, a new
title in this firm created to describe the jobs which fell midway in
difficulty of performance between that of the laboratory assistant and
that of the class C engineer (the usual title for engineers just graduated
from college). In 1946, 2 years after their initial employment 14 of
the 20 girls assigned to one of the plants of this company and 13 of the
22 assigned to another were still employed there.
Similarly, a large electrical manufacturing company trained 33
women in a 36-week course which covered applied mathematics, en­
gineering drawing and design, properties and strength of materials,
fundamentals of electrical engineering, electrical circuits, electrical ap­
paratus, engineering problems, manufacturing process, and mechani­
cal design. In the last 12 weeks, when specialization was optional, the
3 possible choices were electronics and radio, mechanical engineering
design, or electrical machines and control. Work assignments of
these assistants included drafting and design of electrical and steam
equipment, calculation of engineering data, electrical and mechanical
testing and analysis of test results, the writing of specifications for
materials arid equipment, and the preparation of engineering reports.
During the war, a number of smaller companies recruited and
trained within their organizations one or more women to assist en­
gineers, especially in laboratory work. Sometimes, they were called
engineering aids, sometimes scientific aids. They were usually college
graduates; some were teachers. Many other firms used Engineering,
Science, and Management War Training courses to supply the initial
preparation required by women who had had no engineering training
but who were needed to assist engineers. A 10-week full-time program
and a 27-week evening program in engineering fundamentals were
offered at Fenn College in Cleveland to train college women for work
in the engineering departments of local firms. At Illinois Institute
of Technology an Engineering, Science, and Management War Train­
ing program set up to train girls for civil service engineering aid work
trained 60 women, but they were all hired away by industry before
they completed the course.



Earnings and Advancement
Women who took jobs as engineering aids in industry during the
war usually began at a salary of from $130 to $150 a- month ($1,560 to
$1,800 a year). The Federal basic salary scale for engineering aids
ranged from $1,440 to $2,600. But, with overtime pay, earnings in
both industry and the Federal Government were higher than the basic
rates. Postwar salaries ranged from $1,600 to $2,600.
The few women who have advanced from aid or assistant jobs to
those of junior engineers have usually had a college degree with
considerable mathematics or science or have shown an unusual flair
for engineering work. The large number of girls who have returned
to college after employment as engineering aids reflects their con­
viction that they need more training. For a recent opening in a radio
plant for which engineering aids on the staff were considered, only 1
out of 20 had the college background required for the job, and she was
leaving to get a master’s degree. To advance beyond the junior
engineering level is virtually impossible for the girl without the
equivalent of a full degree in engineering.
The Outlook
Only a few of the estimated 2,000 women who took engineering aid
training during the war lost their jobs at war’s end because of plant
shutdowns, mainly in the aircraft industry, and they easily found
positions elsewhere. Not all of them remained in engineering aid
work, however. One, for example, transferred to an actuarial firm.
Actually, many had already left voluntarily for marriage or further
study. In fact, one company reported that young, marriageable girls
had been purposely selected so that there would not be too large a
residue to absorb into their regular staff following the end of the war.
Whether by accident or policy, the residue in 1946 proved to be
small, probably one-fourth of those trained. Those remaining were
assured of their jobs as long as they wished to hold them, but most of
the companies planned to replace them with young graduate engineers
as they left. Only two of the seven companies on whose special train­
ing programs of this type complete information was obtained ex­
pressed the intention of continuing to hire women for certain of these
jobs. One, an aircraft company, actually hired a few women in 1946
for analytical or experimental work in the research department. Girls
with at least 2 years of college including 1 year of physics were being
trained by the company to do calculations, usually on the slide rule,
and to make charts and plots required by office engineers analyzing
particular problems. Others worked with experienced engineers as
part of a team of two to eight people, reading instruments, recording



information, and assisting with simple adjustments of equipment,
especially in wind-tunnel and airflow work (25).
Some firms in the electrical industry, as indicated earlier, had long
employed women as engineering assistants or computers and planned
to continue to do so. One, in 1946, had almost 400 women engineering
assistants and reported difficulty in finding replacements for those who
left from time to time and additional personnel for new positions of
this type in design engineering. For the most part, these women in
the past came from liberal arts colleges, with mathematics or mathe­
matics and physics majors, rather than from engineering schools.
Another large electrical manufacturing company employed 45 engi­
neering assistants in the summer of 1946, who assisted engineers or
supervisors, performing technical tasks associated with the prepara­
tion for manufacture of a product in any of its phases. Twenty-two
women also were employed as piece rate analysts, and two as piece rate
setters, engaged in phases of timestudy engineering. Two women were
inspection engineers assigned to quality-control work, devising and
improving methods and facilities for testing quality of product.
At the end of 1946, partial information from the War, Navy, and
other Government departments indicated that a considerable number
of the women employed during wartime as engineering aids remained
in the Federal service but that there was no additional demand. (For
minimum requirements for a civil service position as engineering aid,
see p. 5-76.)
Army Ordnance in 1947 had at least 23 women engineering aids,
20 of whom wen; reported by 4 different arsenals or other field instal­
lations, while 3 were in the headquarters office. Some were known to
be employed by the Engineers Corps and the Signal Corps. There
were 4 in the Quartermaster Corps and 1 in the Chemical Corps. In
the Navy, 30 women were employed in 1947 as engineering aids in the
Naval Research Laboratory, the Bureau of Ordnance, and the Bureau
of Ships.
Less than a half-dozen engineering aids were employed in 1947
at the Federal Communications Commission where they worked on
charts and assisted engineers in the preparation for hearings of cases
in wh ich engineering exhibits or information are presented. Eleven
chemical engineering aids were employed at the Tennessee Valley
Authority, and a large number of cartographic engineering aids
were assigned to drafting work. The Bureau of Reclamation, with
the largest number of women they have ever employed, reported 45
working as engineering aids and engineering draftsmen on plans for
canals and irrigation projects. Seven women were engineering aids
or in training for such positions in the United States Department of



Agriculture. Fifty-three women were employed as engineering aids
and 2 as naval architecture aids by the National Advisory Committee
for Aeronautics at Langley Field; one engineering aid was employed
at the Committee’s Cleveland .Research Laboratory.
All the employers of women engineering aids, in industry and in
Government, were quick to distinguish between the engineering aid
and the engineer. The woman with an engineering degree has in most
cases proved more satisfactory and has been absorbed more quickly
and less conspicuously into the staff than has the engineering aid. All
the industrial firms said they would consider an application from a
woman engineer at any time, but only two firms intended to continue
to hire women as engineering aids in the future.
Those who conducted the special training programs during the war
were satisfied that an emergency need had been satisfactorily met
but considered the cost of such training prohibitive in peace-time.
Two employers felt that the publicity and attention which tended to
isolate the cadettes and establish them as a special and separate group
made their absorption into the staff difficult. Others said that the girls
tended to ask for transfers, to express dissatisfaction with the work
assigned, and to expect special treatment.
On the other hand, one or two reports from colleges indicate that
some of the girls felt that they were assigned to jobs below the level
of their training and left as soon as they could to return to school or
to work at other jobs where they felt they could use their training
more effectively. Monotony was given as the chief source of irrita­
tion on the job by engineering aids of one company after they had been
on the job for 2 months. Thirteen percent of the girls, on anonymous
questionnaires, checked that item. However, 93 percent said they
liked their jobs most of the time. The majority of girls who com­
mented to their colleges said they liked their work, felt well-paid, and
considered their experience an unusually valuable one. Employers,
too, were satisfied that the girls had done a good job.
Colleges which trained them generally praised their performance,
saying they were on the dean’s scholarship list more often than the
average student and took more interest in their work. One college,
which had never enrolled women in engineering before, reported that
the women as a group did not do as well as men did, but a few excelled
the average man.
Both supervisors and men engineers have been skeptical about em­
ploying women as engineering aids. The general skepticism with
regard to the aid apparently remains, although a few of the out­
standing girls have modified the attitude of many. An estimated 10
percent were in this unusual group which helped to break down the



prejudice against women in a number of plants where there was no
previous experience in the technical employment of women in engi­
neering departments. However, the high turn-over, the youthfulness
of the engineering aid group, the additional supervision they needed
at a time when experienced supervisors were scarce, and their lack of
mechanical “know-how” were the principal disadvantages mentioned
in connection with their employment. On the other hand, the advan­
tages of the experiment in its effect on the attitude of engineering
personnel toward women workers and in its effect on education have
been pointed out by one of the personnel women who supervised a
group of cadettes (40). There will continue to be a few openings
for women as engineering aids in companies in which they have always
been used or in which the war experience indicated their value on cer­
tain types of work. But, it is unlikely that many women will be
employed as engineering aids in the future, especially as young gradu­
ate engineers become available. And those who are, will have little
opportunity to advance unless they complete their training and become
full-fledged engineers.

Draftsman as Defined in the Dictionary of
Occupational Titles (54)
“Draftsman (professional and kindred). Prepares clear, com­
plete and accurate working plans and detail drawings, from rough
or detailed sketches or notes for engineering or manufacturing pur­
poses, according to the specified dimensions: Makes final sketch of
the proposed drawing, checking dimension of parts, materials to be
used, the relation of one part to another, and the relation of the
various parts to the whole structure. Makes any adjustments or
changes necessary or desired. Inks in all lines and letters on pencil
drawings as required. Exercises manual skill in the manipulation
of triangle, T-square, and other drafting tools. Lays tracing paper
on drawing and traces drawing in ink. Makes charts for representa­
tion of statistical data. Makes finished designs from sketches. Uti­
lizes knowledge of various machines, engineering practices, mathe­
matics, building materials, and other physical sciences to complete the
drawings. Classifications arc made according to type of drafting,
such as draftsman, architectural; draftsman, electrical.”


Draftsmen, who do subprofessional work for engineers and de­
signers preparing the detailed drawings from which the final product
is built to exact scale, are grouped according to various gradations
in the difficulty of their work. Where there is much drafting work,
there is also a job below the level of the draftsman, that of the tracer
who makes only simple sketches and copies final drawings on tracing
cloth or paper from lay-outs and detail drawings already checked,
making minor changes according to specific instructions.


Courtesy Standard Oil Co. (N. J.)

Figure 13.—A draftsman at work on some maps in the production
department of an oil company.



An engineering draftsman in the lowest grade usually does detail
drafting to complete engineering drawings for manufacturing or
construction purposes, such as copying drawings with minor revi­
sions, dimensioning, scaling, line locationing, preparing sectional
views from lay-out drawings from given data and according to stand­
ard practices and requirements, and correcting and revising drawings
by incorporating specific drawing changes, engineering change orders,
shop orders, checkers’ notations, and related information. A senior
mechanical draftsman detailer makes complex detail drawings from
sketches, lay-outs, and assemblies prepared by designers and makes
important alterations to drawings as instructed. Women have been
employed at all types of drafting but seldom as designer-draftsmen
who create designs and supervise the making of the drawings which
translate the design into a working drawing from which machinists,
mechanics, carpenters, and other artisans can construct or manu­
facture a pattern and later the finished product accurately and with­
out waste, whether it be a bridge, an electric iron or radio tube,
a house, or part of a wheel.
Prewar Distribution
Like women engineers, a few women draftsmen before World War II
were found in all the principal specializations. In 1940, according to
the United States Census, they totaled 1,414, or less than 2 percent of
all draftsmen (0). Judging from the limited data available, there
were probably more women draftsmen in the architectural and civil
fields than in the mechanical and electrical fields.
Only 5 of the 81 industrial firms and the 18 commercial laboratories
visited in connection with this study employed women draftsmen
before the war. In all, they employed less than 100 women draftsmen.
However, architectural and construction firms were not represented
in the sample, and the majority of women draftsmen in private indus­
try were believed to be employed with firms of that type before the
In 1938, the estimated number of draftsmen in the Federal civil
sei vice was only 5.200, of whom 160, or 3.1 percent, were women. In
1940, 6 women were appointed to probational or permanent jobs under
the civil service (0). The United States Coast and Geodetic Survey,
the United States Geological Survey, the United States Department
of Agriculture, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the War and
Navy Departments were among the agencies employing at least 1
woman in such work before the war. Unlike women engineers, women
draftsmen were employed in almost every agency in which drafting
work was important, although they were few in number in any one
agency. On the other hand, a few agencies like the Bureau of Eec-



lamation in the United States Department of Interior did not employ
women draftsmen until World War II.
Wartime Changes
During the defense period which preceded the war, the United
States Civil Service Commission began to recruit engineering drafts­
men for many types of drafting including aeronautical, architec­
tural, civil, electrical, heating and ventilating, lithographic, me­
chanical (machine design), ordnance, plumbing, radio, structural,
topographic, and statistical. Industry, too, sought additional drafts­
men as the production of new war materials increased the need
for draftsmen beyond the approximately 80,000 employed in 1940
(43)- Even high school girls who had had mathematics and a little
mechanical drawing were hired by some plants, according to school
placement bureaus. The need for draftsmen became so great during
the war, that special courses to train draftsmen were set up in colleges
and technical institutes under the Engineering, Science, and Manage­
ment War Training Program. The largest number of persons en­
rolled in any individual course under that program was in engineering
drawing and descriptive geometry. In all, 169,313 were enrolled,
many of them women (61). A number of special courses were set up
to train women draftsmen for particular industries.
A course at Johns Hopkins University, for example, trained high
school graduates with at least 2 years of mathematics or its equivalent
for engineering drafting in the aircraft industry. The 8-week full­
time course covered shop mathematics (arithmetic, algebra, trigono­
metric functions, and the solution of the right triangle and shop
problems); aircraft nomenclature and Army, Navy, and industrial
standards and specifications for airplane construction; and engineer­
ing drawing and blueprint analysis (including use of drawing instru­
ments, sketching, standard projection, cross sections, and the develop­
ment of patterns). A California aircraft company arranged for the
training of 313 high school graduates (with 2 years of mathematics)
in nearby colleges in 12 groups in a 12-week program covering algebra,
plane geometry, trigonometry, descriptive geometry, aircraft draft­
ing, and aircraft materials and process. Two-thirds of those trained
were women, who were assigned, like the others, to work as draftsmen
in the beginning grade. At first the turn-over was very high, but better
selection was done with the later groups, and turn-over was reduced
among them. Another aircraft company trained more than 200 women
in 4-month full-time courses at a technical school. A radio manufac­
turing company in a 5-month course trained more than 70 women
high school graduates as detailers, preferring those with mathematics
background and some physics and art work.



Many women also took Engineering, Science, and Management War
Training courses in cartographic or topographic drafting or photogrammetry (the making of maps from aerial photographs) in order
to qualify for civil service positions. In the United States Coast and
Geodetic Survey and the United States Geological Survey, more than
350 women were employed in such work during the war; and in the
Army Map Service, there were many more.
The duties of women employed in such positions varied with their
training and experience. For example, at the United States Coast
and Geodetic Survey, there were more than 50 women with some train­
ing in drafting employed under the title “engineering draftsman” who
did fine line drafting of charts on acetate, a transparent plastic that
is later photographed for reproduction. This work included the
drafting of contours, streams, roads, and other topographic features,
each drawn to specified width and in accurate placement. Women with
additional training were given more responsible positions. One
woman, for example, made the final criticism of large scale topographic
maps to determine if each map met the specifications adopted as
standard for the national mapping program. She was a former
artist who took a college course in photogrammetry and mathematics
at the outbreak of the war.
Women who entered as trainees with no prior experience in draft­
ing were given instruction in the training school maintained at the
Survey for new draftsmen. There, two women, serving as assistant in­
structors, taught the fundamentals of cartographic drafting and the
specialized methods used in the Survey. One woman who completed
the course ultimately worked on the compilation of instrument ap­
proach and landing charts from field surveys and aerial photographs,
to be used by aircraft in approaching and landing at airfields in the
United States.
Women were engaged in drafting work in other agencies such as
the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Department of Agriculture, and
the Civil Aeronautics Administration. The Engineers Corps, the Sig­
nal Corps, and Army Ordnance in the War Department also trained
women as draftsmen.
As in industry, Engineering, Science, and Management War Train­
ing programs were used to supply initial training which was often sup­
plemented by on-the-job training. Rock Island Arsenal, for example,
gave 2 hours of classroom training weekly for 6 months to its drafts­
men. The course covered blueprint reading (angles, measurements,
dimensions, title and notes) and drawing (titles, lettering, use of
T square and angles, straight lines, compass exercises, tangent arcs,
dotted lines, section lines, sketching in orthographic projection, read­
ing by modeling, auxiliary projection). On the other hand, a few



women with prior experience or training were placed immediately on
the job and trained by supervising draftsmen. A young woman with a
degree in household administration but with an additional 30 semester
hours in landscape architecture, for example, was hired early in the
war to do drafting on building revisions for Army cantonments. She
also had the responsibility for checking purchase orders against lists
of required equipment for each building or base in a certain district.
Some of the women who entered military service were also trained
for and assigned to drafting work. Next to that of medical techni­
cian, the principal technical assignment of WAC’s was with the Engi­
neer Corps and Ordnance, where they worked as mechanical drafts­
men, lithographic draftsmen, and tracers. In 1944, draftsman (me­
chanical, structural, electrical, topographic) was listed among the
classifications in which additional WAC’s were needed. In the Ma­
rine Corps Reserve, 12 women were assigned as draftsmen. In the
WAVES, enlisted women seamen prepared and corrected maps and
charts. For example, as draftsmen in the Navy’s Hydrographic Office
they compiled and revised hydrographic charts and assisted in the
selection of source material for the preparation of such charts.
A number of civilian women were trained in drafting courses offered
by the public vocational schools. In the all-day trade courses in draft­
ing, between 200 and 300 women were enrolled in each of the war years
as compared with 3 women in 1939-40 and 8 in 1940-41. Although
many of these were trained as tracers or detailers rather than as fullfledged draftsmen, such beginning positions put them in line for draft­
ing jobs if they took further training or showed unusual aptitude.
As noted earlier many engineering aids were assigned to the more
difficult drafting work.
Earnings and Advancement
The war needs increased the salary scale of draftsmen in Govern­
ment and in industry. Scattered information indicates that women
in industrial drafting jobs averaged about $2,500 a year in 1947; the
range was from $1,500 to $3,600. Chief draftsmen or designerdraftsmen in large firms earned as much as $4,000 to $5,500, but
women almost never reach such positions.
In the Federal Government, beginning salaries for draftsmen of
differing levels of training or experience varied from $1,440 to $2,600
before the war. During the war, with overtime pay, earnings on these
salaries ranged from $1,752 to $3,163. In 1947, the basic entering
salaries for the same jobs ranged from $1,954 to $3,397.
Advancement from the subprofessional level of draftsman to pro­
fessional status as an engineer, architect, or cartographer is rare,



except for those who already have or acquire later the academic train­
ing usually required for professional status. But women of unusual
ability in subprofessional positions in the Federal Government have
sometimes been promoted to supervisory positions which do not require
professional status.
The Outlook
The large number of persons who trained for drafting work during
the war, in and outside of the armed forces, in relation to the reduced
postwar need for draftsmen (as compared with that created by war
production) suggests that the supply of draftsmen will for some time
be greater than the demand, although there may be shortages in certain
specialized types of drafting. The exceptionally large number of
women enrolled in engineering schools also indicates that many of
them, if they do not complete their engineering courses or if there is
an oversupply of engineers, are potential draftsmen.
This darkens the outlook for women in drafting work. The situa­
tion has already been reflected in more reports of open hostility to
women on the part of men in this field than in others in which women
are an even smaller minority. One outstanding girl working in a
machine-tool plant was urged by the chief engineer to stay on, but the
men draftsmen, older men for the most part, literally drove her away
by accusing her of “taking a man’s job away.” She left to train for
teaching. A university placement officer reported that girls leave
drafting because the men “make life miserable for them.” The turn­
over of women in drafting during the war appeared to be unusually
high, perhaps for this reason.
However, some women have so excelled in the neatness and
appearance of their drawings and have proved so painstaking on the
simpler phases of the work that many employers say they will
always employ women. A Pittsburgh firm after releasing women
draftsmen at the end of the war has called some of them back. How­
ever, the volume of returning servicemen seems to be unusually high
in drafting work, and some firms were not able to keep any women
draftsmen even though they wished to, because of their obligations
to former employees returning from military service. In the 81
large industrial firms and 18 commercial laboratories visited in con­
nection with this study, 20 employed one or more women in 1946, the
approximate total approaching 300. Although the number was con­
siderably under the estimated 1,000 to 1,500 employed by these same
firms during the war, it was considerably more than the prewar num­
ber. Actually 15 of the 20 had never employed women as draftsmen
until World War II. Four of the twenty intended to replace women



Courtesy.University of Cincinnati

Figure 14.—Mechanical drafting in a machine tool company.

with men as soon as the women left voluntarily. Although women
draftsmen were usually a small minority of the drafting group, in one
company the only draftsman employed was a woman who did all the
drafting for the laboratory and was outstanding.
Early in 1947, the Federal Government employed at least 380 women
draftsmen in 12 different agencies reporting statistics to the Women’s
Bureau. (For minimum requirements for beginning civil service posi­
tion as engineering draftsman, see p. 5-77.) The largest numbers were
in the United States Geological Survey, the United States Coast and
Geodetic Survey, and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The Map Division of the State Department and the Bureau of Recla­
mation in the United States Department of Interior employed an­
other 231 women who were draftsmen, engineering aids, or cartog­
The full extent of the drop from the war peak of employment in
this field cannot be measured because statistics are lacking. But an
idea can be gained from the following facts:
The Army Air Forces, which employed 570 women draftsmen
in October 1944, employed none in 1947.
The Tennessee Valley Authority reported 253 women engineering
aids and draftsmen in 1943 as compared with 186 in 1947.



The Army Engineer Corps employed 444 women draftsmen in
1943 and a negligible number in 1947.
The United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, which employed
158 women as engineering draftsmen during the war, had less
than half that number in 1947.
Among the agencies which employed women draftsmen during the
war but had none employed in 1947 are the Moffett Field Station of
the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and the United
States Maritime Commission. The only report which indicated an
increase rather than a decrease was that from the Quartermaster
Corps, where 10 women draftsmen were employed in 1947 compared
with 2 during the war peak.
In the future as in the past, there will be some women employed as
draftsmen in industry and in Government, and a few more companies
and a few more agencies than before the war are likely to employ them.
In 1945^6, more than 330 women were enrolled in drafting courses in
all-day trade courses in public vocational schools, where a demand
for their services was still reported. However, competition for jobs is
likely to become keen by 1950, perhaps a little less so in civil and
architectural drafting where the demand is greatest and the warcreated supply less. In 1947, a public vocational-technical school
in a large eastern city reported a good demand for young women who
completed their 2-year post-high-school course in architectural draft­
ing. Even so, it was reported that the young women had to be con­
siderably better qualified than the young men graduates to be sure
of placement. Women have a special contribution to make in home
planning and design. City planning work, where mapping, chart­
ing, and freehand drawing are involved, has also been suggested
as a suitable field for women, although this relatively new field is
largely dominated by men (9). A few women who became carto­
graphic draftsmen during the war have secured positions in private
map publishing houses, which produce school maps, road maps, or
commercial maps of various types. The interest of the lay public in
globes, atlases, and maps has increased map production, providing
more opportunities for women in drafting work. The possibility of
transfer from one type of drafting to another, and even from applied
art work to drafting, is relatively easy at the beginning levels, since
a few months of specialized training or experience, can supply the
additional knowledge needed.
The extensive use of women artists as draftsmen during the war
suggests that girls who major in art take drafting work too.
The increasing use of diagrams and perspective illustrations to
supplement engineering drawings makes this combination market­



able. Statistics, home economics, and interior decorating are other
fields with which drafting training might well be combined, accord­
ing to one educator (68). Too long has drafting been considered
almost exclusively a man’s field. There is nothing in the nature of
the work that is prohibitive to women, but because of the prevailing
reluctance to accept women in this work the woman who wants to
become a draftsman will do well to develop a specialty which will
give her an advantage in obtaining employment in this field.

Surveyor as Defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (54)
“Surveyor; chief of party; party chief (professional and kindred)
0-64.10. Supervises, directs, and is responsible for the accuracy of
the work of an engineering survey party engaged in determining the
exact location and measurements of points, elevations, lines, areas, and
contours on the earth’s surface for purposes of securing data for con­
struction, map making, land valuation, mining, or other purposes;
calculates information needed to conduct survey from notes, maps,
deeds, or other records; keeps accurate notes, records, and sketches of
work performed or data secured; verifies by calculations the accuracy
of survey data secured; adjusts surveying instruments to keep them
accurate, or oversees the adjustments by Instrument Man as a regular
part of his duties. Different branches and types of surveying require
special techniques gained through experience or training, and Sur­
veyors are specifically designated by title according to the type of
surveying work performed, as surveyor, land; surveyor, marine;
surveyor, mine; surveyor, railroad; surveyor, topographical.”


Many civil engineers enter their profession by serving a sort of
apprenticeship as a surveyor or member of a survey party, and all civil
engineers receive training in surveying as part of their engineering
course. However, many surveyors are high-school graduates (geom­
etry and trigonometry are essential) who have been trained on the job,
either as an axman who clears the way in rough territory, or as a rod­
man or chainman who handles the pole for sighting or the measuring
tape and learns gradually to use surveying instruments to measure and
record data on boundary lines and elevations and to prepare contour
Of the 18,344 surveyors employed in the United States in 1940
according to the United States Census, only 101, or 0.8 percent, were
women {43).
Most States (32 in 1942) provide for the licensing of surveyors.
An examination or graduation from an approved school or college
of surveying supplemented by a specified period of surveying prac­
tice, varying from 1 to 6 years, are the usual minimum requirements
{47). Those engaged in independent practice or as chief surveyors
usually obtain such licenses; employees working under a licensed sur­
veyor whose stamp of approval can be placed on their work do not
find it necessary to have one.
During the war, the curtailment of building reduced the demand
for surveyors except for military and certain other essential wartime
construction. Servicemen, for the most part, were used for Army
surveying work. Almost no women, either in military or civilian
service, were used as surveyors, although the United States Coast and
Geodetic Survey reported that a few women were employed on some
of their surveying parties as recorders. They were usually residents of
the areas in which they were employed or relatives of male members
of the party. Except in cases of this sort, there is almost no oppor­
tunity for women in this field.

Minimum Requirements for Membership in the Principal Engineering Organizations
American Instit ute of Chemical American Society of Civil

American Institute of Elec­
trical Engineers

American Society of Me­ American Institute of Min­
ing and Metallurgical
chanical Engineers

National Society of Pro­
fessional Engineers

Regular member

Regular member

Regular member

Regular member

Regular member

Age: 35 years or over.
Experience: 12 years experi­
ence in engineering or archi­
tecture for 5 years of which
he must have been in re­
sponsible charge of import­
ant work proving ability to
conceive and design engi­
neering works as well as to
direct them.

Age: 27 years or over.
Experience: 5'years in prac­
tice of electrical engineer­
ing or the teaching of
electrical engineering or
electrical science or as a
qualified executive or sci­
entific contributor in elec­
trical or closely allied

Age: 30 years or over.
Experience: 9 years in
engineering or teaching
of which 3 must have
been in responsible
charge of work showing
ability to design as well
as direct important

Age: 27 years or over.
Experience: 6 years in
practice of engineering,
mining, geology, met­
allurgy, or chemistry, 3
years of which must have
been in responsible charge
of work.

Associate member

Associate member

Age: 27 years or more.
Experience or education: 8
years in engineering or archi­
tecture proving ability to
direct engineering works.

Age: 21 years or more.
Experience or education:
Currently employed as an
electrical engineer or
teacher of electrical sub­
jects or doing responsible
work with an electrical

Registration: Registration
as a professional engi­
neer in the State in which
he resides or practices.
Usual State requirements
are 8 years of practical
experience in professional
engineering or gradu­
ation from an approved
engineering school plus 4
years practice in engi­
neering and the passing
of an examination.

Associate member
Age: 21 to 30 years.
Experience or education:
Bachelor’s - degree in chem­
ical engineering or any other
bachelor’s degree plus 1 year
experience in chemical tech­
nology or 5 years experience
in chemical technology.

Age: 20-33 years.
Experience or education: 4
years or recognized degree
in engineering qualifying
for subprofessional work.

Experience or education:
Graduation from a rec­
ognized school of engi­
neering or the equiva­

Associate member
Age: Not specified.
Experience or education:
Interested in or connect­
ed with mining, geology,
metallurgy, or chemistry.
Junior member
Age: Under 33 years at
time of application.
Experience or education:
Qualified to hold subpro­
fessional job in one of the
fields indicated above.


Junior member

Associate member


Regular member
Age: 30 years or over.
Experience: 5 to 10 years in
practice or teaching of chem­
ical technology depending
upon education with speci­
fications as to number of
years of responsible directing



Minimum Education and Experience Requirements for Application for
Beginning Federal Civil Service Position as Junior Professional As­
sistant with Option as Engineer ($2,644 a year)
(As taken from Civil Service Announcement No. 75, issued October 14, 1947,
closed November 4, 1947.)'

Optional branches of engineering.—Aeronautical, chemical, civil,
electrical, mechanical, metallurgical, mining, naval architecture, and
The registers resulting from the examination for engineer will be
used to fill all types of professional engineering positions at this level.
Applicants must have successfully completed one of the following:
A. A standard professional engineering curriculum leading to a
bachelor’s degree in a college or university of recognized standing; or
B. Four years of successful and progressive experience in technical
engineering. This experience must show a thorough knowledge of
the fundamental physical and mathematical sciences underlying pro­
fessional engineering, and a good understanding (both theoretical
and practical) of the engineering sciences and techniques, and their
applications to the branch of engineering for which the competitor
is applying. The experience must show that the applicant possesses
an understanding of engineering equivalent to that which would have
been acquired through successful completion of a standard engineering
curriculum in a college or university of recognized standing; or
C. Any time-equivalent combination of (A) training and (B)
experience above.
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements for Application for
Federal Civil Service Position as Engineering Aid ($1,822 to $2,644 a
(As taken from Civil Service Announcement No. 17, issued August 29, 1946,
closed October 10, 1946. )‘

A. Experience—Except for the substitution of education provided
for below, persons who apply for an engineering aid position must
have had experience in engineering, as follows:
1 For more complete and later information, consult latest announcements of the Civil
Service Commission posted in first- and second-class post offices.


Grade and salary
SP-2, $1,822____________ ________
SP-3, $1,954_______________________
SP-4, $2,168_______________
SP-5, $2,394____________ ______ ____
SP-6, $2,644______________ ______ ______


Total experience

3 months.
6 months.
9 months.
9 months.

The Specialized Experience, which may be included in the total
experience required, must have been in a specific branch of engineer­
ing. This experience must have been at least equivalent in difficulty
and responsibility to the work of the grade next below that for which
an applicant is rated.
B. Substitution of Education for Experience—Pertinent under­
graduate or graduate study in engineering, completed in a college
or university of recognized standing, may be substituted year for
year for the appropriate required experience. Pertinent study com­
pleted in an institution above high-school level will receive appro­
priate credit in accordance with the courses shown in an application.
Minimum Experience, Education, and Work Sample Requirements for
Application for Beginning Federal Civil Service Position as Draftsman
($1,954 a year)
(As taken from Civil Service Announcement issued July 15, 1946, closed
August 12, 1946.)’

1. Sample of work:
At least one sample of the applicant’s drafting work must be
submitted with the application.
2. Experience:
Except for the substitution of education provided for below,
applicants must show, as a minimum, 1 year of total drafting
experience and 3 months of specialized experience in the option
he chooses. Options are: aeronautical, architectural, civil, elec­
trical, map, mechanical, ship, statistical, structural, general. The
record must show that he has the ability to perform completely
the duties of the position.
3. Substitution of education for experience:
Substitutions may be made for the required experience de­
scribed above, as follows:
{a) Successfully completed study at a college or university of
recognized standing in architecture or a branch of engineering
1For more complete ami later information, consult latest announcements of the Civil
Service Commission posted in first- and second-class post offices.



pertinent to one of the optional branches listed above may be
substituted, year for year, for the required experience.
(b) Pertinent residence study, which included one or more
courses in drafting, successfully completed at a college or uni­
versity, a technical institute, a school specializing in drafting,
or a technical high school may be substituted for required ex­
perience. The amount of experience for which this education
may be substituted will be determined by the type of institution
attended, the content of the courses, and the applicability of
such study to the duties of the position. In no case, will appli­
cants be permitted to qualify solely on the basis of study, unless
such study has included courses in drafting sufficient to demon­
strate ability to perform the duties associated with drafting
positions of the grade under consideration.
(c) Pertinent specialized training or experience acquired while
serving in the armed forces of the United States will be accepted
on the same basis as civilian training or experience.

(1) Air gunners have girl to thank for aid in hitting fast, target. Christian
Science Monitor, May 19, 1945.
(2) American Chemical Society. Professional chemical workers in war and
peace. An analysis of the economic status of the members of the Ameri­
can Chemical Society, 1941 to 1943. By Andrew Fraser, Jr., based on
a survey conducted by the Committee on Professional and Economic
Status, 1941 to 1943. Washington, D. C., the Society, 1944. 42 pp. (Re­
printed from Chemical and Engineering News, Vol. 22. Numbers 10
13, 16, 19.)
(3) American Institute of Architects. Architecture, a profession and a career.
Washington, D. C., the Institute, 1945. 57 pp.

(4) ---------








One hundred books on architecture. Washington, D. C., the Insti­

tute, 1945. 6 pp. (Reprinted from the Journal of the American Institute
of Architects, November 1945.)
American Society of Civil Engineers. Factual survey of members, 1938.
Civil Engineering 10:122-24, 252. February and April, 1940.
American Society of Civil Engineers urges raise in engineers’ pay, revises
professional classifications. Engineering News-Record 137 : 563, Oct.
31, 1946.
Armsby, Henry H. A reexamination of the Compton report in the light of
the enrollment in engineering curricula, fall of 1946. Journal of Engineer­
ing Education 37 : 675-88, May 1947.
Baker, R. H., and Reimold, Mary L. What can be done to train women for
jobs in engineering. Mechanical Engineering 64: 853-55, September 1942.
Berne, Harriet Hopkins. A future for women in city planning. In A coun­
seling aid for high school deans of girls and counselors. University of
Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1945. 60 pp. Multi.
Case, George W. Activities in the current engineering, science and man­
agement war training program. Journal of Engineering Education
33: 580-87, April 1943.
Downs, Winfield Scott, Ed. Who’s who in engineering, 1941. New York,
N. Y„ Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1941. 2107 pp. 5th ed.
Eaves, Elsie. Wanted: women engineers. Independent Woman 21 • 132-33
158-59, May 1942.
Education comes first in our postwar planning. A symposium by 15 prom­
inent educators. Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering 51: 98-101,
110, February 1944.
Employment conditions for engineers; report to Engineer’s Council of Pro­
fessional Development. Presented October 20, 1944. Mechanical En­
gineering 66 : 809, 812, December 1944.
Engineer societies to unite? Modern Industry 8: 126,129,131, Oct. 15,1944.
Engineering enrollments, 1940-41. Journal of Engineering Education
31 : 264-78, December 1940.
Engineers Council for* Professional Development. Accredited undergrad­
uate engineering curricula. New York, N. Y., the Council, 29 W 39th
St„ Oct. 24, 1947. 9 pp.




(18) Engineers Joint Council. The engineering profession in transition. A
report of the Engineers Joint Council Committee on the 1946 survey of
the engineering profession. By Andrew Fraser. New York, N. Y., the
Council, 33 W. 39th St., 1947. 94 pp.
(19) Enrollment of undergraduate civilian engineering students, as of November
5, 1945. Journal of Engineering Education 36 : 388, January 1946.
(20) Enrollment of graduate and undergraduate engineering students as of Nov.
5, 1946. Journal of Engineering Education 37: 463-76, January 1947.
(21) Gilbreth, Lillian M. Women in engineering. Mechanical Engineering
64: 856-57, 859, December 1942.
(22) Goff, Alice C. Women can be engineers. Ann Arbor, Michigan, Edwards
Bros., Inc., 1946. 227 pp.
(23) Goff, Alice C. (Ed.). Women engineers and architects. A series. Youngs­
town, Ohio, May 1939. Mimeo.
(24) Kirkpatrick, Forrest H., and John E. Crawford. Electronics. New York.
N. Y., Occupational Index, Inc., 1944. 6 pp. Occupational abstract No. 70.
(25) Lee, John G. Opportunities for engineering aids in the research depart­
ment and other technical groups of United Aircraft Corporation. East
Hartford, Conn., the Corporation, Feb. 15, 1946. 3 pp. Multi. (UAC
Res. Dept. M-1500.)
(26) Margaret Ingels of Carrier [Corporation] honored as “Pioneer” in women’s
careers. Refrigerating Engineering 41: 62, January 1941.
(27) Mott, Seward. Post-war opportunities for women in the housing and city
planning field. In War and post-war employment and its demands for
educational adjustment. Institute of Women’s Professional Relations.
Conference May 4 and 5, 1944. New London, Conn., the Institute, 1944.
226 pp. (See pp. 119-21.)
(28) Northwestern National Life Insurance Co., Family Economics Bureau. Re­
turned Alumni are major factor in 1946 placement picture. Minneapolis,
Minn., the Company, June 8, 1946. 9 pp.
(29) Offer training courses for technical war jobs. Labor Information Bulletin
10: 2-4, August 1943.
(30) Ohio State University, Occupational Opportunities Service. Ohio State
and occupations. Columbus, Ohio, the University, June 25, 1945. 198 pp.
(31) (The) outlook in the demands for and supply of engineering graduates.
Report of a committee of the American Society for Engineering Educa­
tion. E. K. Compton, Chairman. The Journal of Engineering Educa­
tion 37: 25-49, September 1946.
(32) Pennsylvania State College, School of Mineral Industries. Careers and
mineral industries. State College, Pennsylvania, the College, 1944. 24 pp.
(Circular 17.)
(33) Potter, A. A. Critical shortage of graduate engineers in American indus­
try. Lafayette, Ind., Purdue University, Apr. 14,1945. 2 pp. Mimeo.
(34) Read, Thomas T. Careers in the mineral industries. New York, N. Y.,
American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, 1941. 31 pp.
(35) Rust, Carolyn Davis. Biology as a career. Science Education 24: 369-72,
December 1940.
(36) Stewart, L. O. Advice to young men who seek careers in civil engineer­
ing. Journal of Engineering Education 36: 36-42. September 1945.
(37) Stocking, E. .T. The engineer in the Federal service. Journal of En­
gineering Education 31: 487-98, March 1941.



(38) (A) survey of the current conditions in the engineering schools. En­
gineering News-Record 136: 381, March 14, 1946; 136: 524, Apr. 11, 1946;
and 136: 684-85, Apr. 25, 1946.
(39) Survey of the status of recent architectural graduates. Architectural Rec­
ord 87: 82-87, March 1940.
(40) Tallmadge, Frances M. Engineering training for women ; the war training
programs and their implications for education. Journal of Higher Edu­
cation 15 : 379-82, October 1944.
(41) Textile Foundation. Opportunities for trained men and women in the
textile and related industries. Washington, D. C., and Kent, Cohn,, the
Foundation, undated. 11 pp.
(42) U. S. Civil Service Commission. 57th annual report, 1940. Washington,
D. C„ U. S. Government printing office, 1941. 146 pp.
(43) XT. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. 16th census of the
U. S.: 1940. Population. Vol. III. The labor force. Part I. U. S'.
Summary. Washington, D. C., U. S. Government printing office, 1943.
Table 58, p. 75.
(44) --------------------16th census of the U. S.: 1940. Population. The labor
force (sample statistics). Usual occupation. Washington, D. C., U. S.
Government printing office, 1943. Tables 1, 3, and 4.
(45) U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment and
earnings in the engineering profession 1929 to 1934. By Andrew Fraser,
Jr. Washington, D. C., U. S. Government printing office, 1941. 235 pp.
(BLS bulletin no. 682.)
(46) --------------------Employment outlook for architects. Washington, D. C.,
the Bureau, October 1945. 1 p. Mimeo.
(47) --------------------Employment outlook for chemical engineers. Washington,
D. C., the Bureau, April 1946. 2 pp. Mimeo.
(48) --------------------Employment outlook for civil engineers. Washington, D. C.,
the Bureau, April 1946. 2 pp. Mimeo.
(49) —------------------Employment outlook for electrical engineers, Washington,
D. C., the Bureau, April 1946. 2 pp. Mimeo.
(50) --------------------Employment outlook for mechanical engineers. Washing­
ton, D. C., the Bureau, June 1946. 2 pp. Mimeo.
(51) ------------------- Employment outlook for metallurgical engineers. Wash­
ington, D. C., the Bureau, June 1946. 1 p. Mimeo.
(52) --------- • —-—-— Employment outlook for mining engineers. Washington,
D. C., the Bureau, August 1946. 2 pp. Mimeo.
(53) ---------------- -— Factors affecting earnings in chemistry and chemical engi­
neering. By Cora E. Taylor. Washington, D. G’., U. S. Government
printing office, 1946. 22 pp. (BLS bulletin no. 881.)
(54) ------ •— U. S. Employment Service, Dictionary of occupational titles.
Part I. Definitions of titles. Washington, D. C., U. S. Government
printing office, 1939. p. 168. Note: Later unpublished revisions of some
definitions were obtained from U. S. Employment Service.
(55) ------------------- National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel.
Chemical engineering as a profession. Washington, D. C., U. S. Govern­
ment printing office, 1946. 21pp. (Vocation booklet no. 3.)

Engineering sciences. Washington, D. C., U. S. Government printing
office, undated. 51 pp. (Description of professions series, pamphlet
No. 2.)



Handbooks of descriptions of specialized fields (A series). Washington,
D. C., U. S. Government printing office.
Architecture. January 1946. 14 pp.
Agricultural engineering. September 1944. 5 pp.
Ceramic technology and engineering. September 1944. 9 pp.
Civil engineering. July 1945. 27 pp.
Electrical engineering. November 1945. 22 pp.
Industrial engineering and business management. September 1945.
14 pp.
Mining engineering, petroleum engineering, and metallurgy and metal­
lurgical engineering. 1946. 17 pp.
Miscellaneous professional fields. Washington I). C., U. S. Government print­
ing office, 1947. 29 pp. (Description of professions series, pamphlet
No. 5.) (See Architect and landscape architecture, pp. 4-6, 9-11.)
(57) ----------------------------—- Faculty members and students in institutions of
higher education, December 1942. Washington, D. C., the Roster. Final
report. June 15, 1943. Chart. Multi.
(58) --------------------------------The personnel situation in engineering. Washing­
ton, D. C., the Commission. Apr. 13, 1943. 25 pp. Mimeo. (Bulletin
No. 3.)
(59) --------- Women’s Bureau. Employment of women in the Federal Govern­
ment, 1923 to 1939. Washington, D. C., U. S. Government printing office,
1941. 60 pp. (WB bulletin No. 182.)
(60) (U. S.) Federal Security Agency, U. S. Office of Education. Effects of the
war upon college personnel. By Henry G. Badger and Benjamin W.
Frazier. Washington, D. C., the Agency, June 1943. Multi. (Circular
No. 217.)
(61) —------------------ Engineering, science, and management war training. Final
report. By Henry H. Armsby. Washington, D. C., U. S. Government
printing office, 1946. 149 pp. (Bulletin 1946, No. 9.)
(62) -------------------- Statistics of higher education, 1939-40 and 1941-42. Vol­
ume II. Washington, D. C., the Agency, 1944. Biennial surveys of edu­
cation in the United States. Table 7, p. 54.
(63) (U. S.) Veterans Administration. Predicting success in engineering train­
ing. Washington, D. C., the Administration, Dec. 11, 1946. (Tech,
bull. 7-11.)
(64) U. S. War Department, Signal Corps Historical Section, New York, Special
Activities Branch. The civilian training program of the Signal Corps in
World War II. Vol. II. Preservice training on the college level. By
Marvin I. Ingram. July 1945. 139 pp. and app. typewritten. (Signal
Corps Historical project, C-3.)
(65) United States Directory of Registered Professional Engineers. New York,
Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1943. 644 pp.
(66) Watt, R. R. G. Alumni survey—colleges of architecture, engineering,
Southern California Alumni Review 19: 8-9, April 1938.
167) Weaver, Polly. Architecture: job and partnership. Mademoiselle, Febru­
ary 1947. pp. 216-218ff.
(68) Wilson, Grace. Mechanical drawing for girls. Education 63: 472-75,
April 1943.
(69) Wolman, Abel. The sanitary engineer looks forward. Engineering NewsRecord 137 : 307-8, Sept. 5, 1946.
(70) Women American Institute of Mining Engineers members contribute their
share in engineering war. Mining and Metallurgy 23: 580-81, November

[The numeral 5, indicating the volume in the series, is not shown in the page references
of the index]


Administration_____ 21, 22, 27, 30, 42
Advancement_ 5, 21-22, 59, 62, 68-69
Aeronautical engineering. (See
engineering, aeronautical.)
Agriculture (see also engineer­
ing, agriculture)____________
Aid, engineering______________
19, 25, 32, 38, 47, 52-62, 70, 76-77
Chemical---------------------------- 47, 00
Aid, student__________________
American Chemical Society___
American Institute of Archi­
tects5, 6, 8
American Institute of Chemical
Engineers 22, 75
American Institute of Electrical
Engineers_________ 22, 75
American Institute of Mining
American Institute of Mining
and Metallurgical Engineers22,
42, 75
American Society for Engineer­
ing Education 20, 22, 26
American Society of Civil Engi­
neers------------------------- 20,22,28,75
American Society of Landscape
American Society of Mechanical
Engineers 22,34,75
American Society of Safety
Engineers _________________
Architecture x. xi,
1-8, 12, 23, 28, 33, 34, 08. 75, 77
Landscape-------------------- xi, 1-8, 68
Naval. (See engineering, ma­
Association of Collegiate
Schools of Architecture_____
3, 8

Ceramic engineering. (See en­
gineering, ceramic.)
Chemistry (see also engineer­
ing, chemical)______________
21, 38, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 52,
56, 75.
Clerical work (scientific or
Computing---------- 27, 36, 52, 56, 57, 60
Construction engineering. See
engineering, construction.)
Consulting work (see also pri­
vate practice)2,12,
13, 17, 22, 31,37, 39, 42, 45, 46

Bacteriology________ __________ 21, 46 ,
Biochemistry (see also chemistry)
- __
46, 51
Cartography (see also drafting,
69, 70

14, 26, 31, 33,38, 39, 44, 45, 56,
57, 58, 60, 65, 68, 71.
Dress (see also interior deco­
rating) ________________
Interior. (See interior deco­
Landscape 2, 6
Tool------------------------------------ 4,33
8, 18, 19, 23, 27, 32, 34, 37, 38,
47, 52, 53, 56,57, 58, 60, 63-72,
2, 6
Cartographic 67, 71


20-21, 52, 53,56, 59, 68
Editing, scientific or technical2,
27, 28, 31, 34, 36, 48, 51
Educational requirements for
beginning Civil Service posi­
tions------------------------------------ 76-78
Engineering--------------1, 4, 9-51, 61, 77
Aeronautical (see also engi­
neering, mechanical)_____
26, 28, 31, 32, 34, 35, 56, 76
Agricultural 22, 26, 33
Air-conditioning34, 35
Architectural 26, 28, 30
Automotive (see also engi­
neering, mechanical)_22, 31, 35
Cartographic (see also engi­
neering, civil)___




Ceramic (see also engineer­
ing, mining and metallurgi­
cal) 26, 42, 48, 44
12, 13, 15, 10, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22,
24, 26, 35, 44-48, 75, 76.
9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20,
22, 26-31, 35, 44, 75, 76.
Construction (see also engi­
neering, civil)__________
12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 25,
26, 33, 36-39, 44, 54, 58, 75, 76.
Electronics (see also engi­
neering, electrical)38,39
Hydraulic (see also engi­
neering, civil)29, 30
Illuminating 38, 39
Industrial_____________ 10, 12, 13,
15, 16, 19, 20, 26, 39-41, 42. 60
Marine (see also engineer­
ing, civil) 26, 28, 29, 33, 76
12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 26,
31-36, 39, 44, 58, 75, 76.
Mining and metallurgical-10,
12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26,
42-44, 75, 76.
Petroleum______________ 26, 42, 46
Production (see also engi­
neering, mechanical)_____34,39
Radio (see also engineering,
electrical) 22, 37, 38
Refrigeration_________ ___ 31, 35
Safety (see also engineering,
mechanical)_ 22, 23, 34, 39, 40
Sanitary (see also engineer­
ing, civil)_______________
22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
Structural (see also engi­
neering, civil)28,30
Textile (see also textile tech­
Time study. (See engineer­
ing, industrial.)
Engineering aid. (See aid, en­
Engineering Societies Person­
nel Service, Inc____________
Engineers’ Council for Profes­
sional Development22,
Engineers Joint Council____19, 20, 21
Experiment station__________
Federation of Architects, Engi­
neers, Chemists and Techni­
cians (C. I. O.)____________

Home economics50, 72
Hours 5, 21
Housing2, 4, 7, 8, 30
Hydraulic engineering. (See
engineering hydraulic.)
Illustration, scientific or tech­
nical4, 57, 71
Interior decoration2, 33, 72
International Federation of
Technical Engineers’, Archi­
tects’, and Draftsmen’s Union
(A. F. of L.)_______________
Inventing 36, 42
Laboratory work______________
38, 42, 46, 47, 48, 54, 56, 57
Librarian, scientific or tech­
nical 2,35,36,57
Licensing and registration
1-2, 5, 6, 12, 22, 23, 27, 28, 31, 39,
42, 74, 75
Marine engineering. (See engi­
neering, marine.)
Mathematics 8, 18,19, 27. 29, 34,
36, 38, 41, 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55,
56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 66.
Metallurgy (sec- also engineer­
ing, mining and metallurgi­
cal ) 42, 53, 56, 75
National Architectural Accredit­
ing Board______________ _
National Bureau of Engineering
National Council of State
Boards of Engineering Exam­
iners_____________ 22, 23
National Roster of Scientific and
Specialized Personnel___
12,14, 16, 17, 42
National Society of Profes­
sional Engineers___________ 22, 75
Naval architecture. (See en­
gineering, marine.)

22-23, 75

Patent work 30, 34, 35, 47
Personnel work______________
18, 36, 38, 41, 49, 52, 54, 59, 60, 66
Planning, cityx, 2, 4, 7, 26, 71
Private practice (see also con­
sulting work)_ 1, 2, 4, 5, 28, 33, 42
Purchasing:21, 51

44, 75

Radio engineering.
neering, radio.)

(See engi­




Registration. (See
and registration.)
Research___ 2, 14, 19, 21, 33, 35, 37,
39, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 56, 57, 59
Safety engineering. (See en­
gineering, safety.)
Sales work21, 38, 51
Sanitary engineering. (See en­
gineering, sanitary.)
Scholarships and fellowships
(see also pages 52-58 for
training programs)-----------Secretarial work, scientific or
technical 36, 42, 48
Society for Engineering Educa­
Society of Naval Architects and
Marine Engineers__________
Society for the Promotion of
Engineering Education_____
Statistics________ 2, 18, 38, 51, 58,




Structural engineering. (See
engineering, structural.)
Student aid. (See scholarships
and fellowships.)
Surveying 10, 27, 53, 73-74
4, 6, 7, 8, 14, 17, 19, 27, 28, 29,
33, 34, 36, 37, 39, 42, 46, 47, 54.
Textile technology (see also
engineering, textile)_______
Training (see also educational
requirements)- x, 1,4, 6, 7, 8,13,14,
15, 18-19, 24-26, 35-36, 38, 44,
50, 51, 52-58, 66-68, 76, 77, 78.
Western Society of Safety En­
Women’s military services____
29, 34, 38, 54, 68
Writing, scientific or technical2,
5, 36, 38, 48, 51, 58

FACTS ON WOMEN WORKERS—issued monthly. 4 pages. (Latest statistics
on employment of women; earnings; labor laws affecting women; news items
of interest to women workers; women in the international scene.)

(In press.)

The Outlook for Women in Occupations in the Medical and Other Health Services,
Bull. 203:

Physical Therapists. 14 pp. 1945. 100.
Occupational Therapists. 15 pp. 1945. 100.
Professional Nurses. OB pp. 1946. 150.
Medical Laboratory Technicians. 10 pp. 1945. 100.
Practical Nurses and Hospital Attendants. 20 pp. 1945. 100.
Medical Record Librarians. 9 pp. 1945. 100.
Women Physicians. 28 pp. 1945. 100.
X-Ray Technicians. 14 pp. 1945. 100.
Women Dentists. 21 pp. 1945. 100.
Dental Hygienists. 17 pp. 1945. 100.
Physicians’ and Dentists’ Assistants. 15 pp. 1945. 100.
Trends and Their Effect Upon the Demand for Women Workers. 55 pp.
1946. 150.

The Outlook for Women in Science, Bull. 223:
1. Science. [General introduction to the series.] (In press.)
2. Chemistry. 65 pp. 1948. 200.
3. Biological Sciences. 87 pp. 1948. 250.
4. Mathematics and Statistics. 21 pp. 1948. 100.
5. Architecture and Engineering. (Instant publication.)
6. Physics and Astronomy. 32 pp. 1948. 150.
7. Geology, Geography, and Meteorology. (In press.)
8. Occupations Related to Science. 33 pp. 1948. 150.
Your Job Future After College. Leaflet. 1947. (Rev. 1948.)
Training for Jobs—for Women and Girls. [Under public funds available for
vocational training purposes.] Leaflet 1. 1947.
Earnings of Women in Selected Manufacturing Industries, 1946. Bull. 219. 14 pp.
1948. 100.
Employment of Women in the Early Postwar Period, with Background of Prewar
and War Data. Bull. 211. 14 pp. 1946. 100.
Women’s Occupations Through Seven Decades. Bull. 218. (In press.)
Women Workers after VJ-Day in One Community—Bridgeport, Conn. Bull. 216.
37 pp. 1947. 150.



Women Workers in Power Laundries. Bull. 215. 71 pp. 1947. 200.
The Woman Telephone Worker [1944], Bull. 207. 28 pp. 1946. 100.
Typical Women’s .lobs in the Telephone Industry [1944], Bull. 207-A.
1947. 150.
Women in Radio. Bull. 222. 30 pp. 1948. 150.

52 pp.

Working Women’s Budgets in Twelve States.

Bull. 226.

(In press.)

Summary of State Labor Laws for Women. 7 pp. 1947. Mimeo.
Minimum Wage
State Minimum-Wage Laws and Orders, 1942: An Analysis. Bull. 191.
52 pp. 1942. 200. Supplements through 1947. Mimeo.
State Minimum-Wage Laws. Leaflet 1. 1948.
Map showing States having minimum-wage laws. (Desk size; wall size.)
Equal Pay
Eqifal Pay for Women. Leaflet 2. 1947. (Rev. 1948.)
Chart analyzing State equal-pay laws and Model Bill. Mimeo. Also complete
text of State laws (separates). Mimeo.
Selected References on Equal Pay for Women. 9 pp. 1947. Mimeo.
Hours of Work and Other Labor Laws
State Labor Laws for Women, with Wartime Modifications, Dec. 15, 1944.
Bull. 202.
I. Analysis of Hour Laws. 110 pp. 1945. 150.
II. Analysis of Plant Facilities Laws. 43 pp. 1945. 100.
III. Analysis of Regulatory Laws, Prohibitory Laws, Maternity Laws.
12 pp. 1945. 50.
IV. Analysis of Industrial Home-Work Laws. 26 pp. 1945. 100.
V. Explanation and Appraisal. 66 pp. 1946. 150.
Supplements through 1947. Mimeo.
Map of United States showing State hour laws. (Desk size; wall size.)
International Documents on the Status of Women. Bull. 217. 116 pp. 1947. 250.
Legal Status of Women in the United States of America.
United States Summary, January 1938. Bull. 157. 89 pp. 1941. 150.
Cumulative Supplement 1938-45. Bull. 157-A. 31 pp. 1946. 100.
Pamphlet for each State and District of Columbia (separates). Bull. 157-1
through 157—49. '50 ea.
Women’s Eligibility for Jury Duty. Leaflet. 1947.
Women Workers in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. Bull. 195. 15 pp. 1942. 50.
Women Workers in Brazil. Bull. 206. 42 pp. 1946. 100.
Women Workers in Paraguay. Bull. 210. 16 pp. 1946. 100.
Women Workers in Peru. Bull. 213. 41 pp. 1947. 100.
Social and Labor Problems of Peru and Uruguay. 1944. Mimeo.
Women in Latin America : Legal Rights and Restrictions. (Address before
the National Association of Women Lawyers.)



RECOMMENDED STANDARDS for women’s working conditions, safety and
Standards of Employment for Women. Leaflet 1. 1946. 50 ea. or $2 per 100.
When You Hire Women. Sp. Bull. 14. 16 pp. 1944. 100.
The Industrial Nurse and the Woman Worker. Sp. Bull. 19. 47 pp.
1944. 100.
Women’s Effective War Work Requires Good Posture. Sp. Bull. 10. 6 pp.
1943. 50.
Washing and Toilet Facilities for Women in Industry. Sp. Bull. 4. 11 pp.
1942. 50.
Lifting and Carrying Weights by Women in Industry. Sp. Bull. 2. Rev.
1942. 12 pp. 50.
Safety Clothing for Women in Industry. Sp. Bull. 3. 11 pp. 1941. 100.
Supplements: Safety Caps; Safety Shoes. 4 pp. ea. 1944. 50 ea.
Night Work: Bibliography. 39 pp. 1946. Multilith.
Maternity-Benefits under Union-Contract Health Insurance Plans.
19 pp. 1947. 100.

Bull. 214.

Old-Age Insurance for Household Employees. Bull. 220.
Community Household Employment Programs. Bull. 221.

20 pp.
70 pp.



16 reports on women’s employment in wartime industries; part-time employ­
ment; equal pay; community services; recreation and housing for women
war workers; and the following:
Changes in Women’s Employment During the War. Sp. Bull. 20. 29 pp.
1944. 100.
Women’s Wartime Hours of Work—The Effect on Their Factory Performance
and Home Life. Bull. 208. 187 pp. 1947. 350.
Women Workers in Ten War Production Areas and Their Postwar Employ­
ment Plans. Bull. 209. 56 pp. 1946. 150.
Negro Women War Workers. Bull. 205. 23 pp. 1945. 100.
Employment Opportunities in Characteristic Industrial Occupations of Women.
Bull. 201. 50 pp. 1944. 100.
Employment and Housing Problems of Migratory Workers In New York and
New Jersey Canning Industries, 1943. Bull. 198. 35 pp. 1944. 100.
Industrial Injuries to Women [1945], Bull. 212. 20 pp. 1947. 100.
century of industrial change) ; women’s economic status as compared to men’s;
women workers in their family environment (Cleveland, and Utah) ; women’s
employment in certain industries (clothing, canneries, laundries, offices, govern­
ment service) ; State-wide survey of women's employment in various States;
economic status of university women.
THE WOMEN’S BUREAU—Its Purpose and Functions.



Women’s Bureau Conference, 1948. Bull. 224. 210 pp. 1948.
Write the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor, Washington 25, D. C.,
for complete list of publications available for distribution.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102