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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE

FIRST ANNUAL REPORT OF THE

Dire~tor of the

Woman in Industry Service
FOR

THE FISCAL YEAR
ENDED JUNE 30

1919

."
WASHINGTON
OOVERNMENl' PRINTING omCE
1919

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FIRST ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIREOTOR OF THE
WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVIOE.
U. S.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR,
WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE,

lVasltington, September 30, 1919.
8m: The first annual report of the Woman in Industry Service

for the fiscal year ended June 30,1919, is submitted herewith.
INTRODUCTION.

The Woman in Indl,lStry Service was organized in July, 1918, a
year and three months after the entrance of the United States into the
war. It was confronted at once with thelroblems involved in a rapidly increasing reliance upon the work 0 women, as the sole reserve
force of labor to be called upon to measure up to the den;tands of
an augmented program of production for the war in the face of the
withdrawal of men for mihtary service at the rate of a quarter of a
million a month. It was clear that for the sake of production and for
the good of the Nation the Federal Government must provide not
only for the recruiting of women workers but for the safeguarding
of the health and efficiency of these women who were meeting in
many instances the requirements of new and unaccustomed tasks.
Because they were new for women-at least, in such large numbers-standards for their employment had not been established in the customs of industry.
It was this neCessity for rapid increase in the employment of
- women which constituted the peculiar problem of the war. Fundamentally, however, the purpose of the Department of Labor in its
relation to'women in industry-to safeguard the interests of women
workers and to make their service effective for the national good-is
identical in peace or in war. That is to say, with all the changes
brought by the war the organic act creating the department was
still applicable.
The purpose of the Department of Labor shall be to foster, promote, and
develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, to improve their
working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employ-

ment.

The difference during the war was the wider public recognition of
the necessity for "advancing the opportunities" of women "for
profitable employment," couching it, however, in terms' of recruiting
women for a wider range of occupations in order to release men for
military service.
Added to this difference in point of view was the fact that the
urgent necessities of a nation at war would influence policy just to
PROPERTY OF LIBRARY

NEW YORK STATE SCHOOl
lNDUSTR1AL AND LABOR RELATIONS
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ANNUAL REPORT DIRECTOR WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE.

the extent that in time of war measures which in the long run are
essential to the national good must frequently be modified for immediate military necessity. This is one of the evils of war.
Thus while the problems of women in industry during the war
differed in form from similar problems in time of peace, and while
the public attitude was also dlfferent under war conditions, nevertheless the fundamental tasks were so much alike that the experience
gained in dealing with them during the war may be regarded as a
basis for action In time of peace. A report of the activities and
plans of the Woman in' Industry Service in the four months which
elapsed between its establishment and the signing of the armistice
should, therefore, be not merely a history but an introduction to a
program for the work of th~ Federal Government on behalf of women
in industry in the period of readjustment and thereafter. But while
the year's history has this fundamental unity, logically the record
divides into two parts, the first describing the :period of the war and
the second setting forth the problems of the elght months after the
nrmistice was signed.

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L ACTIVITIES D'URING THE WAR, reLY 16 TO 1I0VEDER 11, 1918.

When the Secretary of Labor recommended to Congress an ap-·
propriation for a special service for women in indu.stry, he outlined
Its purpose and functions as follows:
It is undoubtedly true that the Department of Labor exercises all of its
powers with reference to wage earners of both sexes and of all ages. It is also
true that the best administration requires that the various services of the department which are here outlined be conducted by including within the work
of each servire all questions regarding women as well as men.
But the great importance of the employment of women in most essential
war work and the development of special matters of policy with respect to such
employment make it important to establish a special service devoted to the
subject of women in industry.
In view of the fact that the other services will, as above indicated, include
within their sphere women as well as men, this special service of women in industry is not large, w1l1 be largely policy making and administrative in character rather than itself executive; but will maintain close contact with all the
work of the department on this special subject and will also coordinate and
control such work in all other departments.

Stated more specifically the

purp~

of this service is-

1. To consider all general policies with respect to women in industry and
to advise the Secretary of Labor as to the policies whleh should be pursued.
2. To keep informed of the work of the several ~ivisions of the department
in so far as they relate to women in industry and to advise with the divisions
on all such work.
3. To secure information on all matters relating to women in industry anll
to collate such information into useful form.
4. To establish useful connections with all governmental departments anrl
divisions on this subject and with voluntary agencies and societies.

In announciiI.g on July 9, 1918, the appointment of the director
and assistant director, the Secretary further stated the purposes of
the Woman in Industry Service as follows:
In recognition of the great importance to the Nation uf the work of women
in industry, and the urgent necessity for a national policy in determining the
conditions of their employment, I have urged and Congress has now granted
the necessary authority to establish a Women's Division in the Department of
Labor. Its immediate task will be to develop in the industries of the country
poliCies and methods which will result in the most effective use of women's
services in production for the war, while at the same time preventing their
employment under injurious conditions. Its large and very necessary aim will
be to focus attention on the national importance of the conditions of women's
work as influencing industrial standards and as affecting the welfare of the
entire Nation.
The Women's Division will be charged primarily with determining policies
rather than carrying on detailed administration. Because of this policy-making
function of the Women's Division, its director will serve as a member of the
War Labor Policies Board. It wlll coordinate work for women in other divisions of the Department of Labor and in industrial service sections of other
departments of the Federal Government. It wlll cooperate with State departments of labor, working with and through them, in order to bring about united
action by the States in national problems of women's work. The Women's
Division will concern itself primarily with war conditions but will be mindful
of the need for observing and interpreting the tendencies in women's employment which are likely to have permanent social effects.
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ANNUAL REPORT DIRECTOR WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE.

The Women's Division has been estabUshed in response to needs widely felt
by all, men as well as women, who are conscious of the increasing share women
must have in the industrial activities of the war. The problems of women in
industry are so manifold and complex that a clearing house of thought and
leadership is needed in the National Governmpnt. The Women's Division has
b.e~n established to give this leadership.
COUNCIL ON WOKEN IJ.Il IJ.IlDUSTRY.

To accomplish the task 'of coordinating the efforts of all Federal
agencies concerned in women's work the Woman in Industry Service
was authorized by the Secretary of Labor to organize the Council
on Women in Industry, composed of women representing every division of the Department of Labor and other Federal departments
having organized work related to problems of women in industry.
Its membership included the Women's Branch of the Ordnance Department, the Women's Section· of the Railroad Administration, the
Federal Board for Vocational Education, the Committee on Women
in Industry of the Advisory Commission, and the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense, and from the Department of Labor representatives of the services concerned with investigation and inspection, training. and dilution, information and
education, and working conditions, the United States Employment
Service, the Immigration Bureau, the Children's Bureau the Bureau
of Naturalization, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States
Housing Corporation, the War Labor Board, and the War Labor
Policies Board. The council did not assume any executive or administrative functions, nor did it have any authority over the programs of its members. It was a forum for discussion of the important questions coming before the Woman in Industry Service and
the other groups cooperating with it. Among the subjects for discussion have been the safeguards to be established in new occupations, the enforcement of State labor laws, the regulation of night
work under war conditions, the al?plication of the principle of equal
pay for equal work, and the recrUIting and training of women workers. The cooperation, which will be described in the succeeding report of activities of the Woman in Industry Service, was materIally
furthered by the weekly meetings of the council.
RECRUITIl!lG WOKEN FOR NEW OCCUPATIONS.

It has already been indicated that the outstanding question concerning women in industry which grew daily more important during
the war was the necessity for greatly increasing the proportions of
women in the essential industries of the country in order to meet the
demands of production and at the same time to release men for military service. The danger of hysterical campaigns which would stimulate the recruiting of women without seeing to it that their services
should become effective for production or that proper safeguards for
women workers should be established was increasingly great. It
was difficult for those unfamiliar with the difficulties of introducing
a new and untrained personnel into industry to appreciate the care
which must be taken to avoid actual decrease in production by rapid
and careless methods of filling positions. Nor could those who had
not been familiar with the efforts through many years to build up

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ANNUAL REPORT DIRECTOR WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE.

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'Standards of protection for the health of the workers appreciate
how fundamentally important were the maintenance and extension
-of those standards durmg the war. The situation was made more
critical by the fact that those companies whose policy to their men
workers had never won their confidence and cooperatlon were likely
to arouse the suspicion that the war emergency would be used as an
-excuse for employing women at lower rates of pay and under conditions which would weaken any control gained by the workers through
-collective bargaining.
TI~e following program was proposed by the Woman in Industry
-ServICe:
1. Standards governing the employment of women in industry should be
authoritatively issued after adoption by the War Labor Policies Board, with the
two-fold purpose of contl'olllng conditions esp€'CialIy in new occupations for
women and also serving as a guide in the selection of occupations In which the
employment of women might be increased. That is to say, instead of offering
1\ list of occupations in which women should be substituted for men, the Fed~ral Govemment would promulgate 8tandal'ds together with the statement that
in any occupation in whIch these standards were upheld, thE' extension of the
en1ployment of women would be desirable, at the 8ame time calling attention
to the necessity for greatly increasing the employment of women under these
eonditions.
2. Certain broad statements could be made about occupations in which it .
would be desirable to employ women but these must always be in the nature of
Information rather than authoritative rulings, since local conditions would
make a recommendation for the entployment of women unwise in one locality
and wise in anotlwr "'hel'e ooth the nature of the procE'ss amI the conditions
surrounding it were different.
3. Certain occupations which had been proved to be more injurious to women
than to men should be listed as a group from which women should be excluded.
4. Instead of attempting to formulate a detailed program for the country as
a whole, the War Industries Board and the United States Employment Service
would be asked to name those localities in which the shortage of labor was most
acute. The various Federal agencies concerned with investigation, training,
placement, health, and working conditions, would then be asked to concentrate
their efforts in those localltles in order to solve the problems there and also to
"give a foundation for experience for an increaSingly adequate program of
labor distribution throughout the country.
5. Inquiries into certain typical occupations should be pushed forward rapidly
by the Woman in Industry Service with a view to making definite recommendation regarding changes in the process and the estaollshment of conditions
which had been proved most effective in the experience of establlshments
entploying women.
6. Meanwhile plans should be formulated for exhibits of women's work and
other forms of educational presentation of facts which should result In enlisting the services of women in the war industries, whlIe winning also the cooperation of industry in establlshing the conditions which should ntake for the largest
production over a long period.

It is possible to record progress in each section of this program,
although the signing of the armistice made it unnecessary to introduce women in such large numbers in this country as in Great Britain
or France, and the program as a whole was therefore not carried out.
The action taken will be shown in the following sections of this report.
STANDARDS GOVER:RDI'G THE EKPLOYltENT 01' WOKEN IN IND'USTRY.

A tentative draft of standards which should govern the employment of women in industry was presented to the Secretary of Labor
and the War Labor Policies Board on October 10, 1918, adopted by

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ANNUAL REPORT DIRECTOR WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICB.

the board on October 18, and modified on October 25, in the light of
the probability that an armistice would soon be signed. Before it
was recommended to the Secretary of Labor and the board it had
been submitted for criticism and suggestions to every State department of labor, to representative employers, and to working women
representing national and international trade-unions having women
members. In formulating the standards consideration was given to
experience in industry during the war, to regulations already established in State labor laws, and to such statements by Federal agencies
during the war as General Orders, No. 13, issued by the Chief of
Ordnance and simultaneously by the Quartermaster General as recommendations to arsenal commanders and to .manufacturers working on
contract for the War Department. The report of the National War
Labor Conference Board, which constituted the principles to guide
industrial relations during the war, was also used as a basis.
It was decided by the production departments of the Government
represented in the War Labor Policies Board to insert in the contracts the most important provisions of these standards, especially
those relating to daily and weekly hours of labor and the principle
of equal pay for equal work. With the signing of the armistice and
the consequent curtailment of contracts this plan was not carried out.
After some revision to meet peace conditions, consisting chiefly of the
elimination of certain clauses permitting a working day as long as
10 hours when the necessities of war might require it, the standards
were finally issued on December 12, 1918, as the basis for a program
of reconstruction. 1
They were widely distributed through State departments of labor
and through organizations working to improve conditions of employment for women. The Employment Service brought them
forcibly to the attention of all the local offices through publication in
. the bulletin of the service. The interest which they aroused showed
how widespread was the need for a statement of common purposes
toward the attainment of which energies could be directed with
assurance of support through united action.
HAZARDqUS OCCUPATIONS.

Shortage of labor was felt first in those occupations in which
working conditions were hazardous or disagreeable and there was
grave danger, therefore, that women would be introduced first into
occuI?ations involving hazards to their health. To meet this problem
a serIes of inquiries was planned which were designed to determine
the occupations in which women might be employed safely and the
detailed and practical measures needed to remove all hazards not
inherent in the essential nature of the process. To direct this work
the Woman in Industry Service organized the Committee on Hazardous Occupations, composed of representatives of the Surgeon General's Office, the Ordnance Department, and the Chemical Warfare
Service of the War Department, the Navy, the United States Public
Health Service, the National Research Council, the Bureau of Standards of the Department of Commerce, the War Industries Board,
the Working Conditions Service, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and
the Woman In Industry Service of the Department of Labor.
.
1

A copy of the standards wlll be found at the end of this report.

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. ANNUAL REPORT DIRECTOR WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE.

9

The first place selected for a survey was Niagara Falls: where the
chemical industries were of great importance as basic m the war
industries.
Two representatives of the Industrial Commission of New York
State were added to the committee for this survey, to insure cooperation in putting into effect the detailed recommendations for dust
removal, sanitation and safety, and other precautions against occupational hazards. These recommendations were worked out in practical detail by physicians, engineers, and women investigators acting for the committee.
Certain general principles emerged from this survey. The first
was that in some communities war conditions were merely accentuating labor shortage, due not merely to the withdrawal of men for
military service but to conditions of employment which were an
obstacle in production before the war, less clearly recognized when
labor was less free to choose.
The second fundamental principle was that unhealthful conditions
were generally bad not only for women but for men also. This, however, could not be held as an excuse for failure to correct these conditions before women should be introduced. For the sake of the
productive efficiency of the industry employers should be discoura~d
from employing women, as the easiest way out of their difficulties,
until they are willing to apply the measures long known to be necessary as safeguards for health in the hazardous occupations.
'Although many industrial poisons are equally dangerous for
women and men, lead poisoning, which is the most prevalent of them
all, has for women and the race more disastrous consequences than
for men. This is because lead is a race poison. The woman who
has suffered from it is likely to be sterile, or to have miscarriages,
or to lose her babies in the first year of their life. These facts were
emphasized by the investigation at Niagara Falls, which showed
that a plant there manufacturing storage batteries had already employed women and might increase their numbers. In this occupation, and in this alone, did the Woman in Industry Service urge
that no woman be employed anywhere or under any conditions in Ii.
process in which she would be exposed to lead poisoning. In all
other forms of employment the Woman in Industry Service recommended not the exclusion of women but such changes in conditions
as would make the occupation healthful for them. If practical difficulties stood in the way of these changes, it was held that the employment of women should be postponed as long as possible, under
such conditions, for example, as ex:posure to dust or extremes of
temperature, or the necessity for liftmg or carrying heavy weights.
In the industries of Niagara Falls so many changes would have been
necessary that, in view of the signing of the armistice before the
report was completed and the consequent removal of the immediate
pressure for the introduction of women, it was urged that women
should not be employed in the chemical industries there until they
should be made safe.'
The general policy emerging from this local situation, however,
was a recognition of the practicability ofgrea.tly decreasing the burdens of hand labor for men or women by using mechanical devices,
and of affording safeguards against the risks of poisoning by removing fumes and dusts at their source and by strengthening the
141402-19--2
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ANNUAL REPORT DIRECTOR WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE.

indi vidual's power of resistance through medical supervision and
through hours of work short enough to protect health.
'lKE PB.OBLEK OJ!' BIGK'l WOB.X.

The immediate reason for the investigation of the chemical industries in Niagara Falls was the request of the employers' association
there, addressed to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, asking that the
li'ederal Government should make it possible for the employers in
war industries in Niagara Falls to disregard the New York State law
which prohibits the emp~o~ment of women i~ factories I1;t ni~ht. ~his
was but one of many smular requests whIch came WIth lllcreasmg
frequency during the summer and early autumn of 1918. Following
the organization of the Woman in Industry Service, all such appeals
which reached the office of the Secretary of War were referred to the
service for review. The Woman in Industry Service in turn worked
on these cases in cooperation with the various industrial service sections of the other Federal departments, especially the Women's
Branch of the Ordnance Department, which made the initial investigation in the majority of plants making this request.
In the complicated problems which these instances illustrated there
was presented the necessity for working out a program which should
protect the health of the women at work and reenforce standards already set in the labor laws of the States, while at the same time speeding up production in the most critical period of the war. No problem
which the Woman in Industry Service was called upon to solve was
more difficult or more far-reaching in its significance than this. Before a wise program could be developed it was necessary to study in
the concrete case the importance of women's work in the production
of the plant, to know the needs of the Government for that particular
product, and to consult those organizations, especially those of the
workers themselves, which had been responsible for legislation to protect women against night work in some of the most important manufacturing States.
Twelve Statee-Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
Utah, and Wisconsin-had laws which prohibited the employment of
women or girls, or both, in factories during the night hours. In two
of these-Massachusetts by legislation creating a special board for the
period of the war and in Wisconsin through the regular powers of the
industrial commission-it was possible to grant permits making possible night work for limited periods. These laws applied to the munitions plants. They had been enacted in time of peace, and they expressed the opinion of the public in those States that night work for
women was harmful because of its effect upon the health of the women
.md their children and because of its influence on family life. Moreover, experience had shown that night work was uneconomical for
production, with less individual efficiency and greater cost for wages
and supervision than by day. These considerations had led the representatives of 13 European nations meeting in 1913 in Berne to agree
to eliminate night work for women in their manufacturing industries.
During the war, however, this standard had been generally abandoned
abroad. In England, for example, where the employment of women

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ANNUAL REPORT DIRECTOR WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE.

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at night work had long since been done away with, the increasing reliance upon the work of women in the manufacture of munitions had
led to the general breaking down of this measure of protectiol!.
At the very beginning of our participation in the war the Federal
Government, through the Council of National Defense, had declared
its j>olicy not to permit the war to be the occasion for lowering standards of employment, especially those which had been established to
protect the health of women and children. As these protective
measures were for the most part contained in State legislation and
were not national in scope, thIS declaration of policy took the form of
an appeal to the States not to abandon or weaken the laws ena6ted
for the protection of the workers unless the Federal Government itself
should find that the national need in the emergency of the war demanded their modification. This, however, would be a condition
which only the Federal Government could determine with authority.
In applying this policy to the problem of night work for women it
was necessary to recognize that the differences between different
States gave rise to great inconsistencies. Thirty-six States had no
legislation prohibiting night work for women, and these included
such important manufacturing States as New Jersey, Illinois, and
Ohio, in all of which large quantities of munitions were manufactured on contract for the Federal Government. If the FederaLGovernment recognized its responsibility for the conditions affecting the
health of the women in munitions plants, as it did by establishing
such agencies as the Woman in Industry Service and by formulating
the policy just outlined, it could not ignore the fact that the employment of ·women at night in a factory in Illinois, where no law prevented, was as injurious as it would have been in a plant in New
York, where night work had b('.en eliminated by act of the legislature.
During the summer of 1918 the extension of the employment of
women was greatly accelerated, as the new draft resulted in the rapid
withdrawal of men from the industries of the country. As a result of
this increase in the proportions of women in the munitions industries·
their employment on night shifts appeared to be becoming more general in those States where no legislation prevented it, while in those
States having laws prohibiting night work the appeals of manufacturers, often indorsed vigorously by officers of the Ordnance Department, for modification of the enforcement of the law became more
and more insistent. For the most part these were not requests from
employers who were making the war an excuse to evade legislation
enalted in the interest of the workers. Close study of them showed
that they were evidence of the staggering load carried by the Ordnance Department in the necessity for greatly speeding llP an already
astounding program of production. The anxiety of Ordnance officers
to eliminate every condition which seemed to them to hamper production in the slightest degree grew more and more tense. It looked
very much as though the situation was developing to the point where
the immediate need for increased production in the most critical
period of the war would undermine the standards established in time
of peace to protect the health of working women.
To aid in developing a :plan which would give due weight to all
the ap:{>arently conflictmg mterests, the Woman in Industry Service
called mto conference representatives of those groups and organiza-

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ANNUAL REPORT DmECTOR WOMAN' IN INDUSTRY SERVICE.

tions most vitally interested in standards of working conditions established for the protection of working women, including the
Womap.'s Committee, the Committee on Women in Industry, the National Consumers' League, the National Women's Trade-Union
League, the American Association for Labor Legislation, the tradeunions through their international organizations and through committees of the American Federation of Labor, and State industrial
('ommissions and departments of 'labor. The whole plan, finally
worked out after these conferences, was also thoroughly discussed
and voted upon at the meeting of representatives of State labor deEaftments called in Washington by the War Labor Policies Board in
October, and soon afterwards the conference of trade-union women
called by the Woman in Industry Service also took action regarding
the program proposed. Advice was also sought from the Labor Division and the Priorities Division of the War Industries Board. Representatives.of employers were consulted in connection with the review
of requests on this subject made to the office of the Secretary of War.
At these conferences typical requests for permission to employ
women at night were described. In one plant, for instance, which
was probably more vital to the success of the ordnance J;>rogram than
IIny other single establishment, the chief reason for wishmg to employ
women on the night shift was a shortage of houses which would not
be remedied in less than three months, so that no large numbers of
men could be added to the popUlation of the town, but in the families
of the men already living in the community were daughters, sisters, '
and wives who would be available to increase the working force.
These could not all be used on the day shift because many of the
processes involved too heavy work for women, and it was necessary,
therefore, to employ men and women together with a division of
tasks between them. In some plants the problem was further complicated by the practice of rotating shifts, whereby every man in the
force took his turn at night. To change this practice when women
were introduced would cause discontent among the men who would
then be obliged to work steadily, or at least more frequently, at night
if the women in the force worked only by day.
No two instances were exactlv alike. The one fact common to them.
all was that the proposal to employ women at night could not be disconnected from the whole production and employment policy of the
plant. In some cases the shortage Qf men for night work was due not
to an actual short.age of labor in the community but to low rates of
pay, or too long hours on the night shift, or the absence of an efficient
OJ;ganization for employment management in the plant. Under such
conditions it was not merely for the sake of the women workers tha.t
the employment of women at night was to be discouraged by the
Woman in Industry Service, but it was quite as necessary to discourage it for the sake of production, since in such a situation production
could not be made satisfactory merely by a night shift of women.
Satisfactory production required a thorough overhauling of the em.ployment polIcy of the company which would result in a more effective use of the working force already available. An investi~tion of
a proposal to employ women at night led invariably to a conSIderation
of many other conditions having a direct influence upon the productive capacity ofa plant, and it became clear, therefore, that any pro-

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ANNUAL REPORT DIRECTOR WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE.

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gram adopted must, in the interest of production, provide for this
kind of careful inquiry in each· instance rather than giving any general permission to the munitions industries to employ women on mght
shifts.
.
The conferences held to consider this sUbject'revealed a very strong
opinion that standards, in general, should not be lowered, and that,
in particular, the practice of employing women at night should be
vigorously discouraged. It was not only in the Federal departments,
however, that the necessity for action had become clear. Overwhelming evidence from State departments of labor showed that the pressure from ~ertain interests against legisla:tion p'rohibiting night work
was becommg great, and that laws on thIS subJect would be attacked
at the coming sessions of State legislatures. It was feared that the
attacks would be difficult to withstand because they would be made on
the ~round of national necessity. Although there was diversity of
opimon as to what should be done it was generally agreed that it was
only the National Government which could declare with authority
whether or not the emergency was serious enough to require modification of standards which had commended th~mselves to the people of
several States as necessary to protect the health of women at work.
The problem, in brief, then, was to meet the immediate necessity
for increased production through the more extensive employment of
women and through continuous and complete use of available ma·
chinery and equipment, while preventing the permanent repeal of
laws prohibiting night work and at the same time protecting women
workers against the dangers of night work in plants working on war
materials for the Federal Government in those States having no laws
against night work.
The plan finally proposed was that the Federal Government should
regulate and control mght work for women in all plants working on
war contracts for the Federal Government, through a provision in the
contracts which would prohibit night work uDless a special war
emergency permit were granted. This plan provided that if it were
demonstrated by the War Department or the Navy that it was necessary in a specified instance, in order to maintain adequate production,
to employ women between the hours of 10 p. m. and 6 a. m., the Secretary of War or the Secretary of the Navy, under conditions of employment approved by the Secretary of Labor acting through the
Woman in Industry Service, would send to the State agency charged
with enforcement of labor laws a declaration that a· national
emergency existed in this particular instance and would call upon it
to grant to a particular1 specified plant for a specified, limited period
a temporary war certincate allowing the employment of women at
night. It waf; the opinion of legal advisers in the War Department
and the Navy that in those States in which night work was prohibited
by law these certificates would be valid under the war powers of the
Federal Government. In those States having no laws against night
work the power of the Federal Government through its contracts was
clear.
In connection with the administration of the proposed plan it WIIS
provided that thorough investigation should be made in each instance to determine the necessity for night work, and that each establishment to which a certificate might be granted should be nnder the

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continued supervision of a designated Federal department, under
conditions satisfactory to the Department of Labor. Certificates
were to be issued only for night shifts of eight hours or less, and full
compliance would be required with the standards set by agencies of
the Federal Government and in State labor laws. As showin~ thp.
necessity for thorough investigation in advance it was pointed out
that night work of women could often be avoided by the employment of men over the draft age and those not gualified for military
service, by the transfer of men from nonessentIal industries, by the
extension of plants, by the introduction of an industry into new
areas, by a careful distribution of contracts with due regard to the
local labor supply, or by the more effective use of the labor force of
the plant through improved employment management. Certificate~
would not be granted unless it was clear that these methods had not
sufficed to increase production to the point demanded for the prosecution of the war.
The plan in general was indorsed by the War Labor Policies
Board and referred to the Secretary of Labor for action by the
Council of National Defense. While·this action was pending a conference of representatives of State departments of labor called by the
War Labor Policies Board was held in Washin¢on. Following a
thorough discussion of the subject of night work, a resolution was
adopted substantially as follows:
Resolved, That it is the
weakening of labor laws or
or suspension of such laws
of the Federal authority of

sense of this meeting that we are opposed to the
labor standards, and if any temporary modification
is necessary it should be made only on declaration
competent jurisdiction.

The discussion showed that it was the intent of this resolution to
approve the plan for the control of night work on the ground that it
recognized authority in the Federal Government alone, thus tending
to discourage State or local action to weaken State laws.
A few days later a conference of women representing national and
international trade-unions; called together by the Woman in Industry Service to give expreSSIOn to the views of working women regarding labor problems of the war, adopted. the following resolutions:
Whereas the abnormal condition arising as a result of the war may necessitate the temporary suspension ()f standards and conditions governing the
employment of women: Therefore be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of this conference of representative tradeunion women that the standards and conditions regulating the employment of
women at night shall not be lowered, this in keeping with the proclamation of
the Councll of National Defense in April, 1917, unless as an urgent war measure and then only aiter a careful investigation has been made of the industry
or plant requesting such privilege: And be it further
Resolved, That this investigation be of the most rigid character and be made
by the representatives designated by the Councll of National Defense, the Secretary of Labor, and the Woman in Industry Service in cooperation with the
American Federation of Labor, upon whose report and findings shall be determined whether permission shall be granted for the temporary suspension of
standards and conditions.

This resolution fairly represents the attitude of all the ~oups
most actively interested· in the maintenance of standards-wIllingness to meet a genuine emergency, but grave concern that the emergency should be real and not an excuse for relaxing labor laws.
A 'little more than a month later the signing of the armistice made
final action by the Council of National Defense unnecessary, and,

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therefore, the plan was never :{>ut into effect. The whole problem
and the consideration given to It are recounted here because during
the war J?eriod the Woman in Industry Service devoted a great deal
of attentIOn to it, and because, too, it had significance in revealing
how complex is the relation between production and any phase of the
conditions of employment and how necessary it is to insISt that conditions affecting the health of the workers shall not be rendered
adverse in the supposed interest of production, when in the long run
efficiency of management can make industry both productive and
healthful for the workers. Experience all points to the fact that
production is made satisfactory through the delicate adjustment of
many factors, in which high standards in conditions of labor are
fundamental. The whole experience in dealing with the problem of
night work revealed also the strength of pubhc opinion against the
employment of women at night. No State repealed a law against
night work during the war. Two States, Kansas and Wisconsin,
prohibited it in special occupations by rulings of the State industrial
commissions, and one State, N ew York, enlarged the scope of its
previous law after the entry of the United States into the war.
STATE LnOB. LAWS DVB.DlG THE WAB..

While the subject of night work for women absorbed so much
attention, especially in the last few months of the war, this was
but one phase of the whole question of the enforcement of State
labor laws in plants working on war contracts for the Federal Government and the necessity for cooperation between Federal and
State agencies concerned in conditions of labor.
In several instances the jurisdiction of State officials was challenged in munitions plants on the ground that the State did not
have authority over Federal property. A decision of the Judge
Advocate General of the Army on this subject caused some confusion
in seeming to uphold this view, at least for certain types of contracts. To clear up the confusion the War Labor Policies Hoard arranged to have inserted in all contracts a clause requiring full compliance with the labor laws of the State in which the goods were
manufactured. Thus the observance of State. labor legislation became a contract obligation of the manufacturer to the Federal
Government, regardless of the jurisdiction of the State authorities
in his plant.
'
Because of the great importance of State labor laws as measures
of protection for women, the Woman in Industry Service gave a
great deal of attention to this subject. Its director, acting as chairman of a special committee of the War Labor PoliCIes Board,
assisted in formulating a plan of administration which should render
this clause of the contracts enforceable. Federal machinery for this
purpose did not exist, and, moreover, even if it had been available
the advantages of inspection and enforcement by State agencies
seemed clear. It was more economical to use an administrative
agency already equipped through past experience. It avoided the
duplication which would have been probable if both State and Federal agencies had undertaken the task separately, and from the
point of view of the long future it left unimpaired the authority of
the State officials for the work of enforcement which would become

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their sole responsibility when the war should end and when the
field of jurisdiction of the Federal Government through its contracts should become relatively insignificant.
The clause in the contracts requiring full compliance with State
labor laws might have been interpreted as carrying with it authority
for the enforcing officials, but to make assurance doubly sure the
War Labor PolIcies Board recommended that the head of each
Federal department responsible for war production, namely, the
Secretary of War, the Secretary of the NavY', the Director of the
United States Housing Corporation, and the Director of the Shipping Board, should designate a State official, preferably the commissioner of labor or the chairman of the industrial commission, as
his deputy in enforcing this provision of the contract.
To work out the details of administration and in other ways to
insure effective cooperation· between State and Federal agencies
the War Labor Policies Board called a conference of representatives
of State departments of labor, and a whole session was devoted to
the problems of women in industry, with the Director of. the Woman
in Industry Service presiding.
.
The result of the conference was to make much more feasible the
kind of teamwork which was necessary. Holding that the cooperation of a Federal agency like the Woman in Industry Service with
State departments of labor should be continuous, the service assigned
a member of its staff, with experience in a State department, to give
.special attention to the methods of making this cooperation real.
When such special investigations as that of the chemical industries of Niagara Falls were undertaken the State industrial commission was represented in the directing committee. Every request
for permission to employ women at night coming to the service for
review was reported to the commissioner of labor in the State in
which the plant was located, and in several instances a State inspector
joined the Federal investigator in the necessary inspection. The
Pennsylvania Industrial Board invited the director of the service
to participate in several conferences for the discussion of standards
for women's employment to be adopted as rulings of the board.
When the Woman in Industry Service undertook the formulation of
standards for the employment of women in industry, a tentative
• draft was submitted in advance to all State labor departments, and
from many of them came valuable suggestions which were embodied
in the final statement. Especially helpful to the service were the
directors of the women's bureaus which had been developed recently
in .several important State labor departments.
WAGES UD IliDlJSTB.IAL RELATIONS.

The introduction of women into new occupations gave the question of their wages a new significance. If theIr employment in work
hitherto done by men were made the occasion for reducing the rates
previously paid for the same work, the men employed would naturally oppose the extension of women's employment as a menace to
the wage standards attained by the men, and the morale of industry
would be affected· by the resulting discontent. It was a realization
of this danger which led to the first official indorsement by the Federal Government of the principle of "equal pay for equal work.'~

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In General Orders, No. 13, the Chief of Ordnance included it in his
recommendations to arsenal commanders and manufacturers, and the
Quartermaster General concurred when he issued the same recommendations simultaneously. Later the principle was made more imperative through its inclusion in the statement of principles to govern
industrial relations which was formulated by the National War
Labor Conference Board, representing officially the organized workers and employers.
It soon became evident, however, that the idea expressed in the
usual phrase, "equal pay for equal work," was not comprehensive
or fundamental enough to secure substantial justice for working
women or to prevent the lowering of standards through ~he extension
of their employment.
The principle was inadequate, first, because it was not held to.
apply to those occupations in which the introduction of women required some change in process so that the work was considered
unequal in the sense that it was not identical, and, second, the principle was insufficient because it failed to remedy fundamental defects
in the usual basis for determining women's wages.
For example, the men in certain occupations had set up their own
machines in addition to operating them. When women took their
places the necessity for maintaining production prevented giving time
to training them in a thorough knowledge of the machinery which
they handled, and hence, in some instances, a man was employed to set
up the machines for a group of women. The work of the women was
regarded, therefore, as not equal to that of the men. The rates would
then be set according to the prevailing standards of women's wages.
A thorough applicatIon of the principle of equal pay for equal work
would seem to have required that wages should have been based on
output and that they should have been set only after. careful study
of the actual effect of the new arrangement of work on the output of
the group as a whole, rather than an arbitrary reduction to levels
customarily regarded as the standard for women. It was by no
means impossible to find instances where these new methods of doing
the job had resulted in an increase in output when women did th&
work, and in these instances the injustice of a reduction in earnings
was more clearly emphasized.
In formulating standards for the employment of women the
Woman in Industry Service, therefore, made the following recommendation:
.
Women doing the same work as men shall receive the same wages, 'with
such proportionate increases as the men are receiving in the same industry.
Slight changE'S made In the process or In the arrangement of work should not
be regarded as justifying a lower wage for a woman than for a man unles.~
statistics of production show that the output for the job in question is less when
women are employed than when men are employed. If a difference In output is
demonstrated, the difference in the wage rate should be based upon the difference in production for the job as a whole, and not determined arbitrarily.

But this statement, also, was not fundamental. The tendency to
set women's rates on jobs in which women took men's places clearly
raised the question of why there should be a wage level designated
as women's rates. In one plant, for example, the women who took
men's places, doing the work exactly as the men had done it, actua.lly

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produced more, but the employer objected to paying them the rates
which the men had received because, he said, women ill the adjoining
department doini!; work customarily considered a woman's occupation were receivllig " women's wages" for work no less difficult than
this new occupation into which women had so recently been introduced. Justice compelled him, he believed, to establish women's
wages for all work done by women in his shop. He was being
guided, of course, by the practice and opinion concerning women
workers which have prevailed in industry for many years.
The war proved the capacity of women for many more tasks than
those previously open to them.
.
This extension of opportunity illuminated the whole problem of
wages. The previous practice was possible without confusion only
in a state of industry in which the work of women was sharply differentiated from that of men. It assumed, also, that the cost of living
and the home responsibilities of women were less than those of men.
The Woman in Industry Service held that the experience of the
war was forcing a fresh examination of the basis for determining
women's wages. If the principle of equal pay for equal work be
a.ccepted, as it has been officially, with the sanction of public opinion,
it is impossible in logic or in justice not to push Its applIcation
further and to accept the more fundamental conclusion that the wage
value of a job is as great when a woman does it as when a man does
it, and that the wage should be determined for the occupation and
not for the sex of the worker. The Woman in Industry Service,
therefore, formulated the following statement of the basis for determining wages:
Wages should be established on the basis of occupation and not on the basis
of sex. The minimum wage rate should cover the cost of living for dependents,
and not merely for the individual.

That the experience of the war in England was forcing thoughtful
observers to a similar searching for a fairer relation between men's
and women's wages is shown in the Report of the War Cabinet on
Women in Industry, published in the spring of 1919. The main
report follows tradItional lines, but the minority report, submitted
by Mrs. Sidney Webb, dedares "that the essential principle which
should govern all systems of remuneration * * * is that of the
clearly defined occupational or standard rates * * *. There is
no more reason for such occupational or standard rates being made
to differ according to the workers' sex than according to theIr race,
creed, height, or weight." 1
In the United States the formulation of these principles with reference to women's wages and the official indorsement of the policy
of equal pay for equal work, limited and vague as it is, undoubtedly
had a wholesome influence on public opinion, but unfortunately. the
authority and the machinery to enforce these principles were lacking.
Moreover, scant attention was given to the representation of women
in the administrative machinery which was established by the Federal Government to deal with wage problems during the war.
Neither the War Labor Board nor any of the special wage adjustment boards had any women members. Although the Woman in
Industry Service had no power to do more than formulate policies
1

Report of the War Cabinet Committee on Women in Industry, p. 254. London. 1919.

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its staff gave constant attention to the whole subject and especially
urged on every a~propriate occasion that women be represented on
boards whose jurIsdiction extended over the wages of women. As
the results of a conference between representatives of the service
and one of the chairmen of the War Labor Board, the board did
appoint a woman to give special attention to the enforcement of the
board's awards on the wages of women, and to assist in assuring
representation of women in the shop committees, whose organization was encouraged by the board.
From time to time the War Department and the Navy called on
the Woman in Industry Service for advice on wage problems for
women employed in Government plants or in private establishments
producing war materials. State minimum wage commissions also
sought advice from the service and wage disputes affecting women
were from time to time brought to its attention. The assistant
director of the service was assigned to give special attention to the
subject of wages and industrial relations. It proved to be a field
fruitful in thought but exceedingly limited in the possibility of
effective action, especially as the majority of the women in the war
industries were unorganized and hence without means of making
their needs articulate. Undoubtedly in the future, as the whole
question of the wage basis in industry will demand searching inquiry,
the relation between women's wages and men's wages must be
thoroughly analyzed.
TR.A.IBmG.

Closely related to wages is the necessity for giving women the
same opportunity for technical and vocational training that men
receive. The Woman in Industry Service was not charged with
any special respon,sibility for a program of training for women
workers. This subject is the permanent responsibility of the Federal
Board for Vocational Education. Moreover, for the temporary war
needs of both men and women, the Training and Dilution Service was
organized in the Department of Labor. From time to time, however, the advice of the Woman in Industry Service was sought by
employers, and conferences on this subject were held by representatives of the service with officers of the International Association
of Machinists. The director of the service served as a member of the
committee on the relation of military and industrial man power
appointed by the War Labor Policies Board during the period when
the committee was giving special attention to coordinating in a
single program the efforts of the various Federal agencies directly
interested in training workers.
RELATIOBS WITH EKPLOYERS AID WORKERS.

To assist in furthering the development of wiser policies in industry itself in dealing with women workers by fnrnishing training for

employment managers, the director of the service served as a member of the employment management committee of the War Industries
Board. The service has also responded to requests from employers
for advice by sending information or by'making plant inspections.
The tentative draft of the standards to be recommended by the
service was submitted for comment to the executive officer of the

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National Industrial Conference Board and to an informal conference
of reptasentatives of employers and workers in the metal trades.
Reference has already been made to the conference of women
representing national trade-unions which was called in Washington
by the Woman in Industry Service to formulate a platform in the
interest of women workers. This conference voted to become a permanent advisory council of working women. Through this council
the service has been able to keep continuously in touch with the
needs of the women employed in the largest industries, and to have
their advices in its plans and policies.
PUBLIC INTEREST IN WOKEN'S WORK.

Before the armistice was signed the service planned an educational
campaign, chiefly through a traveling exhibit and lantern slidest
which had the twofold purpose of recruiting the women needed to
release men for military service and at the same time showing the
standards of emJ?loyment necessary to make their work effective. It"
was hop-ed in thIS way to draw together various agencies, including
women s clubs and other organizations which had planned recruiting
campaigns. The director was in freq,uent consultation on this subject with the department of women in mdustry of the Woman's Committee, which was actively in touch with all the important organizations of women in the country. The signing of the armistice changed
the immediate purpose of the exhibit, and it was finally developed
with a change in emphasis to meet the changed conditions of the
postwar period.
LACK 01' STATISTICS COBCEDmG WOKEN.m THE WAR mDUSTRlES.

So many questions have been addressed to the Woman in Industry
Service regarding the numbers of women in the war industries and
the detailed statistics concerning thein that it becomes necessary to
point out that the appropriation of $40,000 granted to the service
would not have sufficed for so large a statistIcal inquiry even if it
had been the intention to spend it all for that purpose. The service
was not intended to be a s~atistical agency, however, and its activities
in this matter were necessarilx limited to making recommendations
to the Bureau of Labor StatistIcs and the War Labor Policies Board
as to the type of information which seemed important to be collected
at regular intervals. Through the War Labor Policies Board, with
the cooperation of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the War
IndustrIes Board, a schedule of facts about labor conditions, including the employment of women, was prepared for use by the community labor boards organized by the United States Employment
Service. Like so many other plans, the signing of the armistice
found it uncompleted, and as a result we are without any comprehensive statistics of the part taken by women in industry during
the war.

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ACTIVITIES AFTER THE SIGNING OF THE .A.RlIISTICE.

On November 11 the Woman in Industry Service submitted to the
chairman of the War Labor Policies Board a memorandum dealing
with problems likelY' to arise for women in industry during the period
of readjustment. Obviously the immediate task was the same on
behalf of either men or women workers-to accomplish the change
from a war to a peace basis with the least possible unemployment
and with the reinstatement of the largest possible number in normal
occupations for which they were best adapted. The memorandum
assumed that the fundamental aspects of the program as ati:ecting
. both men and women were being worked out by the War Labor
Policies Board, especiallJ{. a policy with reference to cancel1ation of
contracts and demobilization of the Army which would take into
consideration the effect Dn labor conditions. For women, however,
this was not the whole problem, for the armistice marked a decided
change in public opinion. The withdrawal of women from their
work was advocated as a means of providing employment for returning soldiers, and it was necessary for the Woman in Industry
Service to point out that women, like men, were working to earn a
living and that their continued employment was vital for them and
for those dependent upon them.
The Woman in Industry Service urged that the permanent status
of working women be recognized; that the Federal Government
recommended definite standards for their empl()yment in private
industry, and that these standards be adopted in Government-owned
plants; that a program of public education be pushed forward to
secure the adoption of these standards as designed to promote the
welfare of wage-earning women; and that as the power of the Federal
Government to control working conditions through provisions in
contracts would now be lessened with the curtailment of contracts,
the Federal agencies should endeavor to stimulate those instrumen- .
talities through which conditions would be determined, namely,
State labor legislation, voluntary action of employers, action by
working women themselves, and the continuing influence of public
opinion. It was along these lines that the program for work In the
~riod following the signing of the armistice was planned by the
Woman in Industry Service.
LABOR LBGULATIOB.

For active cooperation between State and Federal departments of
labor the experience during the war afforded a precedent, and the
Woman in Industry Service welcomed every opportunity to work
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. with State departments or to assist local groups in their efforts to
strengthen the labor laws in their State. In Indiana a survey was
made at the request of the governor and the industrial board, the
results of which were published in January. This was followed by
a State-wide campaign organized by local committees, in which members of the staff of the service assisted. In connection with this campaign a conference of neighboring States was held which brought
together in Indianapolis representatives of interested groups from
Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois.
.
Assistance was also given by the service in efforts to stren~hen
labor laws in Minnesota, Connecticut, Iowa, New York, Rhode ISland,
and Kansas, and the service was represented at the convention of the
Association of Governmental Labor Officials in Madison, Wis.• where
the representative of the service presided at the s~on on 'women
in industry.
WAGES Al!'TE:a THE WA:a.

It was the prevailing opinion that wages during the war had been
so high that all worKers were receiving enough to support them-·
selves. This impression was based on statements of high wages paid
in the munitions plants. It seemed important to verify this impression, and for this reaSOn the Woman in Industry Service responded
to the request of private organizations in Philadelphia to investi~ate
the wages paid to women m the candy trade there. InvestigatIons
before the war had indicated that a large number of the workers in
the candy trade were receiving less than a living wage. It seemed
more important to make a first-hand study of a trade which had been
considered low paid than to investigate wages in the higher-paid
occupations, since it is among the law-paid workers that the problem
of maintaining a healthful standard of living is most serious. The
inquiry was made in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statisticst
so that the data might form part of the bureau's nation-wide survey
of wages and hours.
The investigation covered factories employing two-thirds of the
workers in the candy industry in Philadelphia. It was found that
wage rates had increased considerably since before the war, but the
rapid increase in cost of living had resulted in largely nullifying
the effect of these increased rates, so that a considerable proportion
of the workers were receiving less than the amount considered necessary for the cost of living. A significant fact brought out in the investigation was that continuity of employment is as important as
a fair rate of wages. Frequent loss of time, whether due to lack
of work or to personal causes which make the attendance of employees irregular, necessarily decreases production for the industry
and curtails the earning power of employees.
The service has cooperated with the Minimum Wage Commission
of the District of Columbia, es.pecially in its work of determining
minimum rates for employees m mercantile establishments in the
District, and in connectIOn with Government-owned plants considerable attention was given to the subject of wages. The staff of the
service was not sufficient to permit more extensive statistical studies
along this line. .

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THE J!'EDE:aAL GOVEB.BKENT AS AN EJlPLOYE:a OJ!' WOKEN.

Although, as has been pointed out, the power of the Federal Government to control conditIons through its contracts decreased rapidly
when war production no longer was necessary, it remained true that
in its own plants and through its departments employing women
the Government could set standards which would have an important
influence on private industry.
At the request of the Secretary of the Navy the Woman in Industry
Service undertook to serve as an adviser to the Navy Department in
matters affecting women employed in navy yards. inspections were
made and reports and recommendations submitted to the Secretary
of the Navy in the following yards: The Brooklyn Navy Yard, the
Brooklyn Clothing and Provisions Department, the Philadelphia
Navy Yard, the Navy Aircraft Factory, the Charleston (S. C.) Nayy
Yard, the Mare Island Navy Yard, and the Bremerton Navy Yard.
Recommendations covered such subjects as readjustment of wage
rates, better working conditions, organization of lunch rooms, and.
improved methods of employment management. Because the curtailment of work in the navy yards necessitated laying off numbers
of workers special attention was given to recommendatIOns designed
to prevent hardship by giving due notice before dismissal.
The service was also asked to cooperate with the Ordnance Department in matters relating to the employment of women in Government
arsenals, and inspections similar to those made in the navy yards were
in progress at the close of the 'period covered by this report.
The service also gave attentIon to questions affecting Government
employees in Wash1Ogton, especially in cooperation asked for by the
Commission on Reclassification.
BEGRO WOKEN IN INDUST:ay.

, By November the service found it opportune to cOllsider the ecoIomic problems of Negro women. Accordingly an industrial agent
was appointed and was sent out to survey several centers where typical
conditions were known to prevail. Within seven months the agent has
investigated conditions among more than 16,000 Negro women employed in 156 plants located 10 the Middle West and in border-line
States of the South, in a line of highly diversified industries. These
industries may be grouped under five broad headings, viz, factory,
hotel, department store, stockyard, and Government work. General
standards for this class of workers were found to be somewhat lower
than the average, and their industrial opportunities were found to be
decidedly more restricted than those of other women workers. Remedial sug~estions have been formulated and submitted to several
agencies mterested in the improvement of existing conditions-progressive employers, cooperating welfare organizatIons, and Government investigators.
Largely because of the abnormal situation obtaining under the war
emergency, both conclusions and recommendations are necessarily
tentative; but a survey involving reconstruction conditions is in
progress.

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DIBPLACElIEB''l 01' WOK. . WOB.XBBI.

A change in public opinion following the si~ing of the armistice
has been indicated. A most significant illustratIon of difficulties faced
by women workers was the situation in connection with the employment of women as conductors on the Cleveland street cars. The men
objected to the employment of women and after the signing of the
armistice asked for their dismissal. It is unnecessary to review the
details of the involved case, which came before the War Labor Board.
Although the board finally recommended that the women be retained,
they were not reemployed.
The Woman in Industry Service never had any official relation to
this case, but because of its significance the director and assistant
director, as individuals, filed a statement with the War Labor Board
pointing out the desirability of freedom of choice of occupation for
women In industry. In a somewhat similar case on the street railways of Detroit, facts showing the home responsibilities of women
workers were compiled by the service and filed by the attorney for
the women at the hearing before the War Labor Board.
.
The dismissal of women from the street railways in Brooklyn was
assumed to be due to the enactment of a law by the ~ew York State
Legislature prohibiting night work. The Woman in Industry Service
offered its assistance to the Industrial Commission of N ew York State,
and while the commission through its bureau of women in industry
was making an investigation of the facts in Brooklyn, the Woman in
Industry Service sent representatives to Chicago, Kansas City, Detroit, Boston, and Baltimore to get the facts about hours and working
conditions for women employed on the street railways in those cities.
This investigation is in progress, and the report has not yet been
prepared. .
Allied to the whole subject of curtailm~nt of opportunities for
women workers was a brief survey of the status of women in the metal
trades in Michjgan. This inquiry showed that considerable numbers
of women had been laid off from Michigan plants, and that in some
instances opportunities gained during the war were not likely to be
permanent. The report of this initial survey is now in preparation.
HOKE WOB.X

m BB.IDGBPOB.T.

'At the request of local groups an investigation of home work in
the corset trade in Bridgeport was undertaken. It was found that
a considerable amount of work was given out in the manufacture of
garters, which is an industry allied to that of corset making, and that
the work was carried on often in crowded, insanitary surroundings,
and sometimes during the illness of members of the family suffering
from infectious or contagious diseases; that a lower wage rate apparently was given than would be paid for similar work in a factory;
that because of the absence of supervision production was likely to
be unsatisfactory ~nd earnings very low; and that child labor was
utilized to the detriment of the welfare of children. Recommendations were made to the employers that the practice of giving out
home work should be discontinued as soon as possible, and that in
order to make this change with the least possible hardship for the

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workers, detailed plans be worked out at a conference representing
employers, workers, and social organizations in the community.
STATISTICS OJ' TllE EXPLOYJlENT OJ' WOKEN.

As was the case during the war, the small appropriation of the·
Woman in Industry ServlCe made it impossible to carry on any extensive statistical inquiry, although the data would have been vital
in appraising the status of women workers during this period. Because of the unportance of such an inquiry the service welcomed the
decision of the war work council of the Young Women's Christian
Association to undertake a statistical inquiry into the present status
of women employed in the war industries and the probability of
continued opportunities for them in a wider range of occupations
following the war. The director 9f the service was asked to assumean advisory relationship to this inquiry.•
THE RELATION OJ' WOKEN TO THE PEACE CONJ'ERENCE.

The Assistant Director of the Woman in Industry Service was
granted leave of absence to go to France as a representative of the
National Women's Trade-Union League to urge consideration of the
interests of women workers in connection witli the labor platform
of the Peace Conference. This t~ip resulted in the calling of theFirst International Congress of Working Women, to be held in
Washington in October.
PUBLIC INTEREST.

Early in November the Woman in Industry Service invited employers to submit photographs illustrating working conditions for
women, and as a result -'of their generous response a collection of
several hundred photographs are on file in the offices of the Woman
in Industry Service. These photographs and other material have
been made the basis of a series of panels illustrating the standards
recommended for the employment of women. Stereopticon slides
have also been prepared with notes for a lecture. The material has
been widely circulated among State departments, schools, collegest
labor organizations, and other groups interested in improving conditions.
The results of investigations made by the service have been printed
in pamphlet form, and, in addition, representatives of the servicehave taken part in conferences and assisted local groups in arousing
public interest in the conditions of women's employment.
.PERJUNENT STATUS URGED FOR WOKEN'S BUREAU.

Women in industry in 1910 constituted more than 21 :per cent of
the total number of persons gainfully employed in the Umted States.
It is not only their Importance in numbers, but the special problems
of their emv.loyment affecting industry on the one hand and family
life and chIld welfare on the other which necessitates special provision by the Federal Government for a clearing house of polIcies

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and facts relating to their position in industry. The wisdom of Congress in designating such an agency as primarily policy making
rather than itself executive seems to have been demonstrated in the
actual experience of the Woman in Industry Service in securing
cooperation and stimUlating the activities of other agencies.
The problems of women following the war are likely to be more
crucial than at any time during the past. The Woman in Industry
Service has been continued by Congress through an appropriation
enabling the Secretary of Labor to carry forward the investIgations
of women in industry during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920.
Because of the fundamental importance of the position of women
in industry it is hoped that the Women's Bureau will be fermanently
established by legislation as a part of the Department 0 Labor, and
that its resources will be enlarged in order to make possible more
comprehensive work.
Respectfully submitted.
MARY VAN KLEEOK,

Director, Womo;n in lrulustryj Service.
Hon. W. B. WILSON,
Se(]'l'etaryj 01 Labor.

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APPENDIX.
'STANDARDS GOVERNING EMPLOYMENT OF WOON IN INDUSTRY.
In peace or ill war women's work is essential to the Nation. During the
war the experience of all countries has shown that women were ready and able
to take the places of men withdrawn for military service. So important did
their work become that in Great Britain it was actually the war department
which declared that "untiring efforts must be devoted to amplify and extend
the scope of women's usefulness, by which alone our country can hope to
emerge victorious from a struggle without parallel in her long and glorious
history."
The experience to which the war has drawn public attention was true before
the war and will be equally true when peace is restored. Before the war the
number of women gainfully employed increased in the decade before 1910 from
5,000,000 to 8.000,000, of whom 2,500,000 were in manufacturing, trade, transportation, and public service. Since then the indications are that in numbers
:and proportions women have become increasingly important in industry.
The greater necessity for control of the standards of women's employment is
due to the fact that women have been in a weaker pOSition economically than
men. Reconstruction will give an opportunity for a new upbuUding of safeguards to conserve alike the industrial efficiency and the health of women, and
to make it impossible for selfish interests to exploit them as unwilling competitors in lowering standards of wages, hours, working conditions, and industrial relations, which are for the best Interests of the workers, the industries,
and the citizenship of the country.
.
During the war, by vote of the War Labor Policies Board, all contracts of
the Federal departments have contained a clause requiring full compliance with
State labor laws, and in each State an official of the State labor department
has been deputized by the heads of the contracting departments of the Federal
Government to cooperate with Federal agencies in enforcing these provisions
of the contracts. This affords a basis and a precedent for continued relations
between State and Federal agencies in the upbuilding of standards for women's
labor. As the number of contracts grows fewer with the coming of peace, the
responsibility of the States increases. But the .recognition of the national and
international importance of standards of labor condltions will still be paramount, since In peace no less than in war the Nation will depend for its
prosperity upon the productive efficiency of its workers. No other foundation
for commercial success will be so sure as the conservation of those practices
in industry which make for the free and effective cooperation of the workers.
Protection of the health of women workers is vital as an economic as well as a
social measure of reconstruction.
Therefore at this time, in recognition of the national importance of women's
work and its conditions, the Federal Government calls upon the industries of
the country to cooperate with State and Federal agencies in maintaining the
13tandards herein set forth as a vital part of the reconstruction program of tht"
Nation. These standards have been indorsed by the War Labor Policies Board.
STANDARDS RECOJD[ENDED.
lin the following outllne the italiC type In the text Indicates those provisions Which are
held to be of the most vital importance.]
I. H011lUl 01' LABOR.

1. I1aily- hOBrI.-No woman shall be empZoyetJ or permitted to work more
than eight hours in any one day or forty-eight hours in afl1j one week. The
time when the work of women empZoyees shall begin and end, and the time

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allowell for meal8 8hall be podell in a con8f)ic1wu/J place in each workroom, and
a recorll 8hall be kept of the overtime of each woman worker.

2. Half holiday on Saturday.-Observance of the half holiday should be the
custom.
S. One day of reat in aeven.-E1·ery ,comafl 1001'1\e,' shall have O11e da" ot red
4n everv Beven Ilays.

4. Time for meala.-At lca8t three-qual·ters.o1 an hour 8hall be alZowetl tor a
meal.

5. Rest period.-A rest period of 10 minutes should be allowed in the middle
of .each working period without thereby increasing the length of the wo.rking
day.
6. Night work.-No (coman shalt be em·ployell bet1ceen the hours of 10 p. m.
anll 6 a. m.
II. WAGES.

1. Equality with men's wagea.-Women doiflg the Bame wO/'k as men 8hall
receive the same 100,ges, 1mth such proporttotlote increases a8 the men are
receiving in the same inllustry. Slight changes made in the process or in the

arrangement of work should not be regarded as justifying a lower wage for a
woman than for a man unless statistics of production show that the output for
the job in question is less when women are employed than when men are employed. If a difference in output Is demonstrated the difference in the wage rate
should be based upon the difference In production for the job as a whole and' not
determined arbitrarily.
2. The basia of determination of wage I.-Wages should be estabZishell on the
basis of occupation aM not on the basis of sea:. The minimum wage rote 8hould
cover the cost of living for llepeMents aM not merely for the inllivilluaZ.
III. WORKING CONDITIONS.

1. Comfort and sanitation.-State labor laws and industrial codes should be
consulted with reference to provisions for comfort and sanitation. Washing
faCilities, with hot and cold water, soap, and individual towels, should be provided in sufficient number and In accessible locations to make washing before
meals and at the close of the work day convenient.
Toilets should be separate for men and women, clean aml IIccesslble. Their
numbers should have a standard ratio to the number of workers employetl.
Workroom fioors should be kept clean. Dressing rooms should be provided
adjacent to washing facilities, making possible change of clothing outside the
workrooms. Rest rooms should be provided. Lighting should be so arranged
that direct rays do not shine into the worker's eyes. VE'ntlIatlon should tM>
adequate and heat sufficient. Drinking water should be cool and acceSSible,
with individual drinking cups or ,bubble fountain provided. Provision should
be made for the workers to secure a hot and nourishing meal, eaten outside the
workroom. and if no lunch rooms are acceSsible near the plant a lunch room
should be maintained in the establishment.
2. Posture at work.-Continuous standing and continuous sittin~ are both Injurious. A spa t should be provided for eyery woman employed and its use
I'nconrnged. It il'l possible and desirable to adjust the height of the chairs in
relation to the height of machines or work tables, so that the worker may
with equal convellien!'e and efficiency stand or sit at her work. The seats
shoulll have baC'1<s. If the chair is high. a foot rest should be provided.
.
3. Safety.-Risks from machinery, danger from fire, and exposure to dust,
fumE'S, or other occupational hazards !'Ihould be scrupulously guarded against
by ob~ervance of standards in State and Federal codes. First-aid equipment
I!Ihould be provided. Fire drills and othE'r forms of education of the workers
in the ob~ervance of safety regulations should be Instituted.
4. Conditions needing correction.-Work i51 more efficiently performed by
either men or women if healthful conditioml are E'stabUshed. It III usually
possible to make changes which will remove such hazards to health as the
following:
_
(a) Con~tunt I'Itan<llng or other posture causing physical strain.
•
(b) Repeated lifting of heavy weights, or other abnormally fatiguing motions.
(e) Operation of mechanical devices requiring undue strength.
(d) Exposure to excessiye hent or exeessiye cold.
(0) Exposure to dust, fumes, or other occupational poisons, without adequate
safeguards against disease.

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IS. Prohibited oooupations.-Women mU8t not be employea in occupations in1)ol1linll the me of poison8 tphich are fW'01Jea to. be more inJuriOtl8 to foomm
than to men, 8uch a8 certam fW'0C688e8 in the leaa mIlmtrie8. (Subsequent
ruUnga on the dangerous trades wlll be Issued.
6. 'UJdforms.-Unitorms with CRlJS and comfortable shoes are desirable for

health and safety In occupations for which machines are used or in which the
procesaes are dusty.
IV. HOKB 'WO:&J[.

No work 8halt be given out to be done in room8 mea for living or 8leeping
fJtIf'fJ08e8 or m rooms directly connectca with living or 8leeping room8 in any
. dwelling or tenement.
V. BXPLOnn:KT JU.KAGEKBKT.

1. Hiring, separations, and determination of oonditions.-In establishing satIsfactory relations between a company and its employees a personnel department Is important, charged with responslblUty for selection, aSsignment, transfer,
or withdrawal of workers, and the establishment of proper working conditions.
2. Women in supervisory pos1tions.-Where women are employed, a competent woman should be apPointed as employment executive with responsibility
for conditions affecting women. Women should also be appointed in supervisory
positions in the departments employing women.
3. Choioe of oooupation.-The opportunity for a worker to choose an occupation for whIch she is best adapted is important in insuring success in the
work. to be done.
VI. OOOPBBATIOK 01' 'WOBXEJUI IK BKI'OROEXEKT 01' BTAKD.AlU)B.

The re8ponsibility 8houla not re8t upon the manageme·nt alone to aetermine
111186111 ana effectivelll the conditions which shoula be established. The genuine
cooperation eS8ential to fW'oduction can be 8ecured onlll if definite channel8 of
commtmkation between emplo1ler8 and grOUp8 of their workers are eBtablishetl.
TAe neea of creating method8 of joint negotiation between employer8 and
grouP8 of employeeB i8 especially great in the "gltt of the critical point8 Of C01I_. trovtn:811 wA~h,'11I411 ari8e in. a. Ume lil\e the.present• . JJ;.an,.t,.g,chllnnellllhO#ld
.' oo"priillerooiland neW one8 openea if requirea to provide easier acce88 for disCtl88ion between employer and en~ployee8.
VII. OOOPBBATIOK WITH OI'l'IOIAL AGDOIEB.

The' United States Government and State and local communities have established agencies to deal with conditions of labor, including standards of workfug conditions, wages, hours, employment, and training. These should be called
upou for assistance, especially in the difficult problems of adjustment in the
period of reconstruction following the war.
Inquiries regarding the employment of women may be addre~ to the
Women's Bureau, Department of Labor, Washington, D. C., and these will be
4ealt with directly orr~fe.rrElll to the F-ecleral or State agency 'b~ eqllipped to
give the, asslstaQce needed in l!ach instance.
( )

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