Women in Industry

Scope and Content

This series consists of questionnaires, draft reports and correspondence relating to Seear's study of women in industry. The study focused on industrial organisations, with both managers and female employees being interviewed. The organisations were also asked to complete a survey regarding the demographic of the company. In some instances, managers were asked to fill in a record card regarding the female employees. Questions of both a quantitative and qualitative nature were asked. All responses were anonymous, although it is not clear how complete the responses to the questionnaire are.

The questionnaire concentrated on eight companies: Allen and Hanburys Ltd. (chemists and makers of surgical instruments); Brown and Polson (food and industrial starch manufacturer); Cooper (manufacture of vehicle components); Hoover (domestic electric appliances); Imperial Chemical Industries (chemicals, often abbreviated to ICI); Mullard (radio valve company); Pfizer (pharmaceuticals); Wellcome (pharmaceuticals).

The final report was published in the book 'A career for women in industry', and was co-authored with John Brock, although only Brock was credited in the final publication. This is available in the Women's Library printed collections (classification mark 331.40941 SEE as of May 2010).

Questions posed to managers were:

Is there an accepted policy in the firm about the employment of women in responsible positions; if yes what is it; what jobs are women doing in the company; which of these jobs are in your opinion done better by a woman and why; which of these jobs being done by a woman could be done by either a man or a woman; what other jobs in the company are there which could be done equally well by a woman; are there any jobs in this firm you think are specifically unsuitable for women; what are they and why; do you think women can be put in charge of men? if [it] depends on the woman, what qualities must she have;

what would your feelings be if a woman was promoted to be your manager;

are there any women in the firm you would be willing to work under; if yes, why;

are you recruiting trainees for management; if yes are you satisfied with their quality; do you have any difficulty in getting as many trainees of the right quality as you want; are you trying to recruit women as management trainees; apart from these trainees, where else do you recruit your management; how do you train recruits from other firms; could a woman be trained in this way; if no why not; how do you train recruits from research; could a woman be trained in this way; If no why not; have any women been promoted to line management positions; if no have any been considered for line management positions; if no what do you feel are the main obstacles and difficulties to promoting women to line management; qualifications; age; salary; position; previous working experience; marital status; interests and hobbies; does your wife work; if yes what is her job; if no has she worked since marriage; if yes what was her job; has your wife any qualifications; if yes what qualifications; have you any children; if yes what ages; do you want your daughters to have careers; if yes what careers do you hope they'll follow; why these particular careers; what advice would you give your daughter supposing she had a career in science; why would you advise her to do that; what advice would you give your daughter if she wanted to go into industry; would you advise her to come into this firm; if yes why; if no why.

Questions posed to women employees were:

What job are you doing; [who are you] in charge of; do you know if the company has a policy on the employment of women in positions of responsibility; if so what is the policy; is there equal pay; if no do you think there should be; in the company do you feel you have as good a chance of promotion as men have; if no why not; if to a certain level, what level; why only to that level ,what happens after it; if not to some jobs, what jobs and why not; do you think that women can be put in charge of men; if no, why not; if [it] depends on the woman, what qualities should she have to be a good manager; would you prefer your own manager to be a man or a woman; why would you prefer this; what sex is your present manager; what would your reaction be if woman was promoted to be your manager; have you ever worked under a woman; if yes, what did you feel about it; if you were promoted to be in charge of a group of men, what do you expect their reaction to be; what do you think is at the back of the resentment and prejudice men have against working for women; marital status; if married, have you any children; do you enjoy your job; what are your reasons for saying [yes or no]; what job would you like to doing in ten years time; what job would you like to be doing in twenty years time; what job do you expect to be doing in ten years time; what job do you expect to be doing in twenty year time; how long have you done your job; to what extent are your qualification being used in your present job; if not at all, what made you take this job; would you like to have more responsibility; are there any more senior jobs in this firm you think you could do; if yes, list; if these jobs were advertised internally, which of them would you apply for and which not; are there any jobs you would not apply for and why would you not apply; have you applied for any jobs advertised internally; if yes, list them; if not why not; are there any jobs which you feel are closed to you by reason of management policy; if yes, list; what do you feel are the reasons for this closure; which of these reasons do you agree with and why' which of these reasons do you disagree with and why; which of these reasons do you disagree with and why; do you see any prospect of your qualifications being used more fully in this organisation; why did you choose this particular job; if a scientist, do you have any scientist in the immediate family; what subjects did you take at school; why did you choose these subjects; were there any subjects you wanted to take but could not; what were the reasons for not taking these subjects; what were the reasons for not taking these subjects; if you could go back and choose again, would you choose the same A level subjects as you did; if you would not choose the same subjects, what others would you choose and why; at what age did you make your choice of career; what were the factors which determined this choice; if you could go back and choose again, having taken the subjects you did, would you again choose the same time of job; if no, what job would you have chosen and why.

Additionally, single women were asked:

What are your ambitions, including marriage, children and career; would you continue your job if you got married; if yes, why; if no, why; if you were married and had children would you want to continue working, want to return to work after a break, if after a break, how long a break or stop working altogether; what difficulties would you anticipate in attempting to return to work after a break.

Married women without children were asked:

Are you working full time or part time; if part time what hours; what are your reasons for continuing to work; what are you ambitions, including marriage, career and children; if you had children would you want to continue working, want to return to work after a break, if after a break, how long a break or stop working altogether; what difficulties would you anticipate in attempting to return to work after a break; would you want to return to the same firm; why, what are you reasons; if you could not or did not want to return to the job you left what work would you seek.

Married women with children were asked:

Are you working full time or part time; if part time what hours; why do you continue to work; what are you ambitions; when you had your children did you have a break in your working life; if yes how long was the break; what job did you go back to after the break; what job did you want to go back to after the break; what difficulties did you meet in getting back to work after the break.

Divorced and separated women without children were asked:

What are your ambitions including re-marriage, children and career; would you want to continue your job if you got married again; if yes, why; if no, why; if you married again and had children would you want to continue working, want to return to work after a break, if after a break, how long a break or stop working altogether; what difficulties would you anticipate in attempting to return to work after a break.

Divorced or separated women with children were asked:

Are you working full time or part time; if part time what hours; what are your main reasons for continuing to work; what are you ambitions; when you had your children did you have a break in your working life; if yes how long was the break; what job did you go back to after the break; what job did you want to go back to after the break; what difficulties did you meet in getting back to work after the break.