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Remembered Today:

Women at work statistics.


Phil Wood
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I gave a talk the other day on my local town during 1916. At the end I was asked about women working in the place of men.  I had covered the topic in the talk but it did make me realise that I don't have a clear idea of the numbers of women taking over men's jobs as the war progressed.  My current view is that, while it was encouraged from the start it didn't really take off until conscription took away the male workforce en masse. 

 

Can anyone point me at a good resource for figures that show the real picture (preferrably split by industry)?

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The Directory of Manufacturers in Engineering and Allied Trades, HMSO December  1918, will give you a good lead. It has entries for over 8000 companies, large and small, showing their war time work, and crucially  the number of male and female employees.   

 

It can be found at TNA  in MUN5/166/1126/3.

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves
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Don't know if this is what you are looking for, I tried to copy but the formatting went awry as usual therefore I've scanned them.

Cited in 'Nice Girls and Rude Girls' Women Workers in WW1" Deborah Thom.  The numbers support your 'current view' and as Thom observes it took a while to evict men from their occupations.  I also have a booklet downloaded from TNA which lists those occupations which the Government considered could be undertaken by women.

 

 

Trends.jpg

 

 

and 

Numbers.jpg

 

Ken

Edited by kenf48
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Thanks Terry - I will check it out next time I'm at Kew.

 

And thanks Ken - interesting figures.  Though it would be even nicer to see table 2.2 with additional figures for 1915, 1917 & 1918.

 

Phil

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12 hours ago, Phil Wood said:

 

 

And thanks Ken - interesting figures.  Though it would be even nicer to see table 2.2 with additional figures for 1915, 1917 & 1918.

 

Phil

 

The source document cited by Thom was published in 1916 so I'm not sure where the figures in her first table come from unless they were in the IWM Archives.

 

The Report of the Standing Joint Committee of Women's Industrial Organisations which gives the 1914/1916 Comparison may be downloaded from Warwick University

http://contentdm.warwick.ac.uk/cdm/ref/collection/tav/id/1446

 

If you're off to Kew this may be of interest LAB15/95 other references at TNA can be found at the foot of this page on the role of women in WW1

which includes the reference cited by Terry above.

 

Ken

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