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BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

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TLIGHT

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
James

US

P. Mitchell,

Secretary

WOMEN'S BUREAU
Mrs-Alice K. Leopold. Director

r

.US-

HG(l'in.VS
Boston Public Library
Superintonripnt of

APR 2

Documents

3 1958

CONTENTS

Page

WOMEN'S PROGRESS

EDDCATION:

1

BALANCE WHEEL OF THE SOCIAL MACHINBfil

2

EMPLOIED WOMEN

8

JOBS IN THE NEWS

WCMEN IN PUBLIC SEH7ICE

16

«-

26

WOMEN'S ECONOMIC STRENGTH

33

WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS

36

LEGAL STATUS

39

TO SUM UP

1|6

Prepared in the Department of Labor,
Women's Bureau, Division of Program
Planning, Analysis, and Reports, by

Sylva S, Beyer.

For sale by the Superintendent of Docusents,
Government Printing Office,
Price 30 cents
Washington 25, D. C.

SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN IN THE
UNITED STATES, 1956-57
VTOMEN'S PROGRESS

Women are winning avarde for c<»aninity serrice, receiring More recognition in church work, haring honors conferred
on them in the arts, sciences, and professions. They have
been appointed to high executive posts in industry, government, and the military services. They hold important
political party posts. They have won a record number of
elective offices*
Newsworthy achievements such as these mark the longrun progress of women in winning recognition in many fields.
They are indicative of advances in women's education, employment, and vocational skills, and of the economic and political
strength women are acquiring.

A profile of their status in 1956-57 shows that wcaen

— cast

approximately half the votes in the 1956

presidential election

--slightly outnumber men as stockholders (although
the value of their shares is less than that of

men's)

—are

a third of the college students

—hold nearly

—are nearly

a third of the Nation's jobs
a fifth of all labor^inion members.

-

BDOCATION t

-

2

"BiLANCE WHEEL OF

T^

SOCIAL MACHINEHr

In July 1956 the count of those of school age stood att

Population
5-13 years of age
(Elementaiy school)
llt-17 years of age
(High school)
16-21 years of age
(College or
university)

Boys
lU.9 million

Olrls
11^.3

minion

Million

U.7 million

U.U nillion

U*3 million

li.8

One of every four persons in the United States was enrolled
in school or college in 1956-57. Enrollment was at an all-time
peak
I4I.5 million, the U, S. Office of Education estimated.
Nearly all the children 6 to 13 years old vere attending school.
Illiteracy was at an all-time low (3 percent among men, 2 percent among women in 1952).

—

—

Women had a slight edge over men in years of education
an average of li/5 of a year among those iL years old and
over
in the fall of 1952. That difference appears to be
dwindling, for in October 1956 greater proportions of boys and
men than of girls and women were in school or college. All
told, of those 5 to 3U years old, U9 percent (nearly 19 million)
of the girls and women and 56 percent (20.6 million) boys and
men were enrolled.

~

There is little difference in percentage of boys and girls
under 18 1A0 are attending school. Among the 18 to 19 year
olds, however, 18 percent more of the young men than the yoving
women were enrolled in school in 1956, and among the 20 to 2k
year olds, Ih percent more. Most of these older students were
in college or professional schools.

Aside from the other values education holds, years of
schooling have a close relationship to job opportunity. Almost
nine-tenths of the employed women who were graduates of a
college or university (I6 years or more of schooling) were in
professional and clerical jobs in 1950, but only a twelfth of
those who had not gone beyond elementary school (8 years or
less). About three-fourths of those who had attended only
elementary school were in operative, service, or unskilled jobs.

- 3 -

Ieaz*s of education are also related to earnings, as incomes
reported in 1950 by women 25 years old and over show. Median
income of those with no education was $5l8j of those with 8 years
of education, $909; of those who had completed 12 years, $1,58U;
of those who had completed 16 years of school or more, $2,321.

HIQHEH EDUCATION
The number of professional opportunities open to women has
expanded as the number of women who attend colleges and universities and who earn degrees has increased.
In spite of the fact that the number of persons of college
age in the country was at a low ebb, enrollaent in colleges and
universities exceeded 2.9 million in the fall of 1956. Over a
third of the students
were women.
1,019,000

—

—

About 379,600 degrees were conferred in the 1955-56 school
year according to the U, S. Office of Education. Women earned
132,000 of these degrees. They earned over a third of the
311,300 bachelor's and first professional degrees, a third of the
59,U00 master's degrees, and one in ten of the 8,900 doctorates.
The general fields in which students choose to major and
earn their degrees are indicative of the types of jobs for which
they can qualify. The Office of Education listed 25 major groups
of fields of study and 1 miscellaneous group.

Women's choices continue to vary considerably from those of
Women's primary choice was in the field of education,
which already employs the greatest number of women of any of the
professions and which is in critical shortage. Just about half
of the first and second level degrees women earned were in this
field.

men.

Men's first choice, on the other hand, was business and commerce. Education was their second choice however. Moreover,
they earned more second level degrees in education than did woman.

-1* -

The first 10 fields chosen by vomen are listed belov, in
the order in ^ich women preferred them. Men's choices in these
fields are also shown.

First and Second Level Degrees Earned in 1956
in the 10 Fields Most Preferred by Women

Women

Men

-5KDUCATIONiL GOALS

A conference of eminent educators found that studenta
career, hcaSf
direct their studies toward throe objectives
and commonitj service. To these goals college men give a different emphasis than do college vomen. Men students in general
are primarily absorbed with their future Jobs* Woaen in general, several studies shoved, plan for careers and coBnunitj
service, but marriage and the hoaie take first place.

—

The path that vomen college graduates nov usuallj follow
to enter employment, marry early, have children, serve the
is
COTDmnity, and often then to return to employment after their
children are grown or in school.

In the present pattern of living in the United States, the
great majority of women expect and are expected to give first
consideration to the home. Yet, in their interrupted years in
the labor maricet, the terms of competition for men and women are
even. C<»nanity and world affairs are making increasing demands
on wcawn.
In order that wcnen be prepared to meet these challenges
educators and research institutions are examining the
content of wmmu's education as never before. One of the most
recent studies is the work of the Commission on Education of the
American Council of Education. A total of k(>9 studies related
to women's education have been listed in progress in oo lieges and
xiniversities throughout the United States.

BECKNT GPADUATES

What path women colls ge graduates of 1955 ware taking is
1956 was investigated by the National Vocational Qaidanee
Association and the Woaon's Bureau. A representative sample of
colleges and universities (108) cooperated in the surrey.

A third of the recent graduates were married. Fonr~flfths,
Including a majority of the wives, were working full or part
time. About a fifth of the graduates were continuing their
education.
Of every 10 of those employed, 6 were teachers; 2 were in
other professions
as nurses, biological technicians, social
scientists, artists, reporters; 2 were secretaries, stenographers, or other clerical workers, or were in retail trade or in
service or finance industries.

—

- 6 -

SCHOLARSHIPS AND FELLOWSHIPS

Many gifted students, girls in particular, are not continuing their education for a variety of reasons: bringing home to
them the values of higher education is a matter of nationwide
concern. They also need to be made aware of the many and various
scholarships and fellowships available through women's clubs,
religious and civic groups, itidustry, and pirivate foundations*
One film in 1955 announced UO scholarships a year for women.
The pz^ogram was undertaken, the announcement states •—

"Because we Btelieve these institutions are making an indispensable contribution to America by
helping provide a constant supply of educated,
trained women so important to practically eveiy
aspect of our national life today. In addition
to the vital role which women play as homemakers
and in family life, they are today providing
leadership in government, business, science and
the professions."

Stirred perhaps by this example, 16 finas repor+ing to the Council
for Financial lid to Sducation provided aid to women's colleges
in 1955 > whereas only 3 had done so in 1952.
Industiy's total contribution to higher education for men
and women —• in aid to educational institutions and to students
reached lOO million in 1956j that of the Ford Foundation, $1*00
million*

—

In addition to the great number of scholarships offered by
industry and the foundations, individual alumni and organizations
of gi^duates are giving generous aid. National and local labor
unions are increasing the number of scholarships for men and
women members and for sons and daughters of members*

Much of the aid to students, including grants made by the
American Association of University Women, is for postgraduate
work. A new high in awards was achieved by the Association in
1957-58j $121,500 in fellowships to 52 outstanding women
scholars from home and abroad.
Universities and colleges themselves customarily make a
certain number of scholarships and fellowships available to
their students*

- 7 -

Women interested in financial aid to students
will find useful the Office of Education's
Scholarships and Fellowships at Institutions of
Higher Education , Bull. 1951 j No. 16, which may
be obtained from the Government Printing Office,
Washington, D. C, for 70 cents. Single copies
of later bulletins Financial Aid to College
Students : Graduates , Bull. 19"^ No. 17, and
Financial Aid to College Students : Undergraduates
will be available free at the Office of Education,
Departaent of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Washington, B. C, as long as the supply lasts.

—

VOCATIONAL PREPAHATION

Millions of women and girls throughout the countiy are
obtaining specialized training in schools for professional nursing or pi-actical nursing, in secretarial schools, in commercial
art schoolsj auiinly in cities, they are in schools for beauty
culture, the needle trades, and a great variety of other
vocations.

About 1,7 million women and girls in 19SSS(> were in State
and local vocational programs, operating funds for which are
matched by the Federal Government. These publicly supported
vocational schools have particular value for women, relatively
few of whom benefit from armed services and veterans' training
programs. Most of the girls enrolled were studying home economics. About 132,000 were learning selling skills.

—

—

were preparing for technical, craft,
Others
110,000
operative, or service occupations. They wei^ learning to be
practical nurses, medical assistants, food handlers, beautyservice operators, commercial artists, draftsmen, photographers
Some were looking toward a job In the needle or food trades,
or in the electrical industries
for example, in communications, radio, television, electronics. Others were developing
their mechanical skills. A few were future printers.

—

Nearly 50,000 of the women enrolled, who pei^iaps already
had a job or sought advancement, were in part-time or evening
classes.

- 8 -

EMH.0IED WCHEN

Women's present share in the Nation's work oatside the hone
has come about through a long social evolution that was speeded
up in times of war and high levels of the econony such as th«
present.
In the course of a hundred years an alteration in the pattern of women's lives^ and of men's^ obviously has taken plaee.
The industrial structure of the country has undergone fundsBectal
change
a result of alternating periods of prosperity and
depression, war and peace, geographic shifts of industries and
above all perhaps, as a result of technological inven«
people
tions and marketing innovations. The social structure has undergone change. Children, by virtue of school-attendance lavs, have
been removed from the labor market. Older men now oustcnarily
retire with some years of leisure in prospect, Intem&tioaal
tensions require large numbers of young men to serve in our Azmed
Forces. Inevitably women have had to take over an increasing
share of the work that must be done outside the homiB* Apartaenthouse living and mass production of rsady-made clothing, household
appliances, and ready-to-e&t foods have facilitated wog»n's assumption of their new duties.

—
~

Nevertheless, over half the women who are Ih years old or
over are hc»nemakers escclusively. About a tenth arc in school, or
are women who are unable t© work, "voluntarily idle," or retired.
^out a third work outside the h(»e.

Probably the great majority of wcnen in the United States
have had the esqperience of wozicing o^itside the hone at scnstime
in their lives. The 21 million reported in the labor force in
1955, for example, represent the average of the vaiying mudber at
work in each month of the year. Actually about 28 million voiced
at s(»e time daring the 12 months. However, only about 10 million
were year-round, full-time workers. The z*e8t were "in and out"
students who work
of the labor force or were part-time workers
during harvest or rush seasons, and housewives irtio prefer to work
only 2 to 3 days a week or part of the day*

—

About a third of the employed married women were year-round,
full-time workers. Their aveirage workweek, however, was much
shorter than that of men of comparable age.

A profile of women

wozicers in 1956 appears on page 9*

- 9 -

TWENTY-TWO MILLION WOMEN WOffiEBS

—

1956 PBOFILB

These 22 million women 1/ are

Over a third of the 60,7 million women (U^
years old and OTer) in the United States.
They include about
Half the 11 million single women;
Two-fifths of the 11.5 million women lAo
are widowed, divorced, or separated, or
whose husbands are in the Aimed Services
or employed away from home;
Three- tenths of the 38.3 million married
women whose husbands are living at home.

They are almost a third of all workers in the
country.

One-half of these women workers are over 39
years old.

Over half are married;
One-fourth are single;
Somewhat under a fourth are widowed,
divorced, separated, or their husbjmds
are away from home.
Eighteen Bdllion are living in a family group

—

11 minion as wife of the family's head;
2 million as head of the family themselves;
5 million as daughters, mothers, sisters,
or other relatives of the head of the
household.
Over four-fifths of those ever married have no
children under 6 years old; well over half have
no children under 18.
1/ An average of 21,8 million were in the labor
force in 1956. This included an average of 20.8
million who were employed and 1 million who were
unemployed but actively seeking work.

- 10 -

Certain features of the profile are remarkable* One is
that so small a proportion of the married women constitute so
great a proportion of the women workers. This is possible
because never before have married women been so predominant
in the woman population.
Single women provide a remaricably small proportion
(5 million) of the women workers. Understandably enough:
There are only 11 million single women, and probably close
to U million of them are in high school or college.
The rising age level of women workers is equally significani: At the turn of the century, the average age of women
workers was 26 years; today it is 39. The younger wcmen are
now in the main in school or college or are married and caring
for small children. The mature woman is caning into her own
in the industrial world.
The fact that 2 million women workers cariy the responsiThese women
are widows, separated or divorced women, sisters with family
members dependent on them, daughters with aged parents to
support.
Tjility of head of the family also stands out. 2/

Wives too, however, sometimes carry the sole responsiThe married couples (38
million) in the country in 1956 included 11 million wives
who woric outside the home. Over a half million of these
working wives were the only earners in the family. The
reasons are several: the husband may be a student; he may
be unable to work because of age or ill-health.
bililgr of earning for the family.

With the dearth of single women and of younger workers
of both sexes, women who are or have been married now constitute a fourth of all the workers in the country. A
large proportion of these women, however, have no children
under 6 years of age. The rate at which married women
(husband present), with preschool age children, take part
in the labor force has been relatively stable since 1953«
On the other hand, the proportion with no preschool age
children has continued to push upward almost without
interruption.
2/ Married women are not classified as heads of families if their husbands are living with the family group at
the time of the survey, even though the wife is the sole
bz^adwinner.

-

n

-

About half a million of the women workers who have childi^n under 6 are mothejrs vho are widowed, divorced, separated,
or whose husbands are employed away from home. Moreover, working mothers, particularly mothers of children too young for
school, are a large proportion of the women who are "in and
out" of the labor maricet or irtio are part-time workers.
The pattern of women's working lives furnishes the real
explanation for the relatively small proportion of mothers of
young children among the women who work.

PATTERN OF WOMEN'S WORKING LIVES
The most significant conclusions drawn from a recent
Intensive study 3/ of the working lives of wDmen are theset
Marriage and children are the two most important factors
tending to keep women out of the work force. When their children reach school age and family responsibilities are somewhat
a tendency
lessened, women are apt to seek reemployment
that increases as more women become widowed or divorced, many
of whom need to support themselves.

~

In greater detail the stu^y shows

First job

Most women who woric take their first job before
they are 20, usually when they are 16 to 18 years
old. The number \ftiO become workers drops sharply
after the age of 18. It is still substantial,
nevertheless, among the 20-to-29 year olds.
Marriage
Marriage and the birth of children are the reasons for leaving the work force of almost all
women who leave before they ai^ 35. Many have
already left by the time they are 19. Probably
because of the financial responsibilities of
young couples, most young women who marry continue
for a time with their jobsj for every woman under
35 who quits immediately on marriage, three wait
until their first child is bom.
5/ "Tables of Working Life for Women, 1950," by Stuart H,
Garf inkle. Bull. 120U, U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of
Labor Statistics. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C,
1957. 30 cents.

- 12 -

Women 20 to 2^ years old, because of the high
marriage and birth rates in that age span, have
the highest separation rate of all. The niimber
of those 2$ to 29 years old who leave for this
reason is, however, also very substantial.

Betum to work
The rate of return to work or taking a first
Job because childi^n have reached school age is
highest when women are 30 to 3U years old, but
nearly as high during the 35- to 39-year age span.
The peak year of return is about 10 years after
the peak year of leaving for marriage or motherhood
a rough indication of the average length
of time married women are out of the labor force.

—

The loss of the family head brings many other
woaen into or back into the labor force.
primarily
Separation, widowhood, divorce
widowhood -- cause growing numbers of women to
seek jobs in the ages after 30.

—

Reentries and some new entries into the work
force continue in sizable number up to the age
about 5 years after the end of the
of 50
period in which most women are able to have
children,

~

Betlrement

Marriage and the birth of children are not, of
course, the only reasons idiy women drop out of
the woric force. Separations associated with age, death
and other factors reach a sizable volume at about
age UO. The husband's improved earning power
may account for the withdrawal from the labor
force of some wcaaen in middle life. Others may
stop working after financial obligations, such
as a home mortgage, have been settled, or after
the children have finished college. A woman
triio has a husband with an income is more likely
than other women to drop out of the labor force.

- 13 -

Women tend to retire earlier than men do. Those
who are "secondary earners" (irtiose earnings supplement those of another member of the family) &re
sometimes under less economic pressure than are
men to keep on working. Women are also under greater age discrimination in employment than are men.
Nevertheless a very lairge proportion of the
women workers aged 55 to 60 (95 percert versus
98 percent of the men) stay on the Job.

CHANGING PATTERNS IN EMFLOIMENT

A basic change is taking place in the pattern of women's
employment, that is, in their distribution in the various
industries.
The proportion of the total population lAo woric has not
changed greatly over the last 50 years. The total of what
the workers pix)duce, per person in the total population,
however, has doubled
in spite of far shorter hours of woric
(and with more time available to young people for education,
to older people for retirement, to all people for recreation).
This has come about in large measure through inventions and
innovations that increased productivity spectacuJ^rly in the
goods -producing industries.

~

A. "gradual but steady shift in employment fron the goodsproducing sectors to the service -producing sectors of the
American economy" resulted, so that today more workers are
providing services than are providing goods
a milestone in
our standard of living.

~

The effect on women's employment has been marked. Of the
million increase between 1950 and 1956 in the number of
3
women workers, the service -producing industries acco\xnted for
about three-fourths.

OCCUPATIONS
The occupations in irtiich women are most likely to find
employment are those which already employ them in laiige numbers, or in which women ai^ a sizable proportion of the
workers. Women's numbers and proportions in the major occupation groups in 1956 were roughly as followsi

-lu

-

Women
employed
Clerical
- - Operative
Professional
^
Service
/
Private household)
ij
Sales
Farm /
"\
Managerial
Crafts
f
Labor (except fani)i

over 6 million
over 3 million

over 2 million
each
over 1 million
each

under 1 million
each

Proportion
of jobs
women held
2 in 3
1 in U
/ 1 in 3
^ 1 in 2
v Almost all
fl In k
1 1 in 6

1 in 8

or fewer

Individual occupations that spell opportunity for woaen
because they are women's exclusively, or almost exclusively, include
stenographer, typist, secretary, nurse, telephone operator, dressmaker. Others that hold forth piromise because they employ a great
'^any women as well as men are, for example, teacher, retail salesman, textile operative, manager in retail trade.
The economy's shift from gooda-production to service also has
affected individual Jobs. The shift has been accompanied by persistent shortages in health and social welfare occupations, for
example. Further, the low birth rate during the depression of the
19?0's resulted in a present shortage ol both young men and women
recruits to the woric force,

A consequence of the high birth rates since the war is the
very great need for school teachers. By 1965 the number of those
iriio are of elementaury and high-school age is expected to increase
by 12.5 million. The number of teacheirs who will be needed for
the new enrollments and to replace teachers who leave the profession is an estimated 1.9 million. More than ever, teaching is the
profession that offers women their greatest number of employment
opportunities
Science and engineering have developed at a ti*emendous pace,
are in world-wide competition, and are loud in their demands for
teachers, students and practitioners in these fields. And nearly
all economic activities require the services of the secretary,
typist, clerk, and bookkeeperj although 30 percent of all women
wtio work are already in the clerical field, many more are needed.

- 15 -

Mathematics, like science and engineering, has not in the past
eoployed a large proportion of ycmtn, tnit is an eiqpaniiing profession
and for that reason is affording opportunity ^o qvalified voman.
Llhrarians, nine-tenths of vhos are voaen, are also in nationvide dea&Bd. An estiaated 10, OCX) positions for professional lihrarLlhrarlans vho have specialized In science
ians vere imfllled in 19^6.
and technology are especially needed.

16 -

JOSS UT THE iraiS

Some fieMs, like the manager leil, in the past offered women
limited opporttmlty for advancement. The group of wcanen managers,
officials and proprietors, however, has more than doubled since
I9U0 and now (1957) numbers a million. Women with executive
skills are making news. Some have become presidents and vice
presidents of hanks or brokerage houses. Others are making a
mark in real estate and insurance.
In retail trade they have advanced in growing numbers along
Xhe road to buyer, for example, and to higher level positions.
Ihasbers have made news as fashion designers and even industrial
designers. They are executives, sometimes owners, of large
coiqpanies in airplane manufacture, television and radio, the
hotel, food, fuel and oil, and many other industries. An
interesting develojBient Is the growing number of 'husband and
wife t«aas" among executives in business and indiistry (and in
engineering, science, etc.).

Accounts of ether Jobs of special interest to women follow.
Still others may be found in the Women's Bureau "19^6 Handbook on
Vcatsn Workers."
ACCOURTAIfrS

Accountancy has become significant as a profession for women
in the last 20 years. The growing number of women accountants and
auditors (56, 000 in 1950) and the persistent worketr shortage in
this field indicate it has Immediate opportunities for wcmen and
that the long-range outlook is also good.
For many wonen, qualifying as certified public accountant
speeded up advancement. Others combined law with accountancy and
became business executives and consultants. Cost cosBultant, tax
adviser, public auditor are also among technical Jobs wooen
accountants are filliiag.

Miss A, for example, is marketing analyst
for a mid-western city's $250-million oil
Industry, Inclvuiing in her Job everthing from
analysis of her firm's OovenBaent contracts
to systematizing and keeping its price lists
up to date. She nevertheless finds time for
civic and women's organizational activities.

-

17 -

Miss B is an expert in tax analysis and tea legislation, member of the National Tax Association, and
first and only woman member of her city's Chamber
of Commerce tax committee.

ADVEOTISING AND PR(»«OTION

Ten years ago, $3.U billion were spent in advertising; in 1956,
close to $10 billion. Women had. a part in this spectacular rise.
They hold many vice -presidencies and other executive jobs in advertising
and its allied businesses:
Miss C, for example, starting as order clerk 12
years ago, today is vice president sind junior partner
"Advertising,"
of an important advertising agency.
she says, "is the spark plug that puts in motion
events that affect the lives of millions of people
and offers great opportunities for women.
Mrs. D is one of those appointed this year to
a vice-presidency and membership on the plans
board of a large advertising company.
In Aiogust 1955, a major synthetic fiber corporation made Mrs. E director of advertising and sales
promotion of its textile division.

Miss F spends more than a million a year as
advertising manager in canipaigns for the insurance
company that employs her. Her department's ads
win awaxds while she collects "Woman of the Year"
One of her spare-time activities, to
titles.
which she was elected in 1955 > is Chairman of the
Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.
The advertising indiistry is also one in which many women own and
manage their own biisinesses.
Mrs. G, who does, is also the first woman president of the outdoor advertising association in her
State

Miss H launched her own agency for advertising,
publicity, merchandising, and public relations in
the women's apparel and cosmetics field.
Miss I, school teacher, former advertising executive with large New York department stores, in 1955
the only woman on the board of directors of a chain
of department stores, now runs her own consulting
firm.

- 18 -

Two women own >rtiat is said to be the only allwoman technical advertising agency in America,
Operating on a percentage of sales basis, they
merchandise and advertise industrial machinery and
tools.

Mrs. J, 1956 Advertising Woman of the Year, is
founder and president of a company that pioneered
in three-dimensional visual communication. Hers
is a million dollar business in its 25th year of
finding new and different ways of making figures
and dry facts come alive.

The 1950 census reported that of the 117,183 experienced
workers employed in the advertising industry, about a third
(38,859) were women. The American Association of Advertising
Agencies, Inc., estimated that in 1955 there were some 20,000
specialists working in the country's 2,ii00 advertising agencies,
and that probably U0,000 more were in advertising departments of
retailers, manufacturers, newspapers, magazines, broadcasting stations and so on. About U,000 new people a year are needed
perhaps half of them experienced persons from other industries,
half with relatively little experience. Since other branches of
the industry need about twice as many new people as advertising
agencies themselves, thei^e are probably jobs for sizable numbers
of women each year.

—

Among the specialists hired in advertising are writers,
artists, and merchandising experts; research workers, media analysts,
administrators; and people who know the graphic arts, radio and
television production.

ABMED SERVICES

—

A New and Important Career Area for Women

Over 21;, 000 women are (1956) in the four branches of the
Armed Services
8,U00 in the Arn^r, 5,925 in the Navy, 1,707 in
the Marines, and 8,652 in the Air Force.

—

The Army Nurse Corps, formally established in 1901, is the
oldest of the women's military services. Today nurses make up about
a fourth of the servicewomen. All nurses are commissioned. They,
like other women in the services, may hold ranks as high as colonel
in the Air Force and Army, and captain in the Navy.
The remaining 17,5i;0 (about three-fourths) of the servicewomen function as a trained nucleus that can be quickly expanded
in event of war. They provide the material for continuing

-

19 -

analysis of what jobs women can do efficiently and safely in the
Armed Services. (The law excludes them from combat service.)

Their assignment may be to:

—

which provides the machinery
for the Services organization; emd Personnel ,
with its dtjal responsibility, to the Services
and to the individiial;
Af^wl^nistration

'

—

cutting across all departMachine accounting
ments of each Service;

—

Finance
where servicewomen help keep books
trajisactions involving billions;
on

Coimmmicat ions
the Services;

—

the nerve centers of each of

—

where women function as
Air operations support
weather observers, forecasters, equipment operators,
control tower operators, dispatchers, aircraft control and warning operators, parachute riggers; or

—

in which they
Medical emd dental specialization
serve as pharmacists, occujiational find physical
therapists, dental, X-ray, neuropsychiatric technicians, and so on.

Less ftrequently women are assigned to other specialties. Women
with a gift for language and for communicating news clearly amd
simply by voice, pen, or picture may be selected for careers in the
information activities of the Services. Women gifted in theater and
allied arts may be obsorbed in recreation activities, the motorTnlnded in transportation.
Some, exceptionally acute in observation
and analysis or with facility in languages, may find themselves in
Intelligence.
euay Service's sui)erspecial area

—

In September 1956, a new program was initiated. Women henceforth could compete in the Air Force ROTC at 10 universities across
the Nation. Those successful will be eligible for commissions as
second lieutenants in the Air ^orce Reserve.
In October 1956, a woman for the first time in history became a
member of the National G\iard.

- 20 -

RELIGIOUS VORK

Most woven students of religion prepare, not for the Ministry,
but for religious vork as educators, missionaries, axtd adbslnistrators.
Nearly 29,000 vere in such posts In 1930, outnuxbering aea
by considerably more thsin 2 to 1.
Church authorities are taking steps to increase the number of
vamen preparing for religious vocations, particularly for such
services as medicine, nursing, euid teaching, at home and abroad.
More workers sire needed, not only becaitse of the great gain in
religious Interest and church menibershlp, but because our population growth will require greatly increased church facilities.

—

One woman was ordained a minister in 18^3
the first woman
to be ordained In the United States. Today a number of Isirge
denominations ordain women as ministers, two others have recently
agreed to wosien's ordination, and several others are debating the
issue.

At the time of the 1930 census, almost 7^000 women {k percent
of the total) reported themselves as clergymen. However, not all
of theae women hold pastorates.
Among more than k thousand theology students earning first
professional ministerial degrees in 1955-56, only about 1.^ percent
were women. Usually 3 additional years of graduaxe or seminary
work are required to qualify for the ministry. It is likely that
the Increasingly liberal attitude of the churches will encourage
more women to seek the necessary education. When the Divinity
School in 195*^ became Harvard's latest graduate school to admit
women as candidates for degrees, nine women promptly applied for
admission.
HURSES

—

Registered Hurses
Some 70,000 additional qualified women
could have found Jobs as registered nurses in 1956. Second only
to teaching in the number of women it eaqploys (an estimated
1+30,000 in 1956), this profession, like teaching, is in critical
shortage
.

The ray of hope on the situation is that the number of nurses
is increasing slightly faster than is the number of vacancies and

—

new positions
on all levels except the administrative and supervisory. The 1956 enrollment in State -approved schools of professional nursing was 110,000
the highest in 10 years.

—

-

21 -

Two-fifths of the registered nvirses in the coimtry in 1951
vere "retired" (86 percent to marriage) or were in fields other
than mirsing. Indications are, however, that growing numbers
of married women are returning to the profession when their chilIn any event, as long as the "inactive" nurses
dren are grown.
maintain their State registrations, they are a potential eotirce
of help in time of emergency.

Well over three-fifths of the "active" registered nurses in
1956 were employed in health service institutions or were
teaching the new recruits to nursing- Of the others, about half
were niirsing private patients; about half were in doctors' and
dentists' offices, public health, and industrial nursing.

—

Several experiments are
Helping Lessen the Nurse Shortage .
being tried to help lessen morse shortages, egpecial Ty among administrative and teaching personnel. One plan, for example, looks to
freeing nurses from certain administrative duties to give them more
time for care of patients. A Conmonwealth Fund grant to the
National League for Nursing provides fellowships for training in
administration and education for graduate n\irses. Yale Italversity
is discontinuing its basic training in nursing to concentrate on
preparing gradrmte nurses for teaching, administration, and other
positions of leadership.

A recent development is the signing on August 2, 1956, by
President Eisenhower of the Health Amendments Act of 1956. the
bill authorizes, among other things, grants to nvcrsing Bctaools
for advanced trainlnig of profesabout $2 million the first year
sional nvirses for teaching or siipervisory work. It eiSBuree positive
action to "help solve fundamental problems behind the Nation's
critical shortage of ntirses," said the president of the American
Nurses' Association.

—

—

Nurses themselves are helping to overccme the shortage. They
realize that the number of persons drawn to a career in a particular profession is related to that profession's status and its
value to the public. Thro\agh their State nxirses associations
they have established statewide minimum standards for wages, hours
and fringe benefits. November 1955 saw standards set for private
duty nurses in U5 States and for general duty nurses in 37- In
1956, the standard 8-hour basic fee for private duty nxnrses, for
example, ranged from $10 in three States to $l6 in two States and
the District of Columbia. Most conaoon rate was $lU in iB States.

PUBLIC

-

22 -

—

Practical Hurses
The practical nxorses story is one of
present and growing opportimities for both yoimg and mature
wc»en, for the demand for practical nurses is great. Their
number has been growing faster than that of the registered
nurses, to almost 66,000 in 1955
an 8 percent increase
over 1951^.
.

'

—

Generally self -trained in the past, practical nurses for
the most part now are graduates of approved practical nurse
training schools. All but two States (Colorado and West
Virginia) and the District of Colxaabia license practical nxjJrsek,
generally on the basis of graduation by an approved school.
The State approved schools have wajced in number.
In 1955
admissions Increased by over a fourth, graduation by .over a
third. Only k percent of the graduates were men; 23 percent
were nonwhite.

To help meet the uufillad seed fnr practical nurses
(and Indirectly to help aoate the snortage of registered nurses,
some of whose "service" duties can be assigned to practical
nurses), the Health Amendments Act of 1956 authorizes $5 million
anatially for 5 years for practical nxirse training.
PEYSICIAfiS ABD SURGEOIS

Since doctors were few and far between in firontier days,
healing and midwifery were women's province. The profession of
medicine that grei^ with the new United States was primarily men's
dOB&lB.
Uoa&n, however, continued to exercise healing skills
acquired from their mothers aM to serve as midwlves.

By 1950, physicians and surgeons included close to 12,000
women
6 percent of the total. That percentage has not varied
great l;y over several decades.

—

Although the number of women doctors has not grown remarkably
over the years, the number of women supportive workers in the
medical field
nurses and Biedical and X-ray technicians, for
exaaqple
has.
The quality of women physicians, however, ,has
been high. They have made outstanding records in all fields of
medicine. They are among those who were pioneers and who are now
leading in the development of public health seirvlces.

—

—

—
—

Education wai Career
There are some who hold a medical
education wasted on women
they marry and fail to practice. How
much do facts back up this belief? A 19^+5 study of l,2i«0 women
.

23 -

graduated from seven large Eastern medical schools produced these
figures: 82 percent of the married women went into and remained
in full-time practice, 90 percent engaged in some form of medical
activity. A preliminary report on a study of women graduated
frcmi medical schools between 1925 and 19^ also found that most
married women remain active in the medical field, at least on a
part-time hasis, even during the years they are raising children.
Does the fact that she is a woman hamper a doctor's career?
In a report published Axigust 1955 three-fourths of 12k medical
alumnae of Barnard College said "no".
The advice of the Barnard alumnae to a girl considering a
medical career was threefold.
If she plans to have a home and
family, she must fact the fact that compromises must be made,
which in most cases means part-time practice while children axe
growing up. She must make an intelligent choice of her llfetljwe
companion (which for 60 percent of the married women in the group
meant a doctor as husband). In pre-medical school she should take
liberal arts courses since here is her "last chance" to study in
nonscientiflc fields.
In any case, women are about 5 percent of the students who
enter nedlcal school each year. Indications are that, in the
country as a whole, a fractionally larger proixjrtion of the women
than of the men applicants are accepted for the freshman class.
Si)ecialization rather than general practice appears to be
preferred by many wosnen doctors. Areas specialized in, according
to several studies of women doctors graduated from the University
of Illinois are, in order of preference: psychiatry, pediatrics.
Internal medicine, anesthesia, dermatology, ophthalmology, sxargery,
pathology, roentgenology.

UNUSUAL JOBS

World War II cured via of any siirprise at finding women in the
most vualikely Jobs. The end of the War and the return of the
servicemen ended the urgent need for large numbers of women In
some of them. The 1950 Census nevertheless foiznd at least a
few women In every one of the kk6 occupations it lists.
Several

woaaien

in unusvial Jobs recently made news:

Mrs. K is a consultant on city planning
and Industrial location and develojoient whose
work taJtes her all over the Iftiited States.
She recently made an industrial stvidy of
Maryland suburbs of the District of Columbia

- 2i^ -

for the Maryland-lational Capital Park and
Planning ConralBBlon.
Mrs. L's specialty Is Traylng and selllag
heating equlpasnt and arranging for Its
Installation. When her husband organized
the company, Mrs. L kept books, helped canvass, and later aecoinpanled him on inspeetioms.
On his death she found herself In charge and
has successfully OTereane her customers' feeling that the basement Is aan's domain and that
roofing, air conditioning, coamerclal boilers,
conversion burners, incinerators, hot vater
tanks Hust be discussed vlth a ana.

Kiss 0, 31 years old, test driver for an
auto eorapeuay, tras loauied to the Eational
Safety Council to test winter driving hasards.
She took flying lessons at 11, got her license
at 16, began teaching flying at I8, was a stunt
pilot at 19, and von the vorld's chaa^lonship
for stunt flying 3 years in succession. In
19^9 she toured Great Britain at the invitation of the Royal Air FOrce. Learning to drive
k years after learning to fly, she set a
ational Speed Week record and holds the
Aaerioan Aut<»obile Association's record for
vc»en.

Miss P bought and dismantled a crashed A9-6
and nov deals in aircraft parts on a large scale,
mostly vlth foreign governments. The flm, of
vhich she is secretary-treasurer, starting In a
small dovntovn office vlth parts fzom her dismantled plane, nov is housed In a large modem
steel-and^concrete building of an International
airport.

Miss Q Is the district ^ittomey of an Oregon
City.

Mrs. R, geologist, is the first voman to
organize and preside over a technical symposium
for the Ajnerlcan Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers. She has also been
elected to the Executive Connlttee of the Institute's Industrial Mineral Division. She and her
hiisband, also a geologist, have explored, surveyed

25

and mapped mineral deposits in the United States
and Cajiada, tested ore-treating processes in
mills and laboratories, emd acted as consiiltants
to GoTemment and private organizations.
Mrs- S, the president-elect of a labor tinion
local representing clerical and technical workers,
is the first woman ever elected to sit in on inrportant steel labor-management negotiations.
Lt. Comdr. T is the first woman in the history
of the Navy to serve as law officer at general
courts martial.

-

26 -

WOMEN IN PUBLIC SERVICE

WCMEN IN POLITICS

—

—

It is a long span
80 years
between 1&J2 vhen a national
party's platform first carried a plank in favor of expanding women
(practically nonexistent) political opportunities, and 1952 when
women were credited "by some sottrces with electing a president.

Women's vote could he decisive. Among civilians of voting
age in November 1956, women were estimated to outnumber men by
k.6 million. Men in the Armed Forces accounted for nearly half
the difference.

And women are using their suffrage. In 19^ about 5>000,CXX)
more men than women voted but in 1952 only about 6,000 more. In
the course of 10 presidential elections women have achieved a
power at the polls equal to that of men, whose voting history covers
U3 presidential elections. Women's voting power, real and potential
has earned them the healthy respect of the political parties.
Role in the Political Parties

Recognition of women's growing responsibilities in political
affairs is vividly illustrated by their role in National, State,
ana local party orgsuiization, aond by the part they have taken in
successive party conventions.
In 1892 women made their first official appearance at a nffi.Jor
party's national convention: two were seated as alternates. In
1900 each major party convention had one woman delegate. An official position at a convention was attained for the first time in
1920.
By 1956, the two major party conventions included 1,228
women:
503 delegates, 725 alternates. A total of I36 women served
on major committees: the Permanent Organization, Credentials, Rviles
ajid Order of Business, euad Platform and Resolutions Casaittees.
Some women served as officers of those ccaanittees . A woman, for
the first time, was parliamentarian of her convention, one treasurer,
another secretary. A total of 27 women addressed thelwo conventions.
In the permanent organizations of both major parties, after
long, patient effort, the "5O-5O" principle had became commonly
accepted practice: for every committeeman, a ccMmnittee wcanan,
for every chairman, a vice-chairman of the opposite sex (though
the vice-chairmanship usually still falls to a woman).

-

27 -

As ntmiber-one womaji in national party organization, directing all women's activities, one of the National Committees has a
vice-chairman ; the other has an assistant chairman, who is also
the first woman appointed to the policy post of Director of
Special Activities. Press, radio and television gave ample evidence in 1955 and 1956 of the regard in which these women and the
women whose activities they direct are held.
In addition to the hundreds of tho-usands of women (the great
majority unsalaried) who work fairly continuously within the
National, Sta+e, and local party organizations, there are aJ.so
those who work in election years. Were these millions of women
volunteers suddenly to drop out, hoth the directors of women's
activities of the National Committees have said, it woiild be
di6astro\xB for the campaigns.

Women are also a political force through their membership
activities in nonpolitical organizations. Women's clubs are
respected, by both politicians and legislators. These clubs
are •puibliclied, and represent votes. A noted woman politician
hab said that, working in the PTA for better schools, women may
have made their deepest Impact on American politics so far.
ajad

Women in Elective and Appointive Posts

A woman was candidate for the presidency in l8Qk, but not of
a major jwlitical party. Both major parties have placed women In
nomination for the vice presidency.

—

The first womem to serve In Congreee was
In Congress .
elected in 191^by Montaiia,
where women had voted since 1869.
In the 195^ election, 63 women were candidates for Congress,
were elected.
a record nuidjer
27 reached the polls, and I7
All who were Incumbents were candidates in the November 1956
election, save the Senator from Maine, whose term does not expire
until i960, and the Representative from Pennsylvania, who died In
office November 1955- All but two of the incumbents who were
candidates were returned to the House.

—

—

k/ Montana was the first of the States or Territories to
grant women permanent suffrage. New Jersey in 1776 declared "all
inhabitants of this colony of full age who are worth 50 Pounds of
Proclamation money" entitled to vote in the general elections, but
a General Assembly in 1807 legislated that only free white men
could vote.

-

28

-

All told, 55 women from 29 States and one Territory were
candidates in 1956. Thirty-one (including one candidate for the
Senate) from 20 States and one Territory reached the November
polls.
Fifteen women from l^i States were elected to the House
2 of them for their first term.
Including the one Senator, there
are now l6 women in Congress.

—

—

Federal Government Appointees
The movement to appoint women
to top policy-making or administrative posts in the Federal Government which began in the 1930 's (with the naming of women as:
Secretary of Labor; as Treasurer of the United States; to a Foreign
Ministry; and to an Ambassadorship) is now well under way.
.

Between January 1953 and July 1957 the President and his cabinet officials conferred I3I importajit Departmental and Commission
posts on women (11 of which represented reappointments or reassignments). Their responsibilities were concerned with the United
Nations, foreign service, health, education, civil defense, social
welfare, foreign technical assistance, fiscal matters, housing,
postal operations, customs, legal affairs, transportation, patents,
enrployment, and parole problems.
Posts held for the first time by a woman Included among others,
the following: Secretary of the new Department of Health, Education,
and Welfare; Ambassador to Italy; Ambassador to Switzerland (the
first woman career diplomat to be elevated to an Ambassadorship)
Deputy Administrator of the Federal Civil Defense Administration;
Assistant to the Director of the Foreign Operations Administration
(now the International Cooperation Administration); Assistant
Commissioner, U. S. Patent Office; Assistant to the Secretary of
Labor, Deinity Assistant Secretary of Labor, Director of Transportation Research in the Post Office Department.

More recently (January 1957) a woman was appointed
to the chairmanship of the Subversive Activities
Control Board. In March, a woman for the first
time was appointed to President Eisenhower's
staff, to serve as Associate Press Secretary.
The former Ambassador to Switzerland in April was
appointed Ambassador to Norway. In June, a woman
who had held several Civil Defense posts became
Deputy United States Commissioner General for the
1958 World's Fair to be held in Brussels, Belgium.
Statewide Elective Posts ,—Thirty-eight women are serving in
statewide elective positions in 21 States in 1957. They are in
such posts as Secretary of State (6), Treasurer (2), Auditor (U),
Superintendent of Public Instruction {h) , Secretary of Internal
Affairs (l), and others.

-

29 -

—

The number of women elected to State and
state Legislatures
Territorial legislatures has reached aji all-time high
321
in
(an increase of 23 over 1956 ajid a thoiisand percent increase
1957
over 1920 when 29 women were elected)
Thirty-three women were
elected State Senators, 288 to the State House or Assembly. Only
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklaseven States
Wisconsin elected no woman law maker. New Hampshire
home, and
leads with 53 women in the legislature, followed by Vermont (50),
and Connecticut {h6)
.

—

—

.

—

—

Women have made marked gains in
State Appointive Positions .
the last few years in appointments (by Governors and key departmental officials) to top posts in State and Territorial Governments.
The range in their responsibilities is wide. They hold posts in
Governors' cabinets, and as assistants and deputies to departmental
heads. They are members of commissions dealing with public utilities,
employment security, fiscal affairs, education, sind public personnel.
They are on State Boards concerned with the business and welfaure of
the State.
Some of the jobs these women hold that have not usually been
held by women include Motor Vehicle Commissioner in Florida; Firemen's Pension Commissioner in Texas; Director of the Bureau of
Migration and Employment in Puerto Rico; Assistant Secretary of
Commerce and Development in Idaho; Director of Parks in Kentucky.

—

County Government
As county officials women have gained
lH,000 women held elective and appointive posiwide acceptance:
tions in the governments of all 3,072 coimties of the k8 States in 1956
(the 1957 roster is not yet available). There is no office in
county government which has not been held somewhere at some time by
a woiaan* Women have made their greatest gains in recent years in such
posts as slerkj treasurer, recorder, clerk of the court, board and
commission member, and in positions with child welfare eind community
betterment agencies.
In 1957 women hold such unusual county posts
as county coimaissioner, coroner, constable, and sheriff.
.

Municipal Government

.

—

About 10,000 women held municipal offices

About
in 1956 which marks significant progress during recent years.
50 were mayors or city managers, chiefly of small towns in California,
Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey,
Ohio, Oregon, Virginia.
One was mayor. of a major United States city,
Barberton, Ohio. City manager of the oldest city under the American
flag
San Jvian, Puerto Rico
was also a woman who had been in the
post since 19^^.

—

—

- 30 -

The Nation's first woman mayor won that distinction
in 1887. A temperance leader, she was the intended
victim of several nontemperance men, who drew up a
slate headed by her, with the intent of embarrassing
her by a humiliatingly low vote. She won and became
nationally famous. Men the country round predicted
the collapse of civilization. Not even her town,
Argonia, Kans. collapsed. Her recipe for getting
along with her all -male council, she says, was simple
"First thing I did was to make them think they were
the finest men on earth. Never had any trouble after
that."
The woBuoi mayor of Tyro, Kans., had no trouble with
councilmen either. They were all women, elected in
1953 and again, with the mayor, in 1955.

Another woman mayor also won national political fame
lAen she spearheaded an all -woman ticket that captured control of Washington, Va. , in 1950. She and
her council in 1956 were in their third successive
term.

—

"Banning a city is just like running a household
on a much larger scale," according to the woman
mayor of Bed Bank, N. J., "a housewife attends to
her family's health, safety, food, and so forth.
So a mayor must see to the needs of a city." The
accuracy of her judgment is attested to by the fact
that the Governor has now made her one of the three
CGomissioners on the New Jersey Highway Authority.

Next to mayor, the most important municipal posts held by women
are assisted to the mayor, president of the City Common Council, member of the council, member of the Board of Aldermen. In smaller
cities, wonen have held the city clerkship more often than any other
city office, and the office of treasurer also is popular among women
who seek public office. In lairger cities wooien hold such offices as
health conmissioner, coamissioner of correction, police and safety
coaiDBissioner, housing director, assessor, and, of course, many serve
on boards of education. In Pleasant Valley, N. I., a woman was
selected by the town board in August 1956, to serve as highway superintendent. In Fayetteville, Azic., a woman holds (1957) the position of
police chief*

—

Judiciary . ^About 175 wraien were Judges of Federal, State, county,
and city courts in 1955
* significant attainment. This figure
does not include women justices of the peace.

—

- 31 -

Several wosien are (1957) Judges in Federal coorte*

A vonan is one of six judges of the Sixth Circuit
(Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee) of the U. S.
Court of Appeals; she holds the highest Judicial
post ever held by a vonan in the United States.
(Judges of this court receive salaries of ^25,500.)

—

Another woaian is a judge of the U. S. District
Courts
one of 15 Judges for the District of
Coltuabia, at a salary of $22,500.

—

In California, a woman is an Associate Justice
of the Tax Court of the United States.

A woman was appointed a Judge of the U. S. Custoas
Court in June 1955} the second woaan to hold this
post, at a salary of $22,500.
Women were Judges of State Courts in Arlsona, Alabaaa, California,
Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas
in 1956. A considerable muBber are county Judges. The aost notable
increase in nuBiber
to at least 36 •— is aaohg wonen serving as
municipal court Judges.

—

HCMEN IN GOVEBNMENT CAREER SERVICE
It required almost 7 million persons to carry out all government functions
Federal, State, county, and local
in 1955«
Hov many of those employed by State, county, and local governments
were women is unddterminedi a very lai*ge proportion were teachers and
nurses. The Federal Government, as of December 31f 1956, eiq)loyed
some 2 Biillion fall-time workers in the continental United States.
Of these, hAlf a million workers were women.

—

—

—

Federal Government Service . The number and range of women's
opportunities in the Federal service have grown materially, as
Government services have responded to the ne^ds of am expanding
economy and increased defense responsibilities. Increasing numbers
of women are acquiring the necessary education, training, and experience to achieve a full-tine career in the service. Between 1939
and 195U, their numbers increased 200 percent, those of men only 120
percent. Since 191^7, however, in spite of considerable fluctuation
in numbers, women's proportion of all Federal workers
white-collar
and blue-collar
has remained fairly constants one-fourth, or
Just under one-fourth.

—

~

- 32 -

—

White Collar Workers . Over four-fifths (UiOjOOO) of the women
in the Federal Seirvice in 19Sh \iere white-collar workers. Their
ratio among all white-collar workers was one woman to two men.
One woman white-collar worker out of five worked in the Washington area, the rest in regional offices and military establishments throughout the country. Military establishments, in fact,
employed over half the women in white-collar jobs. Every Federal
agency, however, employs women.

Woman are found in three-fourths of the major occupations listed
by the United States Civil Service Commission. As in private industry, they find their greatest number of opportunities in one general
fields B$ out of 100 are in clerical or related work. Fifteen in
100 are in other fields, chiefly semiprofessional and professional;
their progress (in terras of nvimbers and percentage of total employed)
is most maiiced among accountants, mathematicians, statisticians and
economists; medical technicians, nurses, and chemists; draftsmen, legal
documents examiners, editors, and information specialists.

—

jobs which bring
Some women were in high administrative posts
prestige and great responsibility. Several of these positions were
Bientioned above in connection with women in appointive posts; a
considerable number of women administrators, in addition, are in the
career service. Three fields offer them their best opportunities
general administration, personnel administration; and especially,
the administration of social programs such as social security, child
welfare, public assistance, vocational rehabilitation.

Salaries in the Federal white-collar service currently range
from a starting rate of $2,690 in grade 1 to |16,000 in grade 18,
(Appointments to positions and salaries above this grade are at the
discretion of the President and Congress.) Women's median grade in
195U was grade h, salary $3,175 to |3,655 (currently, $3,i»l5 to
$3j925). The miniamra classification for most administrative or
executive posts is grade 12, for which the current salary range is
$7,570 to 18,645.

Wgaen Overseas .—The above account includes the women in the
U, S. Foreign Service who are working in the State Department in
who are
over 2,000
Washington, but not the great majority
attached to €he 270 diplomatic posts abroad (which include 77 Embassies and 3 Legations). Women have made definite progress in these
foreign assignments. Their posts range from one as Ambassador to
over 595 in the Foreign Service Officer classification and to about
1,588 in clerical occupations. Women are numbered also among those
who are sent abroad from other agencies, under the International
Cooperation Administration, as technicians and consultants.

—

—

- 33 -

WOMEN'S ECONOMIC STSEMGTH

The American econcxny is said to hare prodaced a nev kind of
enanclpated voman. Sane even say that women dominate the economythrough their earnings and income, holdings of stock and life
Insurance, and control over cons\mer paixhases* What are the facts?

EAENINGS
Vlhether man or woman, a worker's pay varies with his or her
training, experience, and effectiveness, with the skill required by
the job, and sometimes with mazicet conditions, or locality, or the
season of the year.

Women's average earnings, for all that, are fairly consistently lower than those of men. Why? In the first instance, 29
percent of the women who held Jobs at some time during 1955> but
only 10 percent of the men, worked part-time, or a short schedule
(under 35 hours a week).
Farther, much larger proportions of women than of men are in
traditionally lower paying occupations, some of which require
little skill or training. On the other hand, some Jobs requiring
long years of specialized training offer sufficient satisfaction
to attract women regardless of the level of compensation.

Length of service on the Job is another factor making for
differences in pay rates. Mary women work only a few years, or
drop out of the labor force for a period devoted to raising
children, and so lack the Job-seniority needed to qualify for
advancement.
However, even when women work side by side with men, on Jobs
that have the same or similar duties, they are not always paid
at the same rate. Through legislation, through collective bargaining, through public education, men and women are endeavoring to
eliminate these inequitable pay differentials.

INCOME

—

Our U3 million families
i.e., households of two or more
related persons
had more income in 1955 from earnings and other
sources, than ever before. In fact they had, on the average,
$U,UOO, irfiich is 6 percent over the previous year.

—

-3U

-

For about two-fifths of the families, the amount came to
$5,000 or more. Another two-fifths were in the $2,000-15,000
bracket. One-fifth had incomes under $2,000.
In 1955, the average income of the 9.8 million husband-wife
families in which both spouses worked was $1,296 higher than the
average of the 27.U million husband-wife families in lAich the
wives did not work.

Education is an important factor in raising the level of
family income. The Amezdcan Association of University Women stated
in June 1956 that the average income of their members' families
is $6,750.
including the wife's income if she is employed

—

—

Just about half the women in the United States reported incomes for 1955* The average amoxint was $1,116. This was $kS
less than in 195U. Men increased their average income during the
year by $155, to a total of $3,35U.

Since World War II, women's average income has grown by 2I4.
percent, men's by 85 percent. Wage rates went up sharply for
both men and women daring this postwar period. The effect on
women's income has been partly offset by the proportion of married women among the workers, many of iriiom work only part of the
year. In 1955, in particular, large numbers became workers after
the middle of the year when Job opportunities became especially
good.
The difference in income of men and women is much less when
only those who work full time the year round are taken into
account. For example, among those who worked 50 to 52 weeks, men
averaged $U,2U6, and women about two-thirds of that amount

—

$2,73ii.

Again the significance of education and training, and the
type of job they prepare one for, is revealed. Women year-round,
full-time professional workers averaged $3, 559 J clerical woAers,
$3,lC9j nonfarm managers, $2,851; operatives, $2,532j service
(not including private household) workers, $1,767.

STOCKHOLDINGS
In 1956 for the first time women stockholders outnumbered men
by U,U55,000 to U, 175, 000, Within 3 years their
stockholders
number had grown kO percent, due in part perhaps to the mid-1951i
tax law under which a husband and wife each may exclude from taxable income the first $50 of dividends.

~

-35-

Housewives and non-employed women are a third of all adult
shareowners and the largest "occupation group" in the stock market.
They make up almost two-thirds of all women shareholders. To what
extent the stock's disposal is determined by a male family member
is unknown.
Moreover, though women are the majority of shareowners, men
2,1 billion shares of common and
own the majority of shares
preferred stock as against women's 1.7 billion shares.

—

Women's ownership of stock, in any case, appears to be considerably greater than their control of it. Even in companies in
which the majority of shares are held by women, relatively few as
yet are executives and board members. The head of the Federation
of Women Shareholders in American Business, Inc., in 1955 believed
it is as important to use one's corporate suffrage as it is to use
one's political suffrage. The woman president of a major fabric
firm calls attention to the problems arising out of the increasing
separation between management and ownership. She attributes these
in large measure to "the very fact that women, in the past, passively
delegated authority sc far aa their huge ownership in industry is
concerned."
However, women are taking greater interest in helping manage
the wealth in stocks and bonds held in their names. Since 19U7
the Federation of Women Shareholders had been crusading for women
on corporation boards. It is the Federation's belief that the
companies, in the interest of consumers, need a balanced viewpoint
In 1957 several large corporations
at the top policy level.
including ?'adio, television, railroad, business machine, foods,
each had a woman on their boards of directors.
banking and aircraft

—

—

November 1956 marked a particularly significant develoiment.
A woman became president and board chairman of a raember-fim of
the New York Stock Exchange.

LIFE INSURANCE
Since more men than women ar« bread winners, men carry more
life insurance than women do. A majority of the women, however
carried life insurance in 1955. At the close
three out of five
of 1956, insurance on the lives of women had passed $60 billion.
This represented about 15 percent of all life insurance in force
in the United States, exclusive of credit life insurance.

—

Three-fifths of all life insurance death benefits go to
roughly |1.35 billion in 1955. Women were 7.7 million
widows
of the 10 million widowed persons in the country in 1956.

—

—

-36

-

WOMEN'S OBGANIZ/LTIONS

In its wcanen's associations, societies, clubs, the United
States has a civic force that is unique among nations. These
organizations have been summed upj They deal with educational,
health, and recreational needs of their comiminitiesj with child
welfare, juvenile delinquency, housing shortages, consxuaers'
concerns; with citizenship and politics, legislation, and government administration at all levels j economic issues and foreign
affairsj the building of libraries and art galleries, endowments
to colleges and universities, scholarships and fellowships to
vaaexi; with the spiritual development of young people, greater
opportunity for women to work in the church, better relations
among different racial, nationality and religious groups. Women's
organized initially
business, professional, and union groups
fields of employment
to advance women's status in particular"
are among the leaders in many of these civic activities.

—

~

Aside fi*oa the concrete results achieved by women's associations, various sign posts point to their significant role in the
national lifes

A large Eastern women's college has established
a Women's Archives, isaportant sections of which are
devoted to women's organizations.

Another women's college has set up a reference
file, available to the public, of detailed material
devoted exclusively to the history, goals, and activities of 300 women's organizations.
The women of each major political party are
organized nationally, by State, and locally, and
their activities are directed by a woman officer of
the national party organization.

National women's organizations maintain registered lobbyists and legislative representatives in
Washington.
The National Association of Manufacturers has
set up a women's division whose task it is to enlist
the support of women's organizations on natters of
concern to the N.A.H.

- 37 -

As a service to their 175*000 women members the
International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft
and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
in 1956 made what was formerly the Women's Bureau
(in the Fair Practices department) into the Women's
Department with increased staff.

The World Almanac lists 6OO women's organizations, with memberships totalling over 20 million. Not all associations to which
the Almanac sent its questionnaire replied, however, and not all irtio
replied gave membership figures. Nor does the list include, for
example, all women's church, professional, union, political or civic
organizations, nor purely local organizations in the United States.
Neither are all women's associations identifiable as such. Total
membership in all women's organizations is certainly much greater
than 20 million. Even 30 million memberships may be too low an
estimate. (How many individual women hold memberships in one or
several organizations has not been estimated.)
The Women's Bureau "1956 Handbook on Women Woricers" lists
women's national organizations, their purpose, and, where available,
membership.

Women in Unions
Women members of national and international labor unions number 3.U million according to the latest (1956) estimate of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Their membership is greatest in unions in the needle trades,
service industries, electrical-goods manufacturing, communications,
where, in fact, women are most or a large
textile manufacturing
proportion of the members. Women's membership is also great in
like the steel and auto
unions in some other large industries
though here their proportion of all workers and of
industries
union members is small,

—

—

—

A number of the unions in which women's membership is high
have women among their elected officers. Some have at least one
woman vice president who is, customarily, a member of the executive
board. Several unions have two or more women vice presidents. 1
number of women are also secretaries and treasurers of national
and international luiions, but the likelihood of their holding elective posts is greater at the State and local levels.

- 38 -

Many women have been appointed to staff positions by the AFLCIO, and by the national and international unions and their
regional, State and local affiliates. Women are, for example,
many of the education, research, and social insurance directors.
They are often editors of union publications and chiefs of women's
departments. Many unions are active in community service work,
and in this women members have a large share.

- 39 -

LEGAL STATUS

y

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS
Legal standards for conditions under vrfiich women work exist
in all US States, the District of Col\imbia, Alaska, Hawaii, and
Puerto RLco. These standards relate to wages, hours, industrial
homework, dangerous or unhealthfiil work, employment before and
after childbirth, and health, safety and sanitation facilities
in plants. Not all States set legal standards for all these
working conditions, and the standards vary widely from one State
to another.

Minimum Wage
Nationally, the most important minimum wage event was the
amendment in 1955 of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Approximately 21; million workers are covered by this act (also known as
the Federal Wage and Hour Law). Under the new amendment, the
minimum for a workweek of UO hours or less became $1 an hour,
effective March 1, 1956. The Department of Labor estimated that
2 million workers, some three-fourths of whom were in factories
and the majority of whom were women, would be entitled to pay
increases under the new minimum. In March 1957, Secretary of Labor
James P. Mitchell recommended to Congress that the $1 an hour minimum be extended to another 2\ million wo rice rs, most of them in
retail trades j but Congress adjourned without taking any final action.
The Fair Labor Standards Act sets basic wage and hour standards for workers, both men and women, in manufacturing communications, and other interstate industries. The law discourages
unduly long hours by providing that time beyond UO hours a week
must be paid for at time-and-a-half the worker's regular rate.

Amending the Federal Wage and Hour law stimulated State
activity in establishing new minimum wage rates for the intrastate trade and service occupations in iriiich large numbers of
women workers earn their livelihood.

^

Only highlights and some recent legislation are presented
here. Detailed information is available in other Women's Bureau
publications.

-liO -

A particularly significant event occurred when, for the
first time, the highest court of any State ruled on the right of
a State Labor Commissioner to establish overtime requirements,
similar to those in the Fair Labor Standards Act, through wage
board procedure under a State minimum-wage law. In Lane vs.
Holderman , the New Jersey Supreme Court, on February Uj 1957,
upheld the validity of the revised New Jersey Laundry Wage Orderj
the Court iniled favorably on the question of the Commissioner's
authority to establish overtime pay, based on the employee's
regular rate, after UO hours of work. Wage order provisions for
restaurant and mercantile occupations subsequently were upheld
(by Supreme Court and Superior Court, respectively).

—

—

Three States
Idaho, New Mexico, Wyoming
enacted,
their first minimum-wage lavs in 1955, and Vermont enacted one
in 1957; several other laws were amended (see list below).
The jurisdictions which have such laws now nvunber 3k (30 States,
the District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto SLco). Early
State minimum-wage legislation was designed for the protection of
women and minors; in over a third of the jurisdictions, the law
now also applies to men.

Types of minimum-wage laws are three:

One provides a

"statutory*' rate, that is, the rate is set by the legislature.
The second likewise sets a statutory rate but also provides for

establishment of occupation or industry rates based on recommendations of tri-partite wage boards. The third fixes no rate in
the act but provides for the setting of minimum rates through
wage board action only. Some of the highest rates that became
effective in 1955-57 are:

Wage Order Hourly Rates
Colorado
New Jersey

1956
1956

Oregon

1956

Utch

1956

California
New York

1957
1957

$1.00
Beauty Service
Restaurant (non-service
employees)
1.00
Mercantile
Amusement and Recreation;
Personal seirvice
.75
Retail Trade, Public
.80
Housekeeping
1.00
All Orders
1.00
Retail Trade

-la-

Statatoiy Hourly Rates
Alaska
1955
Connecticut - - 1957
Hawaii
1957
Massachusetts - 1957

11.25
1.00
.90

1.00

New Hwnpshire
Nevada
Hhode Island

Vemont

- - 1957 $ .85

1957
1957
1957

1.00
1.00
.75

Iqgal Pay
Equal pay has taken on increasing significance with the steady
growth in the ntwber of wonen workers. Montana and Michigan, pioneering, enacted the first equal-pay laws in the United States in 1919.
Illinois, Washington, New lork, and Massachusetts passed their laws
daring World War H; Hhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire,
Connecticut, California, Maine, and Alaska, in the postwar period.
Mew Jersey followed in 1952. In 1955> Aricansas, Colorado, Oregon
put equal-pay lavs on their books, bringing the total nuxber of
Jurisdictions with such laws to 17.

Sixteen "States and the District of Coluobia have laws requiring that men and women teachers receive the sane rate of pay. In
MBXij other school systems, equal pav exists througn school board
action.
In the Federal Government, the Civil Service Classification
Act establishes a uniform salary range for each gr&de and class of
work. The Department of Defense and other Govenaient agencies
applj- the equal-pay principle to employees not under civil service.
The economic objectives of equal -pay legislation are in the
main threer to px^vent undercutting of men's wages and Job securi'ty;
to prevent unfair competition among employers^ to maintain consumer
purchasing power and hence stimulate economic activity. The principle
imbuing these objectives was stated by President Eisenhower in his
1956 State of the Union message t "Legislation to apply the principle
of equal pay for eqixal work without discrimination because of sex
is « matter of simple Justice," He reaffilmed his support in 1957.
The President's statement refocussed national attention on
Federal equal -pay legislation. Bjlls had been introduced in each
Congressional session beginning with the 79th in 19U5* Federal
equal-pay bills have the sponsorship of representatives of both
Ajor political parties in the 85th Congress*

.U2

-

Kany national women's organizations, civic groups , and labor
unions are actively supporting a Federal equal-pay lav. The AFLCIO Earecutive Council, meeting in Jxine 1956, endorsed Federal legislation to provide equal pay for comparable work for men and women.
The National Coiamittee for Equal Pay, composed of Washington
representatives of leading women's organizations and \inions, is
seeking, through cooperative efforts, to bring about Federal legislation applying to interstate industries.

SOCIAL SECUKETT

Over U million retired women workers and wives and widows of
woricers were receiving Old ige and Survivors Insurance benefits
at the close of 1956. Since 1936, when 0. A.S.I, becaise effective,

over kO million women workers have accumxilated insurance credits.

—

~

it became possible for
Most recently
in Hoveraber 1956
women workers, if they so choose, to retire at the age of 62, with
a penaanently reduced pension parent, instead of waiting until
they become 65« The wife of a retired woAer also may now receive
reduced social security payments when she is 62, A worker's widow
when there is no widow or widower or
or dependent widower, or
dependent child
dependent mother may receive pagnaents when she
is 62 without reduction in the amount*

—

—

The amendment benefits primarily women widowed before reaching the age of 65. Inasmuch as wives are usually younger than
their husbands, it also benefits married couples who had put off
retirement when the husband reached 65 because the wife had not
yet reached retirement age. It is also an advantage to women who
are themselves workers and who find it more difficult to secure
jobs in their early 60's than when they were younger.

By February 1, 1957, half a million women workers, wives and
widows of retired workers, and dependent mothers had filed claims
under the new amendment to the Social Security Act.
The wife of a retired worker who chooses to start getting
payments as soon as she reaches 62 will receive each month 75
percent as much as she would have, had she waited until she became
The percentage she receives Increases each month she waits
65.
to begin receiving payments. If she begins at the age of 63, she
receives 83 1/3 percentj at 6U, 91 2/3 percent.

-U3

-

The same pattern holds for a woman who is a worker herself,
except that the percentage is larger: 80 percent if payments
begin at age 62 j 86 2/3 percent if they begin at age 63 j 93 1/3
percent if she is 61i.

Wives of retired workers who start drawing payments before
they are 65 years old will be ahead in total cash for the first
If they live beyond the age they will then have
12 years.
reached, their total cash will be less than had they waited to
begin drawing full payments at the age of 6$. Women irtio are
themselves worlcers will be ahead in total cash for 15 years.
A woman who obtains benefits may continue working and still
receive full monthly benefits as long as her earnings are not
over $1,200 a year. For every $80 she earns beyond $1,200, and
then any part of $80, one month's benefit payment will be held
back. In effect, if she earns $2,080,01 or more a year, and
works every months of the year, she cannot draw any benefits that
year
at least not until she is 72 years old. At that age there
is no limit on what she may earn and still receive the monthly
benefit check.

—

Women as well as men, of course, also benefit under other
provisions of the 1956 amendments to the Social Security Act,
If they are disabled they may, effective July 1957, begin receiving disability insurans payments at the age of 50 if they meet
certain requirements. Disabled dependent children may continue
to receive payments after they reach the age of 16.
The 1956 amendment also extended social security coverage
to additional groups of workers, including self-employed lawyers,

dentists, osteopaths, veterinarians, chiropractors, naturopaths,
and optometrists. These groups include sizable numbers of women.
Coverage had been extended in 1955 to still other groups, including professional engineers, architects, accountants, funeral
directors, farm operators, and, if they choose to be covered,
clergymen and Christian Science practitioners.

Social security for household wo rice rs, very nearly all of
are wonen, and for persons employed on farms, less than a
fifth of whom are women, has been in effect since 195l«

irtiom

The Women's Bureau's "^What Social Security Means to Women"
gives the facts in detail as they concern women*

'Uh

'

—

—

Federal white-collar workers
a third of whom are women
have also, under separate legislation, gained materially in social
security. Group life insurance with dismemberment coverage and
double indemnity for accidental death became available to them in
August 195U. One-third of the cost of the insurance is borne by
the Government, two-thirds by the employee.

Since January 1, 1955 j Federal employees also have the protection of unemployment insurance. Title IV of the Social Security
Act provides that an unemployed Federal worker will be paid compensation in accordance with the provisions of the law of the State
to which his wages are assigned.

Betirement annuities were increased in 1955 for all employees
then receiving them or i^ose annuities become effective before
Janaaiy 1, 1958j and in 1956 general provisions for retirement
benefits were liberalized for all permanent employees.

CIVIL STATUS

—

Contracts and property rights . There is little distinction
between the rights of single men and of single women under civil
lav* Improving the status of married women with respect to their
contracts and property rights is one of the important jobs undertaken by women's organizations in the various States. Owing
chiefly to their efforts, legal discriminations have practically
disappeared. Becent examples of State legislation may be indicative. They include laws that raise the value of the home exempt
tram seizure for debt, thereby increasing w<aaen*s and children's
security; laws that place restrictions on the assignment of wages
by a husband or wife to a third person without the consent of
the other spouse; laws that liberalize provisions for family maintenance during the administration of a deceased hasband's or wife's
•state*

—

Juiy service . Gradually, State after State has enacted
legislation making women eligible for service on juries. By Jxily
1955f women could serve on juries in all but four States; after
a referendum in the November 1956 West Virginia election, in aU
but three. Now only in Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina
maj a voaan not serve on a juiy.

Over half the States have compulse zy jury service laws.
They require women to serve on the same terms that men do; the
courts may release either fzx>m serving on reasonable groiinds.
The other States have voluntary laws which peznit women to be
excused from serving solely on the ground that they are women.

- u^ -

minimum
Marriage and divorce laws .—The most usual statutory
parental consent, is
age at which marriages may take place, with
States pennit
16 years for girls and 18 years for boys. Most
when a young woman has
marriages without the parents' consent only
require both
reached l8 years and a young man 21. Twelve States
applicants for a marriage
to be 21. A physical examination for both
District of
license was mandatory in all but 10 States and the
Colxmbia at the end of 19 5U.
Grounds for divorce vary greatly from State to State but are
usually the same for men and women in any one State. There is an
important exception: 21 States allow only the wife a divorce on
grovinds of non-support.

Even though the divorce may be granted to the husband, all
States permit the court to allow a wife alimony and maintenance
for her own ctnd her minor children's support. Fifteen States permit the court to grant alimony, within certain limitations, to
the husband.

—

Family support . The husband and father is prunarily responsible, under law, for the support of his wife and minor children.
If he is dead or incapable, the legal responsibility may fall on
the wife and mother.

—

Guardianship . During marriage, parents are recognized as joint
natural guardians of their minor children in all but 6 States.
Custody and maintenance of the children of dissolved marriages is
determined in all jurisdictions by the courts, on the basis of
the children's best interests and welfare.
Publications that give more detailed information on the civil
and political status of women may be obtained from the Women's
Bureau.

- U6 -

TO SUM UP

—
—

The spotlight of public attention is on American women
on their changing economic and political role and their unchanging domestic role. Within a relatively brief span of years,
women in the United States have won the right to attend institutions of higher education, to prepare for a career in the
occupation of their choice, to vote in national elections, and
to hold public office. Yet women are marrying younger, the
average number of children per family has increased in recent
years, and the number of children born each year has reached a
new high mark.
The record number of women in the work force is- one measure
of women's changing status. Another is the success of individual
women in elective and appointive offices, in top administrative
posts, and in the professions. It would be hard to name an occupation from which fully qualified women are now barred. There
is a great need for more young women of ability to prepare themselves for fields where the supply of qualified workers is short the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, engineering, and
certain skilled trades, as well as teaching, nursing, and library
work.

The Department of Labor projects an increase of 5 million
in the number of women workers between 1955 and 1965. How many
of these will enter skilled occupations, the professions, or
new and expanding fields of work, and how many will achieve
positions of leadership, depends at least in part on the women
themselves.

trV. S.

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE;

1957

O

-446129

^