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Women doing men's work and women doing women's work: Female work and pay in British wartime engineering

Citation
Hart RA (2007) Women doing men's work and women doing women's work: Female work and pay in British wartime engineering, Explorations in Economic History, 44 (1), pp. 114-130.

Abstract
Extreme demand pressures coupled with acute skill shortages in the run up to World War II caused British engineering companies to break down existing production processes into smaller constituent parts. This allowed the employment of persons trained over narrower ranges of skills and helped to create an exponential growth of female jobs, from 10.5% of total engineering employment in 1939 to 35.2% by 1943. Women were officially classified into those doing men's work and those doing women's work. Using a unique data set provided by the Engineering Employers Federation, this paper examines female work and pay from 1935 (the first year of rearmament) to 1942 (the peak of production activity) in more detail than has been previously undertaken. It features the pay and hours of piece- and time-rated women, female-male wage ratios, and an assessment of the war's longer term impact on the female labor market.

Keywords
activities; Assessment; British; data; DEMAND; EMPLOYERS; Employment; ENGINEERING; Feature; features; Female; Growth; IMPACT; LABOR; LABOR market; LABOR-MARKET; market; PRESSURE; RANGE; RATIO; Skills; WAGE; War; Women; work; WORLD

StatusPublished
AuthorsHart Robert A
Publication date01/2007
Publication date online30/01/2006
PublisherElsevier
ISSN 0014-4983

Journal
Explorations in Economic History: Volume 44, Issue 1 (2007/01//)

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