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The married woman in employment -- an exploratory study of how her employment affects the woman, and… Bardal, Margret Stefania 1956

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THE MARRIED WOMAN IN EMPLOYMENT An Exploratory Study of how her Employment Affects the Woman, and her Relationship with her Family, and the Community  by MARGRET STEFANIA BARDAL ENA ROSS ROGERSON MARGARET BEATON DICK  Thesis Submitted i n Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK i n the School of Social Work  Accepted as conforming to the standard required for the degree of Master of Social Work  School of Social Work  1956  The University of British Columbia  ii TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1.  The Married Woman i n a Changing Society  Historical review of the place of the woman i n the family and i n the community. The contemporary situation of the married woman i n employment. The social significance of these developments. Aims of present project as related to the national survey conducted by Women's Bureau, Department of Labour, Ottawa. Method of survey, and i t s limitations  Page  1  Chapter 2. The Married Woman with Dependent Children Her home responsibilities, Her employment. Reasons for working. Arrangements for child care. Gains and Losses............. Chapter 3.  18  The Married Woman without Dependent Children  Employment - past and present. Reasons for working, financial and psychological. Effect on marital relationship. Gains and losses...  • 30  Chapter 4. The ferried Woman who i s Chief Breadwinner Family and household constellations. Gains and losses Chapter 5.  Employment. Care of children.  42  The Married Woman Working - Pros and Cons  Effect of her employment on her role as parent, wife. implications  Community  57  Appendices A. B. C.  Information sought by the schedule. 31 Table 16 - Women's participation i n the Labour Force of Canada, 1931-1951..82 Occupational categories as used i n the study......... $3  D.  Bibliography...  84 TABLES IN THE TEXT  Table 1. Family Constellation (in cases where both parents are employed).  18  Table 2. Dependent children (in cases where both parents are employed).,.  18  Table 3. Occupations of Women (in cases where both parents are employed).  19  Table 4. Family Constellation (in cases of childless couples)  30  Table 5. Education and employment training (in cases of childless couples) 31 Table 6. Entry into the Labour Force (in cases of childless couples)  32  Table 7. Family constellation (in handicapped families)......  43  Table 8. Children i n the handicapped families •  43  iii  Page Table 9. Education and employment training (in handicapped families) •  46  Table 10. Period of Entry into Labour Force (in handicapped families)....•••••••••••*•.•.•*..••••••••••••••.«  .. • •  Table 11. Income and occupational grade (in handicapped families).....  47 4$  Table 12. Ways and means of supplementing income (in handicapped families)  ••  49  Table 13* Family constellation of total families  57  Table 14. Dependent children of total families  58  Table 15. Income and occupational grade of t o t a l group  •••  58  iv  ABSTRACT The proportion of women i n the Canadian labour force has grown steadily i n recent decades. Many of these, however, are younger women who retire from gainful employment after marriage. Married women who work are a special section of the population; they have been the subject of social studies i n several countries, but not so far i n Canada. This thesis i s a supplementary study, influenced by the national survey of married women who are gainfully employed now being undertaken (1956) by the Women's Bureau of the Canadian Department of Labour. The facts reviewed i n this present report are obtained from only f i f t y of the women Interviewed i n one of the sample cities (Vancouver); but the opportunity has been taken to make them the basis of a l l the pros and cons of the situation, including the reasons for working, the types of work, and the effects on family l i f e . The schedule used for the interviews i s a standardized, comprehensive one worked out with the assistance of a national advisory committee including the research directors of the Schools of Social Work i n Canada,, Only a minimum of statistical tabulation i s undertaken for this limited sample; a few other schedules obtained from university students were added, and there i s no intention to present the information as s t a t i s t i c a l l y representative. A systematic review of the qualitative material i s attempted, however, to illustrate the differentials which must be considered i n a definitive assessment. After experiment with other classifications, i t was found most effective to distinguish three main groups (a) families composed of husband and wife without children (or younger dependents); (b) "complete" families with husband and wife and children i n the home, and (c) "broken" families, in which the working mother was a widow, separated or divorced, or with dependent or partially dependent husband. The significance of these d i f f e r ences i s readily apparent from the views recorded. It was also apparent that the socio-economic differences associated with different levels of income and grade of work (e.g., profes- . sional, c l e r i c a l , service, factory) are of direct importance i n modifying the consequences for the family; but these could only be indicated i l l u s tratively. In a f i n a l section, an endeavour i s made to bring together a l l provisional findings, distinguishing broadly the implications (a) for the woman as a person and as a marital partner, (b) for the children, and parent a l aspects of family l i f e , and (c) for the community as a whole.  V  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  We wish to express our thanks to a l l those whose interest and active help have made this study possible* We particularly acknowledge the help of the Women's Bureau for the preparation of the Questionnaire and sampling; to the women who participated so warmly i n the interviews; and to the following persons for direction, criticism and counsel, Dr. Leonard Marsh, and Mr. Michael Wheeler.  THE MARRIED WOMAN IN EMPLOYMENT  CHAPTER 1  THE MARRIED WOMAN IN A CHANGING SOCIETY  "The family as a social institution i s not only universal now, but i t has been a universal feature of a l l human societies".! This i s a widespread view confirmed by anthropologists.  One measure  of the different cultural changes to which i t i s subjected may  be  found i n the personal and social relations between the two sexes, and especially i n the changing concepts of the role and status of the woman. The historical developments that have most clearly affected the role of the woman are the Industrial Revolution, the enormous expansion of wage-paid work and later of service occupations, increasing urbanization, and the two world-wars.  It i s against this background  that the social phenomenon of the married woman working for pay needs to be considered. North American society includes a great variety of family patterns, but on the whole the pattern has been a continuation from the dominant English culture known as Victorianism.  One of the strongest  influences i n this tradition represented a blend of puritan and chivalrous ideology  the power of the individual husband exalted at the expense  of the freedom and personalities of other members of the family, with compensatory satisfaction for the woman found i n the cult of idealized feminine purity.  Noble, Inc.,  1. Jacobs, M. & St;ern B., General Anthropology, Barnes & 1947.  - 2 Prior to World War 1, the majority of married women accepted the fact that "woman's place was i n the home". Early Christian teaching influenced this thinking.  The Book of Proverbs (31:27) contains a descrip-  tion of what was then considered the ideal wife, "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness".  The many  and varied tasks i n the home kept body and mind occupied and at the same time gave her status. Towards the end of the nineteenth century such beliefs were challenged as new and radical ideas were presented i n the realm of science and politics, and as new opportunities for employment opened up for women. The great moving force behind these changes was the Industrial Revolution and the rapid spread of the factory system.  This gave women  opportunities for employment outside the home; tasks such as spinning, weaving, and garment making were gradually shifted from the home to factory.  As women became more independent financially, marriage was less  economically necessary.  The increased freedom and leisure of women i n  the upper classes encouraged the activist-woman-movement, concerned not only with the status of women but with humanitarian ideals; at the same time, i n the working classes the new industrial structure led to impersonal exploitation of women through low wages and long hours of work, and i t i s noteworthy that these two streams of development have persisted, i n modified foims, throughout the course of women's social and economic emancipation. As a result of these social and economic changes, Western society has seen a major shift i n the nature and function of the family:  - 3 "The large kinship family has given place to the small conjugal family. The family i s no longer a producing u n i t , or a major educational one. The main trend i s i n the d i r e c t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l i s m " .  1  What forces have operated i n Canada to produce changes i n the family patterns leading to the employment of women outside the home?  The main forces may be summarized as those of economics,  technology, and  education.  F i f t y years ago, Canada's economy was e s s e n t i a l l y a g r i cultural.  Today, i t i s a highly i n d u s t r i a l i z e d economy as a r e s u l t  of mechanization, f a c i l i t y of communication and transportation, concent r a t i o n of population i n c i t i e s rather than r u r a l areas - a l l of which has been accelerated by two world wars.  What has happened i n t h i s  t r a n s i t i o n i s l a r g e l y the response of family structure to i n d u s t r i a l urban c i v i l i z a t i o n .  With the change i n the family structure, the  i n d i v i d u a l has been freed from the economic and s o c i a l c o n t r o l of the kinship family and has the p r i v i l e g e of setting h i s or her own  goals.  Mechanization on a large scale has influenced the a c t i v i t i e s of the home as well as industry.  New  e l e c t r i c a l l y operated appliances  and processing of foods and c l o t h i n g materials f a c i l i t a t i n g household tasks, meant a reduction i n the amount of energy required f o r performance of these tasks.  Production of synthetic materials, such as p l a s t i e s ,  nylon, and dacron, at f i r s t necessary i n war,  l a t e r speeded the i n t r o -  duction of these products i n t o peacetime use; these have played a s i g n i f i cant part i n lightening the d a i l y household routine.  1.  The Chronicle, Nov. 1955-56, Canadian Federation of University Women. Report on address given by Marion V. Royce, Director of the Women's Bureau, Dept. of Labour, Ottawa.  -  4  -  Technological developments are increasing; also transportation and coiamunicationsj and, together with the increased production of goods and m u l t i p l i c i t y of services, jobs and more jobs have opened up f o r women.  Our expanding economy c a l l s f o r an increasing number of women  i n o f f i c e employment t o operate comptometers, telephone  switchboards,  dictaphones, typewriters, e t c .  P r i o r t o the beginning of the twentieth century, since woman's place was considered t o be i n the home, education was p r i m a r i l y f o r men. 141th the emancipation of women, development of roles outside the home necessitated more s p e c i f i c education and t r a i n i n g . War,  Before the 1914-18  s l i g h t changes were noticeable; women had entered the teaching  and nursing professions, were employed i n o f f i c e s and l i b r a r i e s , as w e l l as domestic  service.  Before they obtained the r i g h t t o vote (1919), i n  p r i n c i p l e , women had equal opportunities with men i n education and employment, but i n r e a l i t y i t was seldom recognized u n t i l a f t e r World War 11.  Women's struggle f o r recognition i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the case  of Clara B r e t t Martin, f i r s t woman b a r r i s t e r i n The B r i t i s h Empire, who was c a l l e d t o the Bar of Ontario i n 1897.  Miss Martin had f i r s t t o  f i g h t t o get the l e g i s l a t u r e t o pass an act t o allow her t o become enrolled as a student s o l i c i t o r and u l t i m a t e l y to practice as a s o l i c i t o r . I t was necessary f o r Miss Martin t o convince not only men lawyers pract i c i n g then, but also l e g i s l a t o r s , a l l of whom were men, that women should be allowed t o choose and practise a profession, but that i t was f a i r and j u s t that women who came before the courts should be able t o be represented by women, i f they so desired.^  1.  Hyndman, Margaret P., e t a l . Department Broadcasts S i x Talks About Women i n Employment. The labour Gazette. V o l . L1V, No. 3, 1954, p.380. Dept. of Labour, Ottawa.  - 5It i s due to the persistent efforts of such women as Miss Martin and organized groups of women that recognition has been obtained for women i n labour forces.  The most recent developments are c l e r i c a l and  sales occupationsj equal pay for equal work; opening of the professions (law, architecture); women's services i n the armed forces, etc.  One of  the earliest pieces of legislation passed on behalf of women were Minimum Wage Acts; this legislation was based on the recognition that women workers were more obviously exploited and their wages were lowest and i t s passage was facilitated by the fact that sentiment was more easily aroused to protect women. In Canada "over a period of years the women's organizations of Canada, speaking for large numbers of women, urged that a Women's Bureau be set up i n the Department of Labour. Recognizing that the problems raised by these women's organizations deserved attention, the Department of Labour established, i n September 1954, a Bureau which was to concern i t s e l f with the particular problems of women workers."^ The national census figures for the period 1941 to 1951 (i.e. both wartime and post-war years) show an increase of 308 per cent i n the number of married women working. Accordingly, one of the f i r s t subjects to receive consideration by the Women's Bureau was that of married women i n employment. Canadian c i t i e s .  The national survey has been launched i n eight  The present study (which u t i l i z e s only a small  proportion of the hundreds of schedules to be collected) does not aim at being as s t a t i s t i c a l l y definitive as the Women's Bureau tabulation w i l l be.  It i s more a review of the pros and cons of married  1. Facts and Figures a leaflet published by the Department of Labour, Ottawa, Canada,  - 6women's employment f o r married l i f e and the f a m i l y i n general, but one which, i t i s hoped, may be of value i n suggesting some of the many points of i n t e r pretation which w i l l be involved i n a f u l l appreciation of the s t a t i s t i c a l facts. Another study, undertaken a t the same time as the present one, by a Master of S o c i a l Work candidate at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, i s The Strathcona Nursery School; I t s Contributions f o r Working Mothers.^" This confines i t s e l f to the circumstances of family and employment f o r a representative group of mothers whose children attend a w e l l known Nursery School sponsored by the Community Chest i n Vancouver; but uses a modified form of the Women's Bureau schedule.  From the h i s t o r i c a l review i t i s obvious that woman's r o l e i n society has changed greatly; but, as so often happens, changes i n attitude have not kept up with technological changes.  One s t i l l  encounters  people who have grave misgivings about women i n employment; f o r example, while the present survey was being conducted i n Vancouver, the Market 2 Research Associates  were asking 500  Vancouverites, chosen a t random,  "Do you think married women with husbands who are employed should work, or not?"  The comments amongst the 59 per cent who approved  of c h i l d l e s s wives working included "some women weren't meant to be housewives", and, " i n most cases both husband and wife have t o work t o keep the home going".  Of the 37  per cent who disapproved, some made  the comment "too many single people need jobs", and " i t ' s the main cause of broken homes". A smaller proportion, 19 per cent, approved of the 1. Stewart, Donald. The Strathcona Nursery School; i t s C o n t r i butions f o r Working Mothers. Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1956. 2 . Vancouver Daily Province, January 16, 1956.  - 7married woman with children working; but the 76 per cent who disapproved said "the family's i n t e r e s t s shouldn't be s a c r i f i c e d " , and "a mother should be looking a f t e r her children", or "only i f the husband i s s i c k and can't work".  As usual, a small percentage i n each case gave no  opinion. Another l a g which occurs many times i s . i n i n s t i t u t i o n s . Technological changes take place, and sometimes even the a t t i t u d e s change s l i g h t l y , e.g. many people believe that a woman may work i f her husband's salary i s so small, or so i r r e g u l a r , that they cannot maintain a standard of l i v i n g that w i l l ensure reasonable standards of health, but a period of time elapses before the i n s t i t u t i o n s change t o meet the needs.  Such  lags can be seen i n the adjustment of hours of work, and i n f a c i l i t i e s f o r c h i l d care, f o r instance.  I t i s a l l too obvious that the general public —  and not  l e a s t married women themselves  have confused, and c o n f l i c t i n g  ideas, about the whole matter.  There are those who f e e l that a pro-  f e s s i o n a l woman may work a f t e r marriage but a domestic may not.  It i s  i n t e r e s t i n g to note that when a dishwasher won a sweepstake l a t e l y she received a number of l e t t e r s from strangers s t a t i n g that now she had money she had no r i g h t t o return to her job.  She was a recent immigrant,  and i n a newspaper interview she commented that i n her country the decision as t o whether or not she worked would be up t o her, but i n t h i s country i t seemed t o depend on the type of work one was engaged i n . Others f e e l that the decision revolves around the husband's income. I f he i s "well-paid" the wife has no business i n the labour f o r c e .  Still  others can only accept the idea of the wife working i f she can prove that she must do so i n order t o support dependents.  The whole matter,  -  8  -  then, i s of general interest and importance. One has only to look at the caseloads of social agencies to realize that the whole matter i s of real concern to social workers. Family agency f i l e s reveal many cases where the woman's decision to work, or not to work, may be the clue to the family breakdown. Social assistance and child-caring agencies are constantly faced with instances where the same dilemma needs to be considered i n making proper treatment plans. Social assistance agencies find that a large proportion of their families are those where, because of emotional or physical inadequacy; desertion; or death of the husband, the wife must either work or seek assistance.  Family courts are daily faced with the question  as to whether i t i s better f o r a particular woman to seek employment rather than face years of dragging her husband through one court hearing after another.  It i s obvious, then, that social workers are  concerned with this problem both for their own caseloads, and for that great majority who never seek agency help. Here, too, one i s faced with the conflict between attitudes and institutions.  Social workers accept, as one of their basic beliefs,  the fact that the individual has the right to plan his own l i f e within the limits set by his own capacity and those imposed by society. In spite of this, many instances exist where a mother i s (a) discouraged, or actually prevented, from taking employment by refusal of the agency to make available to her any form of day care, or (b) placed i n the position where she must find substitute care for her children, and find employment because she has been refused social assistance. I t  - 9 i s particularly f i t t i n g , then, that social workers should undertake this study into the implications of the employment of married women. Social workers, along with many others, view the family as the basic unit i n society, and all-importantj but i t i s equally true that most social workers believe that i f the family unit i s to be a strength to every member of i t , i t must have certain assets. One of these i s financial security.  There should be sufficient income to  provide for adequate food, shelter and clothing; to provide, and maintain physical health, and to provide medical care i n case of i l l n e s s . Can the husband's salary provide this? ized i n the housing market?  Are families with children penal-  Is i t necessary for young couples to delay  child-bearing until they can afford a home of their own? Leisure and recreation are also necessary to the adequate functioning of any marriage.  Is i t possible for the married woman who  works and carries the dual role of homemaker and employee to enjoy leisure for the pursuit of her own interests and hobbies, and time to spend with her husband and children?  Do firms which employ married  women make any concessions i n the way of suitable hours of employment? Is the dual role so frustrating that both the woman's physical and ment a l health suffers? Concepts held by the social work profession i n regard to the care of children have been well summed up by Dr. Irene Josselyn i n the following:  During the f i r s t six years of l i f e , the child requires a  mother (or a mother substitute) who meets his physical needs with affection and gives him security as his emotional dependence increases.  - 10 Later, as he transfers some of his emotional ties to his own age-group, and to other adults, he has less intense need for his parents unless faced with an unfamiliar problem with which he cannot cope, at which time the parental role involves giving him security as he needs i t , but permitting him freedom to move into a wider world gaining confidence through his successes, and through his parent's confidence i n his a b i l i t y to face, and tackle new problems.  In this process also, one of the  major contributions made by the parents i s that of being a pattern of stable adulthood.  "The most stable philosophy of l i f e and social l i v i n g  has i t s roots i n the inter-relationship between the child and the parent-figures and the experience the child has with their philosophy!!^ Dr. Josselyn goes on to say that one of the great mistakes which i s commonly made i s i n believing that, since a l l children need mothers, a l l women can f u l f i l l that function.  This ignores the fact  that every mother i s an individual with needs, fears, and potentialities arising from her own upbringing and Life experiences.  Not a l l mother-  child relationships w i l l meet the child's needs by any means, and i t i s , therefore "imperative that i n each individual case plans be formulated that guarantee a maximum utilization of what the relationship can offer, and a minimum opportunity for the expression of the destructive aspects.  To demand more of the mother than she i s able to give  w i l l arouse resentment i n her which w i l l be detrimental to the child. To expect too l i t t l e of her w i l l make her frustrated and unhappy and dis-  2 tract her from serving her child."  She must also be assisted to find  satisfactions outside the mother-role so that she can free the child 1. 2.  Josselyn, I. & Goldman. Social Service Review, Vol. XXIII, No.I, March, 1949. Should Mothers Work? Ibid, page 4.  - l i as the child develops.  "Otherwise she may, unconsciously, attempt to  arrest the child's development so as to continue to meet her own emotional needs.  Finally she should be given an opportunity, and en-  couragement, to find a pattern of l i f e gratifying to herself, and acceptable to the community. Otherwise the child may have greater d i f f i culty i n developing an attitude toward l i f e and social living that w i l l constructively serve, rather than destructively attack, the social world". Another real concern centers around what the changing role of the woman i n the employment f i e l d means to the marital relationship. As woman has achieved greater status i n the f i e l d of employment there has been a corresponding change i n the role of the man,  he i s no longer  the sole support; his sense of independence i s shaken; and he i s required to share the household duties which he would formerly have viewed as "women's work". Social workers believe that both man, and wife are individuals with individual needs to growth and expression but that, i n any marriage, there must be a careful meshing of these needs i f there i s to be a harmonious marriage. employment of the wife?  How do the husbands feel about the  How i s the family l i f e affected by i t ?  Method Plans for a Canadian survey of married women who work originated with the establishment of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labour i n Ottawa. Surveys made i n 1954 showed that, amongst the large group of women i n employment, there were over 400,000 married women working. Over a ten-year period, from 1941 to 1951, the percentage of married women working increased 308 per cent.  1.  Ibid, page 4«  Recognizing that work must have a special  - 12 meaning t o these women i n r e l a t i o n t o the problems of family l i f e , the Women's Bureau proceeded with plans f o r a survey t o be c a r r i e d out i n eight c i t i e s across Canada, including Vancouver.  In those c i t i e s where there were Schools of S o c i a l Work, the Women's Bureau obtained permission f o r students t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the survey.  I t was considered that s p e c i a l s k i l l s developed i n professional s o c i a l  work could be used t o advantage In the b r i e f contact with each married woman interviewed.  The s p e c i f i c aims of the survey as outlined by the Women's Bureau were: 1) To estimate the occupational status of the married women, i n terms of the jobs they were doing as compared to t h e i r previous t r a i n i n g and experience. 2) To determine the work patterns of married women. 3 ) To relate patterns of work t o family and household r e s p o n s i b i l ities. 4) To f i n d out as much as possible about the reasons f o r working. 5) To estimate the extent of occupational m o b i l i t y among married women. Each schedule was completed as part of t h i s l a r g e r survey, with an added goal, i n the i n t e r e s t s of s o c i a l work research, of determining how family l i f e i s affected by married women working.  More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the  aims of the s o c i a l workers who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the survey were t o determine what motivates the married woman t o go t o work, what s a t i s f a c t i o n s does she get from her employment i n r e l a t i o n t o her household r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , and how does her working a f f e c t her r e l a t i o n s h i p t o other members of the  - 13 immediate family. The survey, as set up by the Women's Bureau, specifically applied to: 1) Currently married women, who as married women have worked for pay or profit i n Canada for the equivalent of three months within the twelve  >  months preceding the interview. 2) Women who are widowed, divorced or separated, who have worked for pay or profit i n Canada for the equivalent of three months within the twelve months preceding the interview, who have dependent children. The selection of women to be interviewed was done by the Women's Bureau by means of a sampling procedure.  Throughout Greater Vancouver samples  of blocks were selected, and within each chosen block, there was a selection of dwellings.  The survey required that a v i s i t be made to each selected  dwelling; here, every working woman who f i t t e d into the above category was to be approached for an interview.  In cases where there was no response, two  call-backs were made. As there were approximately eighteen hundred addresses selected, i t was not possible for three Master of Social Work students to complete the survey during the school year.  Visits were discontinued after 875 calls had  been made and 50 interviews had been obtained.  Those 50 cases provided a  basis for the research study as they represented a variety of family situations. The interview with each woman followed the pattern of the schedule prepared by the Women's Bureau."*" The information asked i n each case covered three areas 1) her work history, 2) objective data on her current situation,  1.  See Appendix A.  - 14 and 3 ) motives and a t t i t u d e s , 1) The work h i s t o r y included information about the woman's labour force a c t i v i t i e s , s t a r t i n g with her f i r s t job and following through job changes, periods devoted t o housework and l i k e a c t i v i t i e s , and extended periods of job-seeking up u n t i l the time of the interview.  The changes o f status were r e l a t e d t o  such events as marriage and b i r t h of c h i l d r e n .  2) Current "objective" information covered such matters as occupat i o n and industry, hours and patterns of work ( f u l l - t i m e o r part-time, regular, seasonal o r casual), income, education and t r a i n i n g , number and age of dependent children and c h i l d care arrangements, housework routine, recreation and type of housing. 3) The section on "motives and a t t i t u d e s " explored reasons f o r the woman working and the s a t i s f a c t i o n s o r d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s with her job, hours, child-care arrangements, and s p e c i a l problems created by the job, how others i n her family f e l t about her working, and the good and bad e f f e c t s of her worki n g as i t r e l a t e d t o her home and family.  This l a s t section was p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n evaluating the e f f e c t on family l i f e .  In the door-to-door v i s i t i n g , the interviewers, upon learning that the woman i n the dwelling was e l i g i b l e f o r an interview, produced an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n card as representatives of the Women's Bureau, Department of Labour, and explained the purpose of the survey.  To permit the woman t o decide f o r her-  s e l f whether she wished t o be interviewed, she was given, 1) a brochure describing the Women's Bureau and i t s functions and 2) a l e t t e r from the Director of the Women's Bureau s o l i c i t i n g the woman's cooperation i n discussing the problems  - 15 -  of her dual role as worker and homemaker. It was stressed that her help was of value and that her participation i n the survey was entirely voluntary. Refusal was met i n some cases because of the woman's lack of time or interest.  This reaction might also have been due to the fact that the inter-  viewers were representing a government department. Frequently women would ask whether they would be identified i n any way and they were assured that names were not used. Although the survey was focussed primarily on the married woman, other members of the family were encouraged to participate i f they showed i n terest.  Frequently the woman was i n the midst of baking, ironing or sometimes  scrubbing floors and i n such circumstances she was encouraged to continue as she was interviewed. Occasionally she would suggest that the interviewer return later and this was arranged.  The time factor was important as these women f r e -  wuently had heavy home responsibilities upon their arrival home from work. In some cases the husband welcomed the interviewer into the home but his wife reacted unfavourably.  Such situations were easily recognized and care was  taken to allow the woman to refuse an interview i f she really did not wish i t . Repeated experiences of meeting these women made the interviewers more and more aware of the fact that these women were tired, frequently under pressure to complete household chores while they were home, and were not immediately receptive to an unexpected caller.  Once an interview was agreed to, however,  the woman seemed to enjoy the experience and seemed to appreciate an opportunity to talk about her problems.  Interviews lasted from thirty minutes  to two hours, generally averaging one hour. In the, evaluation of the findings of the survey, f a i r l y distinct patterns were recognized i n three different situations:  - 16 1) where both the woman and her husband were employed and there were dependent children to support, 2) where both the woman and her husband were employed and there were no dependent children, 3) where the woman was the sole breadwinner (and had dependent children). In the f i r s t instance, the woman has several considerations to make when she decides to go to work. She becomes concerned about the effect her working might have upon the children, upon her husband and upon herself when this added strain i s placed upon her. When she i s working, the problems that arise i n the family are more l i k e l y to be due to the fact that she does work outside the home. She i s concerned too about the community's attitude toward her working when she has these home responsibilities and must make arrangements for substitute care for her children.  Her relationship with her husband and her children,  and her feeling about community attitudes a l l affect her i n this new role. The second group of women do not have dependent children to plan f o r while they are absent from the home, but strive to maintain a happy marital relationship i n spite of the strains resulting when both she and her husband work. On the whole this group of women are younger than those who have children to consider, and are either planning f o r a family or are delaying childbirth u n t i l they can afford to have children.  In some cases, they are women who have re-  turned to the labour force since their children have grown up and l e f t home. The third group of women are working because of necessity and the pressures they face are l i k e l y to detract from the satisfaction they might ordinarily find i n employment. Some are widowed, some divorced or separated, while others have husbands who are unable to work. The sole responsibility f o r supporting the family i n most of these cases rests with the woman, and added to  - 17 this i s her wish to provide adequate care and good family l i f e for her children. For this reason, her problems are also considered separately. These three situations are dealt with i n Chapters I I , III and IV.  CHAPTER II THE MARRIED WOMAN WITH DEPENDENT CHILDREN Eighteen of the women interviewed i n the survey were married women whose husbands were employed and who had dependent children to consider. In a way, this i s the more normal kind of family that comprises a community. When the woman decides to go to work, her decision must be evaluated with f u l l recognition of the need to maintain and protect the husband-wife relationship and parent-child relationship, as well as the mother-child relationship.  Be-  cause of her role as a wife and a mother, there i s greater possibility that there w i l l be some loss to the family when she has to take the added respons i b i l i t y of outside employment. When problems arise i n these families, they are more l i k e l y to be due to the fact that she i s working and that this added pressure i s f e l t by the family. These women have taken jobs with the hope of improving family l i f e , and, on the whole, are conscientious i n this desire. Table I  Family Married Married Married Total Table 2  Family Constellation Age of Woman Under 25-34 35-44 45-54 25 years years years years  Group Couples, one child Couples, two children Couples, three children  2  1  ?  2 3 1  6  Total  4  2 2  5  4  18  Univ.  Total  1 1  7 19  1  6  10  2  Dependent Children  Families Married Couples, one child Married Couples, two children Married Couples, three children Total number of children  Preschool 4 4 1 9  Grades 1-8 1 11 4  lZ  Grades 9-13 1 3 1  5  2  6 ?2  - 19 Among these eighteen families, the ages of the women range from twenty years to fifty-four years, the median age being thirty five, while the ages of their dependent children range from seven months to twenty-four years. Seven of the eighteen families have children of pre-school age (one of these families also has children i n school). children i n school or university.  The remaining eleven families have  Of the thirty-two children i n these eighteen  families, sixteen children ( f i f t y per cent) are attending elementary school. The average size of the household (including the parents, dependent children, and i n some cases, non-dependent children and relatives, l i v i n g i n the home) i s 4«11 persons.  The majority of the families (ten of them) have two dependent children,  two families have three dependent children, and six families have only one dependent child. or buying.  A l l but one of the families lived i n houses which they are renting One family with an only child, eight months old, occupied a three-  roomed apartment.  None of the women complained about inadequate housing. Home  responsibilities were shared by the family members i n the majority of cases. Very l i t t l e was spent f o r outside services such as laundry and housecleaning. Three sent some of their laundry out, and one woman paid a neighbor a day's wage to come i n once a week to do the housecleaning and ironing f o r her. Occupations and Earnings Table 3  Occupations of Women  Age Group 20-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 Total  Professional 2  2  Business  1 1  Clerical 1 2 1 4  Service 4 3 2 9  Factory 2 2  Total 3 6 5 4  ia  The occupations of the women varied from weighing cheese i n a factory to operating a kindergarten at home. Although one woman had only grade four education and one had a university degree and post-graduate training, the majority had  - 20 some high school education and vocational training.  Of the eighteen women, half  of them were employed i n service occupations, four i n c l e r i c a l work, two i n factory work, two i n professional occupations and one operated a business of her own. Ten women work f u l l time, five part-time and three are i n casual employment. Only four have worked for the f u l l year prior to the interview, eleven have worked from six to twelve months and three have worked from three to s i x months.  In six  cases the woman expected to continue working indefinitely, one of these has a child of pre-school age.  In the remaining twelve families, the women planned to  work only a short time. Of the ten women employed full-time^ eight have day hours, one works night shifts and one has an evening shift.  Of the five women employed part-time,  three work during the children's school hours, one works from one to five i n the afternoon, and one works different shifts of eight hours each.  The three i n  casual employment go to work when called, sometimes on a part-time basis and sometimes for a f u l l day. Information about income was obtained from seventeen of the women. One woman declined to give this information as she f e l t i t did not enter into her reasons for working.  Of the seventeen, the women's earnings varied from $300 to  approximately #3,000,, the majority (six of them) earning from $1,000 to $1,499. The husband's income varied from $1,600 to $4,250, the average income approximately  $3,000. In most of the cases the husband had worked during the f u l l twelve-month period prior to the interview.  Five had worked f o r only part of the year, bet-  ween six and twelve months and none had worked f o r less than that period. The average t o t a l income for seventeen of the eighteen families was $4,172. Reasons for Working While the majority of the women gave their reasons f o r working as  - 21 "financial", many of these spoke of the psychological satisfactions of working. A few went to work primarily for psychological reasons. Fourteen of these eighteen women have gone to work primarily for financial reasons. ing  Eight of them are s t i l l paying for their homes or plann-  on buying, while others are making improvements to their homes, buying new  furnishings and making replacements.  In some of the cases there are debts to  pay off and i n two instances the women are working to ensure future financial security and higher education for the children.  Of this group of fourteen,  eleven enjoyed their work, partly because of the extra income and higher standard of living afforded the family and partly because of the social outlet her job  provided for her.  Some working full-time admitted they had l i t t l e time  for  leisure activities but s t i l l preferred to work. Typical responses given  were that outside employment gives a "broader outlook", a "zest for l i v i n g " , "easier living".  Some described their work as "interesting activity", said  they enjoyed the "atmosphere of the office", they like the people they meet and work with, the companionship at work compared with the loneliness at home (when children are i n school). Three of this group who are working for financial reasons f e l t a real economic need to work and achieved material gains only.  A l l three worked  because the family was i n debt and the husband's income was only three thousand or less.  A l l three women worked full-time.  One of these, having a couple of  children of school-age, i s continuing to work but hopes to find part-time employment, while the other two, each with three children, stopped work. One had been working i n a factory and was pressured by home responsibilities, and • the other, a new Canadian, had a nervous breakdown. She had been a dishwasher and elevator operator i n a hotel and accomplished two of her goals of working,  - 22 the repayment of the |900 fare that brought the f a m i l y from Germany and they were able t o move from a "nasty o l d rooming house" i n t o a home of t h e i r own.  They  want to continue to improve t h e i r l i v i n g standards.  Four women did not f e e l f i n a n c i a l l y pressed to seek employment but had other reasons of a psychological nature.  One was a new Canadian interested  i n learning the English language and making new f r i e n d s .  She worked during noon  hours as a waitress i n a men's club and learned t o speak English b e t t e r but was nervous about her language handicap.  She has not found f r i e n d s i n her job as  the other waitresses "did not share the same i n t e r e s t s " .  Another simply wanted  "independence" and "pocket money" but stopped working when the job she had enjoyed before marriage  (as a cook i n a club) l o s t i t s appeal.  cases the husbands disapproved of the women working.  In both of these  Another was having mari-  t a l d i f f i c u l t i e s - her husband would "forget to come home" i n the evening.  She  took casual employment as a c o u n t e r - g i r l i n a dairy and her husband had to come home d i r e c t l y from work to stay with the children.  The most s a t i s f i e d of t h i s  group of women was a kindergarten teacher who operated the kindergarten i n her own home each morning.  She f e l t the work she did gave her a f e e l i n g of status  and independence and was contributing to the mental health of the community.  S a t i s f a c t i o n s i n Employment In terms of the s a t i s f a c t i o n s gained from working, those women employed i n professional occupations, the woman with a business of her own, and those i n c l e r i c a l jobs expressed positive f e e l i n g s about t h e i r work.  Of those  i n service occupations, only the telephone operators and salesclerks found some s a t i s f a c t i o n i n the job, whereas the waitresses, the cook and the dishwasherelevator-operator were not happy. her job.  One employed i n factory work has discontinued  Other than the material gain, she spoke o f no s a t i s f a c t i o n from her  work (weighing cheese).  Pressures of her home r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s would probably  - 23 detract from the satisfaction of any outside employment she would undertake. The other woman employed i n factory work did not describe her job as satisfying but expressed no negative feeling about i t .  Having a job did not  seem important to her but i t enabled her to purchase a few extras far the family, e.g. a new bed for her daughter.  The family had lived i n the same neighborhood  for sixteen years and when a new factory opened up i n that part of town she and another neighbor applied for work. As she said, being forty years old, she did not expect to be accepted for employment. Both she and her neighbor were hired to package dates.  She was not disappointed, eight months later, to be laid off  during a slack period.  This woman managed her household routine efficiently,  had two children of school age, and by paying a neighbor seven dollars weekly to do her housecleaning and ironing, she did not f e e l pressured.  When asked  whether she would be interested i n job-training, she replied jokingly that she supposed she might train for a job where she could "use her brains". She referred to her eight months employment as "easy l i v i n g " and being l a i d off meant that she could catch up on some of her home responsibilities such as sewing, etc. Those women with the heaviest home responsibilities were too much under pressure to find satisfaction i n their jobs, especially full-time employment. In both the families where there are three dependent children, the woman has given up her job.  Both feel a financial need to go back i f they can find  part-time work. One of these, as already mentioned, suffered a nervous breakdown. Satisfactions of working were less for those who were pressed into employment because of the financial need.  The job was not a social outlet for them,  as i n other cases, but a matter of dire necessity. In some cases the husband's disapproval of the woman working affected the enjoyment she received from employment outside the home. In one case, however, despite the husband's disapproval (as she said "this i s a forbidden  subject") she has continued her work as a switchboard operator. nine t o s i x and her husband i s employed from 7 p.m. t o 7 a.m. mother looks a f t e r the children.  She works from The woman's  Most husbands were reconciled to the woman  working but, as three women stated, he would prefer to be "sole supporter" of the family.  When the husband expressed acceptance i t was due t o h i s recogni-  t i o n that the woman was happier or because he had a part i n the d e c i s i o n that her employment would raise the family's standard of l i v i n g .  The husband's  acceptance of her employment meant greater sharing of home r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and l e s s pressure on the woman. In such cases she was happier i n her dual r o l e .  Arrangements f o r C h i l d Care Arrangements f o r c h i l d care were not required i n three of the eighteen f a m i l i e s . student.  In one case the only "dependent c h i l d " i s a u n i v e r s i t y  I n another s i t u a t i o n where the woman operated a kindergarten i n her  own home, she was occupied only during the hours when her c h i l d r e n were a t school or u n i v e r s i t y .  In the t h i r d case the woman worked part-time during the  noon hour and her children, who were attending school, were able t o manage on t h e i r own. Of the f i f t e e n f a m i l i e s where c h i l d care was needed, one woman with three children i n school did not provide f o r t h e i r supervision. hours were eight t o f o u r - t h i r t y .  Her working  Of the remaining fourteen f a m i l i e s , eleven  women arranged f o r the children to be cared f o r by family members (the husband, the woman's mother or an older c h i l d i n the f a m i l y ) , and three had baby-sitters or neighbors to watch over t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  In the eleven instances where the family members stayed with the children, the husband took complete charge i n four of the f a m i l i e s , and i n four others he took p a r t i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  The woman's mother took complete charge  i n three of the f a m i l i e s and p a r t i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n the fourth instance. In  one case the older child (of high school age) took responsibility for the younger one and i n another family the woman's sister stayed with the children u n t i l the husband came home. Where the children were cared for by an outside person, babysitters were hired i n two cases (where children were of pre-school age) and neighbors watched over the children i n another family (where the children were attending school). Dissatisfaction about the child-care arrangements was expressed by four of the women, (three of them worked full-time).  In the situation where the  school children were l e f t to themselves the woman worried about their lack of supervision after school, particularly because their home was located near a correction institution for g i r l s . with home responsibilities.  She also f e l t that g i r l s were overburdened  Where an older child was l e f t i n charge of a young-  er brother, the woman worried about emergencies arising, such as f i r e . other two situations the children were of pre-school age.  In the  One, where a baby-  sitter needed to be hired u n t i l the husband came home, was an unsatisfactory arrangement as the family were unable to get a regular, reliable sitter and the woman worried about the kind of care her baby was getting.  In the other situa-  tion i n which the husband and the woman's sister took turns caring f o r the children, there was too much strain on the husband; while the woman worked days he worked nights and could not get adequate sleep with this added responsibility. The woman did feel, however, that the arrangement was better than having the children with strangers. In the remainder of the families, the women f e l t that the child care was adequate. Four with children of pre-school age had assistance from family members. The f i f t h took her eight-month old baby over to a neighbor, an elderly  - 26 man, who cared f o r the c h i l d while the woman worked four hours each afternoon. She described t h i s arrangement as "very s a t i s f a c t o r y " .  The other s i x f a m i l i e s  i n t h i s group, who found child-care arrangements adequate were l e s s burdened because t h e i r children were of school age.  Generally the f e e l i n g of a l l the women who worked was that the children were best cared f o r i n t h e i r own homes and by a member of the f a m i l y . The most s a t i s f a c t o r y arrangement was i n cases where the woman's mother was free to take t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  In such cases the woman's mother also took  on added r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s such as preparing the evening meal.  Attitudes of the Children In most cases where the children were of pre-school age the woman did  not describe any negative e f f e c t s on the c h i l d but said he was  to show any reaction.  "too young"  One woman who has her mother caring f o r her c h i l d s a i d "she  has learned to go to someone besides me".  "She i s not too dependent on  me".  Another woman whose c h i l d i s cared f o r sometimes by her husband, sometimes by the woman's mother and sometimes by a g i r l who l i v e s next door, said that she f e l t the children were better o f f because the f a m i l y had no f i n a n c i a l worries and the children also received extra attention from t h e i r f a t h e r .  There was some difference i n attitudes expressed by children attendelementary school and those attending high school.  Those i n high school d i d not  mind having t h e i r mother work, whereas some of the reactions from elementary school children were negative.  One ten-year o l d g i r l "doesn't mind too much,  but would much prefer to come home f o r lunch".  Another twelve-year o l d boy would  l i k e t o have h i s mother home when he comes from school.  An eleven-year o l d c h i l d  complained "when are you going to be through working so you can f i x my  clothes?"  As one woman said, her two children "do not complain or make comments", "they appreciate the extras I can purchase f o r them".  Two other children i n  -  27  -  elementary school "much prefer to have her at home"; they f e e l over-worked when she i s employed. The children who had their grandmothers with them seemed more accepting but the mother described them i n one case as "not as happy and relaxed" because their mother was constantly rushed and unable to devote leisure time to the family . -  Those children i n high school reacted more positively to having their mother work. One fourteen-year old boy's reaction to his mother's decision to work was "Oh boy, mom, more money", as his allowance would be increased. In other situations the older child showed pride i n his mother's working. The women f e l t i n these cases that the children were better off as they learned to assume responsibility. Effect on the Total Family Situation One of the questions asked of these eighteen women was i n regard to family recreation and the extent of time available for this.  A l l of those with  children of pre-school age described their social l i f e as limited, except for one woman whose mother also lived i n the home. In one case where the couple have an eight-month old baby, there i s sometimes as much as two weeks when the husband and wife scarcely see one another. with his shifts as a fireman.  She works i n shifts as a nurse, alternating  In most cases the women had to do their chores  i n the evening which limited social activities.  Lack of recreation was often  due to fatigue or because of the financial strain including the expense of getting a baby-sitter for younger children.  The women with children of school-age did  not feel as deprived i n this respect. There was an added strain on the husband i n most cases when the woman was employed.  He helped with household chores i n a l l the cases where there  were children on pre-school age i n the family. Husbands took on such responsib-  - 2a -  i l i t i e s as preparing the evening meal (six of them relieved their wives i n this way), helping with the dishes and assisting with heavier housecleaning and the weekly laundry. Although i t was d i f f i c u l t to evaluate family relationships, i n most cases they seemed basically good. In five situations there seemed to be some question.  In one, the woman was looking for satisfactions outside of the  home by returning to the job she had held before marriage.  In another, while  the husband worked from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., a telephone operator chose to work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. when i t seemed that many positions were open to her at more convenient hours.  In two situations, the woman's working increased her  husband's feelings of inadequacy.  In one of these cases the woman recognized this  but financial pressures forced her to work as her husband had only recently recovered from a long i l l n e s s .  In the other case family relationships were ob-  viously affected by the husband's feelings of inadequacy.  A family argument  occurred during the interview i n regard to the household help given the woman while she worked. The husband's comment about her working was " i t ' s her business, as long as nothing else i s neglected". His employment as a mairhenance man was unstable and the woman had worked f o r thirteen years of their twenty-six years of marriage.  Although she worked only part-time, her contribution to the  family income during the year prior to the interview was 43 per cent.  She stated  as her reason for working that she was helping her son through university. As her husband said, "mother" handles the money i n the family and pays a l l the b i l l s . There was some indication of a close bond bettveen the woman and her student son. One-woman f e l t that her working improved family relations as her husband no longer "forgot to come home". She went to work evenings and her husband was required to come home to stay with the children. In the other thirteen cases, good family relationships seemed to  - 29 -  exist despite the stresses placed on the family by both parents working. In some cases this may have been due to the material gains and i n some cases due to the psychological satisfactions the woman gained from outside employment. Another significant factor may be that the majority of these women, fourteen out of the eighteen, have been working for less than a year.  CHAPTER III THE MARRIED WOMAN WITHOUT DEPENDENT CHILDREN Needs, problems, and satisfactions i n working, are a l l different for the working mother as compared with the woman who i s without dependents. If nothing else, the woman without dependents has less complicated problems i n that she does not have the care, or the need to provide substitute care, f o r her children.  For this reason the nineteen women interviewed who had no dependent  children (three of them had grown-up children no longer i n the home) are being treated separately i n this chapter.  As a preliminary examination reveals some  difference between attitudes or situations of younger and older women, the i n formation i s being grouped (a) wives from 20-34 years of age, and (b) those aged 35-54 years of age.  These w i l l be referred to, f o r convenience, as the  younger and older groups, respectively.  The median  age of the younger group  i s 25-34 years, and that of the older group i s 35-44 years. Table 4 Family Constellation Age of Wife  Family Group  Under 25  Married couples, with no dependent children  4  25-34  35-44  45-54  7  6  2  Total  19  Employment - Past and Present Of the eleven women i n the younger group, five were employed i n c l e r i c a l positions.  The remaining six were employed as, a factory worker, a  telephone operator, a private duty nurse, an x-ray technician, a home economist,  1. Three families, two i n 35-44 age group, and one i n the 45-54 year old age-group, have grown-up children now out of the home.  - 31 -  and an owner-operator of a small confectionery.  In the older group the categor-  ies are broadly the same. In that group four of the eight women are employed i n c l e r i c a l capacities, and the remainder were a factory worker, two salesclerks, and a doctor's assistant. Table 5 Education and Employment Training  Education and Training Education Level Elementary Grades IX-XI Grades XII and higher Total Training Post-graduate Vocational None Total  Age of Wife Under 25  25-34  35-44  45-54  Total  3 4  2 5 7  1 2 . 3 6  2 2  2 4 13 19  2 2 4  2 4 1 7  3 3 6  1 1 2  2 10 7 19  1  A study of the educational backgrounds shows that almost a l l are employed full-time, are working during the daytime, and are working a five-day week. The exceptions are the two women who are operating their own small confectionery-grocery stores who work long hours, seven days per week; and a telephone operator who works shifts six days per week. With the majority of the group there was a definite plan to work i n those jobs where they would have a five day week so that they might have time for their housework, and yet have time for relaxation, and time with their husbands. There was a marked preference for having Saturday, rather than any other day, free.  - 32 Table 6  Entry i n t o the Labour Force  Date of Entering Labour Force Trained: 1921-1930 1931-1940 Since 1940  Present Age of Wife Under 25 25-34 35-44 45-54  Total  2 3  Untrained: 1921-1930 1931-1940 Since 1940 Total  6  2 3 9  3  2 2 1 19  2  1 4  1  1  7  6  2  In reviewing the woman's period i n the labour force tte difference i n the two groups shows quite c l e a r l y .  In the younger group one woman married  at 16, f i v e between the ages of 20-24, and f i v e between the ages of  25-34. A l l  except the two u n i v e r s i t y graduates (who d i d not enter the labour force u n t i l they were 23) were employed by the time they were 20, and a l l but four of that younger group have worked r i g h t through without a break, i n spite of t h e i r marriage.  The other four have been out of the labour force less than f i v e  years since t h e i r marriage. In the older group the age of marriage i s quite d i f f e r e n t . of them married under  20 years  of age, four between  30-35,  and one over  Three  35.  Without exception they were employed by the time they were 20, and t h e i r period of employment p r i o r t o marriage varied from the women who married and took employment simultaneously, to the woman who had 21 years experience before marriage.  Three of that group have worked continuously, and, of the remaining  f i v e , one was a housewife f o r l e s s than f i v e years since marriage, one was f i v e t o nine years, two were nine t o fourteen years, and one was sixteen years out of the labour f o r c e .  It i s interesting to note that of the three women i n the older group who have had children, a l l were out of the labour force for considerable periods while their children were small. One was out for 16 years and only re-entered the labour force when she secured a divorce at the time her youngest child was 13 years of age.  The other two remained i n their homes u n t i l their children  were ten and twelve years old, and then recommenced work with part-time jobs u n t i l the children were no longer dependent on them. The great majority of the women i n both groups are i n the same type of employment as before marriage. tions.  In the younger group there are just two excep-  One i s a woman who owns a grocery store but who previously worked i n a  factory, as a chambermaid, and as a salesclerk. operator but was, before marriage,  a  The other i s now a telephone  student nurse who gave up her training be-  cause i t interfered with her plans to marry. In the older group there are four who have changed their type of employment.  The woman who i s presently operating a power-machine was, previously  a domestic.  Another woman commenced her employment as a receptionist, then be-  came a jeweller's clerk and buyer, u n t i l the long hours and heavy responsibilities broke her health, and she i s now a doctor's assistant.  The third woman has been  a telephone operator, a salesclerk, and more recently, a psychiatric nurse. She gave up the latter position because she found i t too nervously wearing, and she satisfied a longrfelt desire to have her own business by purchasing a small, rundown confectionery store.  The other woman, once i n the needleworking trade, i s  now a clerk i n a r e t a i l store. Reasons for Working In most of the interviews i t was obvious that there were both financ i a l and psychological reasons involved i n the decision of the married woman to  - 34 -  take employment. portant reason.  It i s d i f f i c u l t i n some cases to decide which was the most imIt can be evaluated, partly, by considering the reasons i n the  light of their realism, and i n the light of the woman's statement concerning her "future plans". In many cases, of course, the woman had more than one financial goal i n working.  In two of the younger group of women she stated she was working to  supplement her husband's wages for day-to-day l i v i n g expenses. In one of these two cases the husband i s a salesman earing 1 2 , 0 0 0 . per year, and i t i s reasonable that his wife may find this a very meagre income for daily expenses.  The other  woman has a husband who i s earning $ 4 , 0 0 0 . per year as a commercial a r t i s t , and i t would seem very l i k e l y that, i n this case, the psychological reasons are more important than the financial ones.  Two women i n the older group give day-to-day  l i v i n g expenses as one of their financial reasons for working.  One i s the wife  of a labourer making | 2 , 0 0 0 . per year, but the other husband i s a draughtsman earning #4,000. per year.  Her reasons f o r working, originally, were certainly  to meet minimum living expenses for her husband had just been discharged from TB sanitarium, and i t was impossible for him to work for a year, but, as time has passed, and he i s now working f u l l time, her reasons for working have shifted to provision, of a home, and to psychological reasons. Five women i n the younger group, and three i n the older group, are working to buy furniture.  With the younger couples this has been the f i r s t stage  in preparing for a home of their own. Amongst those who are working to purchase a home there i s considerable difference between the two groups.  In the younger group nine are bending  a l l their efforts toward this end, while i n the older group only three are so occupied.  There i s a further difference, also, i n the present housing situation  - 35 which throws light on this plan. Amongst the younger group a l l but two are l i v ing i n inadequate, but expensive apartments, while i n the older group one owns an apartment, three are buying houses at this moment, and only one i s renting. Particularly among the younger women the plan i s that they w i l l earn and save s u f f i cient for a down payment of such proportions that the husband w i l l be able to carry the mortgage payments on his salary without undue strain. 'As the salaries of the husbands vary from $2,500. to $4,200. with a mediam income of $3,500. the plan looks fairly, r e a l i s t i c .  The only woman i n the older group who has not  yet purchased the home f o r which she i s working, i s the wife of a shipper who earns $3,200.00. The others have already purchased their homes and are working to keep up the payments. Those who are living i n apartments stressed the cost, and the fact that they cannot hope to have a family u n t i l such time as they can move into a house. The fact that most apartment owners w i H not permit children i n their quarters i s commented upon frequently. Unfortunately the schedule did not include any questions about the family's plans for having children; but repeatedly the interviewer was told "we want to get into a house as soon as possible so we can have a baby." Another version was, "I wouldn't want to work after my babies come, but this way I can have babies sooner,"  One got the de-  f i n i t e impression that most of the younger women were delaying childbearing. With them one f e l t that they had the urge to have children, and the f a i r l y caref u l budgetting they had done, meant they would be able to carry out their plans to leave their jobs.  In ten out of the eleven cases the period mentioned was  anything from six months to three years.  The one exception was a woman who,  while she wants children, has some reason to doubt whether she w i l l be able to bear a child.  - 36 -  In the older age group the situation i s understandably different. In that group one woman i s planning short-term employment, but the other seven talk i n terms of "five or six years", "may be another ten years", "indefinitely or as long as the employer w i l l have me". One woman i n the younger group, and two i n the older group, were working to provide better savings for their retirement period. And one woman was working to provide for her aged parents who l i v e i n the home. She pointed out that i t was one thing"to expect her husband to share his living quarters with her parents, and quite another f o r her to expect him to support them, also.  She had,  therefore, gone to work to supply the financial support. Psychological reasons for working showed i n eight of the eleven younger cases, and i n six of the eight older cases.  A number of women stated that  there was insufficient to keep them occupied i n their apartments, and that working was better than "sitting moping", or "letting things get on my nerves". Many had obviously enjoyed their pre-marriage employment, and f e l t that housework was less constructive than employment i n the business world.  One, the wife of the  commercial artist mentioned above, had come recently to Canada, and found employment an excellent way of making friends, and learning Canadian ways. Several women spoke of the joy of feeling independent, and of having status. In this connection one writer has said "Home l i f e i s a matter of fact experience; i t i s just taken for granted.  This can be done by every woman, but to work i n industry  i s to prove oneself equal to a man.  A woman worker acquires a higher status.  She can earn her living and stand on her own feet.  She can f e e l independent and  have a security altogether different from a housewife. on equal terms  She can bargain with men  'She justifies her existence f u l l y ' —  presses typically a woman's attitude.  this phrase ex-  A man would not think that he needs to j u s t i -  fy his e x i s t e n c e . A n o t h e r woman said, and several implied, "once you have worked  1952.  1. Page 16.  Zweig, F. Women's Life and Labour: Victor Gollancz Ltd; London;  - 37 you hate to be dependent on anyone, even your husband". One woman stated that she f e l t working had a value to the marital relationship i n that the working wife understood better those pressures and strains of business which so many husbands have to endure alone.  Some voiced the idea that "for me work i s a  habit — and I love i t " . Effect on the Marital Relationship One of the questions i n the mind of a social worker i s what this employment means to the marital relationship.  In the great majority of the cases -  nine out of eleven i n the younger group, and six out of eight i n the older group the working hours are very similar although they may vary an hour or two.  In two  instances, one i n each group, the woman works days while the husband works graveyard shift.  In both cases the families are trying to establish themselves and  view this as a necessary sacrifice which they w i l l make f o r a limited time. In two other instances, again one i n each group, the man works-days, while the wife works shifts.  In one case this i s necessary because the woman i s a special duty  nurse who does not work continuously. In the other case the young woman i s a druggist clerk who deliberately chose shift work as i t gives her better time for her housework and for her husband. Another question arises as to the husband's attitude to his wife working.  It i s recognized that the schedule e l i c i t e d the wife's understanding  of her husband's views, and did not get his directly i n most cases.  Neverthe-  less those, taken i n conjunction with the help which the husband does, or does not give i n the home, i s indicative of his attitude.  The answers to this ques-  tion ranged from the woman who said "he'd be offended i f I quit", through those where the husband had been unhappy about the plan to start with but had become reconciled to i t provided that i t was for a brief period; to those where he was merely "reconciled" to i t ; and those where he was pleased about her employment  -  3 8  -  because of the improvement i t had created i n her mental health. Out of the entire group only three husbands are not sharing the housework. In one of the three cases there i s no necessity for him to assist because the mother-in-law i s i n the home and responsible for the housekeeping.  In the other two instances the marital relationship appeared strained,  and the man took no part i n the home responsibilities.  In the other cases  the men did considerable, ranging a l l the way from doing the dishes, or the floors, to "helping on a 50-50 basis - I'd never be able to manage i f he didn't".  In the great majority of cases the wife had the housekeeping well  organizedj doing certain portions of i t at night, or before she l e f t i n the morning, and leaving the heavy cleaning and washing u n t i l Saturday. this group f e l t that having Saturday off was essential.  AH  One of the two  women who had a grocery store found her household routines extremely d i f f i c u l t because of her long hours, constant interruptions, and the fact that her husband gave practically no assistance with the housework. Three others, who were not too fond of homemaking, had no set routines.  It was noticeable  that routine was necessary i f the situation was to be satisfactory for both partners.  Paid services were considered too expensive to be practicable. Although the schedule made no mention of health, the interviewers  were well aware that over-tiredness was a constant drain on the health of these women. Time after time the husband, or wife, mentioned this.  This  w i l l , inevitably, make for short tempers, general i r r i t a b i l i t y , and unwillingness for joint recreation, a l l of which are a strain on the marital relationship. The area of recreation i s a large, and important one.  It i s d i f f i -  cult to be sure, i n many cases, whether the limited recreation, which i s  typical of this sampling, i s the result of the woman working, or whether i t has always been neglected i n a particular family. There were instances,  such as the older couple, where the woman works four hours a day to  keep herself occupied, and provide for their old age, where recreation i s adequate and well planned, e.g. their garden and horse-racing are their summer interests, and i n winter they enjoy Television, their lodge meetings, and night school courses which they attend with a group of their neighbours.  At the other extreme i s one of the grocery owners who works  such long hours, seven days a week, that they have absolutely no shared recreation except for two weeks i n the summer when she gets someone i n to tend the store, and she and her husband go away on a t r i p together. One of the younger couples spend a good deal of time together golfing, and i n a sports car club, but admitted that, when they move into their own home next month, they know this w i l l have to give way to gardening — which to them i s not recreation.  Seven of the families have l i t t l e recreation of  any kind, but this was explained, i n part, by such remarks as "my husband isn't very sociable", "not much, but a l l we want". Gains and Losses Each woman interviewed was asked to evaluate what she f e l t she had gained, or lost, by working.  It i s interesting to examine the thinking of  these two age groups i n this regard. In the younger group six women (of whom two were working half time, only) f e l t that they had lost nothing, while i n the older group six out of the smaller group of eight, agreed with them. Amongst the younger women four f e l t that their social l i f e had suffered from the fact that they were employed.  One, a very young wife who was working toward a home, f e l t that  while this was a fact, i t was not too serious for " i t won't hurt us to  wait for that".  Two wives (one works shifts as a drug clerk, and one oper-  ates her own grocery) f e l t that their social l i f e was seriously affected and were deeply regretful of i t .  Amongst the older women only one complained  of the curtailment of her social activities because of her job.  Injury to  health through overwork was specifically listed as one of the losses by the grocery owner, and by a woman who i s an office clerk.  The interviewers  were conscious of i t i n other cases, also. One woman commented that her house was neglected, but, as work seemed to be for her an escape from housework, i t i s doubtful whether this can rightfully be charged against her job. No one commented that this meant delaying childbirth, but one could not help but be aware that this was a loss to them. A l l the women f e l t that there had been real material gains.  These  included bank accounts toward home purchase which were sufficiently large that the woman knew i t was only a matter of a very short time u n t i l her dreams would be reality (one couple had bought a home the day before our v i s i t , and another was expecting to move into her new home within three months when her husband would be far enough on with the actual construction to make i t liveable, i f not complete).  Several l i s t e d such material gains  as being able to provide for aged parents; sending a daughter to university; making i t possible to marry a fiance just released from TB sanitorium, and in subsequent years, ease the pressures on him; establishing funds to supplement husband's retirement provisions; and providing luxuries such as a car, membership i n a golf club, extra clothing, and gifts to children of a previous marriage.  I t i s interesting that only one, v i z . , the grocery owner,  saw material gains as the only achievement.  - 41 In the younger group there was much more interest i n the companionship gained from the job, than among the older group. Five l i s t e d this as a gain i n the younger group while only one listed i s among the older women. The proportion was reversed when i t came to the feeling that work gave them a broader outlook.  In that case 50% of the older group l i s t e d i t as  a gain, while only 22 per cent of the younger women saw i t i n that light. The younger group saw work as a means of learning, i . e . learning interesting occupations, learning to get along with people, learning efficiency which could later be applied to housekeeping methods, learning Canadian ways, and learning to enter more f u l l y into their husband's worries, and strains. The older women were, naturally, less interested i n learning, and more i n terested i n being kept mentally alert i n their work, and three of them cited this as one of their gains.  Women i n both groups spoke of the satisfactions  they got from feeling not only that they were independent, but of feeling that they were part of the community, and were making a worthwhile contribution to i t .  And several commented that they got real enjoyment — "as  much as I do out of curling" —• from the actual job i t s e l f .  CHAPTER IV THE HANDICAPPED FAMILY What may be called 'handicapped families' are of many kinds. In a l l of them (for the purposes of this survey) the husband i s either absent or unable to continue as the chief breadwinner. More particularly, this group includes widows who have dependent children; women who are separated or divorced and have children to support partially or wholly.  The families  where the husband i s incapacitated by either illness or injury, i s i n very irregular employment or retired, because of handicap or age, are rare, but s t i l l important.  A l l these families are faced with the high cost of hous-  ing and the increase i n the cost of living which has characterized the postwar years.  To meet the daily living needs, the woman has found i t necessary  to return to the labour force i n order to contribute to the family budget. This also means greater responsibilities, as the woman has no choice but to go to work. The different situations show complications, especially i n cases where the husband i s incapacitated.  The widow, divorcee, or the woman  separated from her husband must take over the role of both parents, and further, she i s faced with loneliness i n the home from the lack of adult companionship.  On the other hand, having a job to do and getting "out of  the house" daily has certain compensations. Family and Household Constellation Of the f i f t y married women working for pay, who were interviewed, thirteen came within the categories mentioned above.  - 43 -  Table 7. Family Constellation  Family Group •aGroup A Married Couples with No Children One Dependent Child Two or more Dependent Children Sub-Total  25-34  Age of Wife 35-44 45-54  2 2  55-64  Total  1 1  1 1  2  2 4  *«•  Group B Mother with One Dependent Child Two or more Dependent Children Total  2 4  2 2  3  1  4  1 6  1  5 13  # In Group A, three of the husbands were retired or incapacitated, the other a marginal case i n which the man had only irregular (seasonal)work. ** In Group B, three of the women were widows, three separated, and three divorced. Table 8.  Children i n the Families  Families Married Couples with One child Two or more children Widows with Dependent children Separated or Divorced with Dependent children Total Children  Preschool  Grades 1-8  2  3  Grades 9-13  3 2 4  9  Higher  Total  1  1 5  2 2  5 1 2  12 2?  (a) One of these children i n institution f o r Mentally Retarded Children, Only one of the thirteen homes was childless.  In the other twelve  homes there are twenty three children, 17 or 74 percent of the children are i n school, Grades 1-13; four children are pre-schoolers; and two are taking higher education.  - 44 It i s interesting to learn from the schedules that ten out of the thirteen families are living i n a house. Four families own their home; five families are purchasing their homes; but only one rented the house. Five of the houses were large (eight rooms), two are six-roomed dwellings, two are f i v e roomed and one i s a four-roomed dwelling. the childless couple.  This latter i s being purchased by  The three families living i n suites and renting are  not as fortunate, since their homes are not as spacious, having only two to four rooms. Care of the Children From the schedules, i t i s interesting to note that a l l the children are cared for i n their own homes, with the exception of the one mentally retarded child.  There i s only, (a) one child i n five of the homes; (b) two  children i n three homes; and, (c) three children i n four of the homes. Where the woman has given thought to her dual role of mother-housewife and wage-earner, hours of employment are important.  The woman objects stren-  uously to employment which calls for working hours on Saturday and/or Sunday. The objections arise around the care of the children.  The job with the  greatest appeal i s the one with the working hours corresponding to the hours the children are i n school.  The location of the employment i s also given  consideration for the same reason.  The woman w i l l take work with less income  i f i t means more time at home. If the location of employment means an hour or two travel time, of necessity she may accept the job, but w i l l be constantl y looking for a change. The hours she likes best are 9 : 0 0 a.m. to not later than 5 : 0 0 p.m., this gives her time to see the children prepared f o r school; and at the end  - 45 of the day, the children are not without supervision for too long a period. Four of the women interviewed commenced work at 8:00 or 8:30 i n the morning working u n t i l 4:00, 4:30 or 5:00 i n the afternoon.  One woman  worked from 9:00 to 5:00, another from 9:00 to 3:00, A mother working from 10:00 to 3:00, three days a week, could benefit financially from f u l l time employment, but has not been able to obtain a job with hours to f i t i n with what she considers necessary care for her children. Another mother worked 9:00 to 6:00, three days a week, and 12:00 noon to 9:00 p.m. two days a week. This working arrangement suited her situation because i t allowed her four mornings out of seven to be with her pre-school children.  The nurse on the 3:00 to 11:30 p.m. shift, with one adult son,  whose husband i s retired, f e l t the late shift dovetailed best into their way of l i f e . One woman whose husband i s incapacitated by a progressive crippling condition, accepted temporary jobs as a cook i n logging camps. She had been a saleslady prior to her marriage. uation.  The woman planned according to her s i t -  They are a childless couple and the husband i s s t i l l able to care  for himself.  Accepting temporary employment for a period of two or three  months means to this woman a satisfactory income, low expenses (such as clothing and transportation) and, most important, she i s able to spend about half the year at home (full-time housewife) with her husband. Another family which i s handicapped due to the father's injury, manages because the father i s i n the home and able to look after the children.  The mother has many anxious moments when she contemplates the future  and any disruption to this plan, such as, the father being re-admitted to hospital.  - 46 The family i n which the mother i s working because of the father's seasonal employment, arrange the care of the three children between them. Their plan i s such that the children are seldom l e f t without parental supervision for more than an hour or two at a time. These mothers are conscientious and understand the needs of children.  They believe the children should be cared f o r i n their own homes; and,  as their limited budget w i l l not allow for paid help, the care of the children i s of great concern to them. Employment The women who have become wage-earners due to the unfortunate circumstances i n the home, were full-time homemakers i n the majority of cases, u n t i l faced with the necessity of contributing financially to the family's need. Table 9» Education and Employment Training Age Group 35-44 45 and Over  Education and Training  25-34  Educational Level Elementary Grades IX - XI Grades XII and higher Total  4  1 2  4  3  Training Post-graduate Vocational None Total  1 3 4  3 3  Total  1 1 4 6  2 7 4  2 4  2 5 6 13  6  Table 3 shows the education and employment training of these women. From the figures, the majority i n the older age group have a higher educationa l standing and are trained for employment. Of the thirteen women interviewed, nine are i n the same or similar job classifications as prior to their marriage; two have obtained and been  - 47 able to hold jobs of a higher classification than previously; and two are i n employment which may be considered a lower classification. The circumstances i n each case are sufficiently varied as to preclude general comparison.  Invariably, the woman has chosen work to suit her  own situation or i s seeking employment that w i l l f i t i n with the needs of her family and their budget. Table 10 Period of Entry into Labour Force  Date Entering Labour Force Trained:  1911-1920 1921-1930 1931-1940 Since 1941  Untrained:  1 Total  1911-1920 1921-1930 1931-1940  Since 1941  25-34  Presenlt Age 35-44 45 and Over  2 3 1  1  1 1 2  4  2 2  7  Total  2 3 1 1 1 0 3 2 1?  The employment history of the woman separated from her husband shows a l i t t l e different pattern. One, who had always worked, was out of the labour force only long enough to have her children; a second was i n and out of the labour force two-thirds of her married l i f e ; the situation of the third one resembled the problem of the divorcee, i n as much as a Court Order from the Family Court was not honoured by the husband, and employment f o r the woman became necessary to supplement the irregular income from the husband. The sampling from the survey i s too small to be significant, but i t i s note that the number of trained and untrained employees are about equal.  The greater number of the older women i n employment are  trained or have had some training previous to their application for employment.  - 48 Income Among the anxieties and responsibilities accompanying the woman's dual role, the attempt to meet the present cost-of-living, and higher living standards generally, poses a real problem, since this demands a higher family income. Table 11  Income and Occupational Grade  Income Group  $ 500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500  -  Professional  $ 999 $1,499 $1,999 $2,499 , $2,999  2 2  $3,000and over Total  Occupations Business Clerical  1  2 1 1 1  1  5  Service  Factory  1 2 3  Total  1 1  2  1 3 3 3 1 2 13  The interviews revealed i t i s the woman with training who earns the higher wage and who i s i n a position to make a choice of employment, location of work to home and hours of labour. f  Her situation i s noticeably different  in that education and training have made planning less d i f f i c u l t .  These women  are able to move towards promotion or may change their positions as opportunities arise, for better working conditions and a higher wage. Only one of the thirteen women interviewed i s attending night school, moving towards better and more remunerative employment. Another hoped to be able to plan to take a refresher course, for three reasons: namely, to qualify herself f o r more s k i l l f u l occupation of the kind she enjoyed prior to marriage, v i z : clerical work as opposed to her present occupation i n industry, the regular hours of work which this would involve as well as an increase i n wages.  - 49 Table 12 Ways and Means of Supplementing Income Income Supplemented by Hus- Rela- Janitor Family Roomers W.C.(a) Husand/or Allow- band • s band's tives Services Court Boarders ance Pension Income Order  Woman's Income Bracket  $ 500-1 999 $1,000-$1,499 $1,500-$1,999 $2,000-$2,499 $2,500-$2,999 $3,000 & Over  1 1 1  1 1  1  1  1  1  Total No. of Women 3 (a) Workmen's Compensation Allowance.  1  1  1 1  1  1  TOTAL No. with Supplementary Income  1 3 1 2 1 1 9  Nine of the thirteen women interviewed were supplementing their i n come by:- 1. Renting rooms. 2. Opening their homes to one or two boarders. 3. Helping with janitor service i n the apartment block where they were residing, 4. Sharing home with maternal grandparents, 5. Irregular support from Family Court Order. 6. The husband incapacitated by illness was i n receipt of a small pension. 7. The husband incapacitated by injury was i n receipt of a Workmen's Compensation Allowance. 8. The seasonal worker (husband) contributed thirty eight per cent of the total family income. The contribution by the husband who has retired i s "not stated". One of the questions presented i n the schedule i s , "would the woman interviewed be interested i n job training?"  Seven of the women gave "no" as  their answer; one i s presently taking post-graduate work at a university; five made suggestions, such as, typing, shorthand, nurse's aid, post-graduate work in nursing, and a course i n the selection of personnel.  Several comments were,  "there i s no money for this". Among the questions asked was whether the woman had ever contributed to a pension fund i n connection with a job. One woman, i n the  45-54  age group,  - 50 i s presently contributing to a pension fund and also stated she had changed her employment to gain this security; one woman, i n the 55-64 age group, said she had contributed prior to her marriage; and the other eleven women answered "no" to this question. The schedule did not ask for information on Trade Union membership and for the most part the woman interviewed did not mention this aspect of employment. One woman, however, did volunteer an interesting item of information, her employer was about to reduce her wages when the Union intervened and the reduction was stopped.  The woman had commented i n the interview that she was "not too popu-  lar at the store now". Reasons for Woman Working Of the thirteen women interviewed, nine were faced with the necessity of earning a living for themselves and their children.  In four other cases, two  were working for their children and incapacitated husbands, one husband was on seasonal work only, and one husband was retired from employment. They had l i t t l e choice of work i n most cases and plans had to be formulated, without too much delay, to meet their needs.  One woman did l i v e on  her capital for two years, but found her income so depleted i n this short period that she re-entered the labour force after having had time to plan for i t . What i s the attitude to work i n this group?  The answer i n most  cases i s "good". The one woman who did complain bitterly, i s one who might be referred to as a "professional widow*! i n the sense of the term as used by F, Zweag i n his book Women's Life and Labour. should support her and the child".  This woman feels "the community  She was on shift work - complained about the  hours of work, also single g i r l s and New Canadians getting a preference; but she did not seem to realize that her indifferent attitude and frequent absenteeism created problems for her employer.  This woman was not presently working but  - 51 -  claimed to be looking for work. Twelve of the women interviewed planned to work for a long-term period and one said an "indefinite period". The young woman, whose husband i s incapacitated by injury, realizes that i f they are going to be able to move out of a small apartment into a house, she must continue working.  She hopes to  continue working f o r a number of years, providing she i s able to plan childcare that i s satisfactory. The women who have been out of the labour force for some years feel "housework gets me down" and working as a wage-earner i s a "morale builder". Whereas, those who have been i n the labour force during most of their married l i f e prefer "homemaking" and quite frankly say that even though they are earning a living they have lost "the very real pleasure i n carrying out i n a more complete and more leisurely way the job of housewife and mother". Although the schedule did not enquire about the health of the woman and her family, i t was a source of worry to most of them. They expressed some concern on this subject, such as, being satisfied with their present plan.BUT i f the children are sick,'complications arise.  In almost every interview the  woman indirectly brought up the element of fatigue resulting from long hours of work and home-life. Fatigue was a complaint, but not classified as such. Energy and time f o r household responsibilities, personal interests, family a c t i v i ties seemed to be the pressure points, and there were indications that the psychological load was greater than the physical one. Being a member of the labour force i s only one facet of the woman's l i f e , and with the other duties of housewife and parent, i n many instances, the woman had forgotten to think of herself as a person.  The majority of the women  were pleased to take part i n the survey, some had heard or read about i t and seemed thrilled to learn they had been chosen.  They had not considered them-  - 52 selves and their problems important; their every-day l i f e seemed to be concerned only with getting through the necessary jobs and having enough energy to go around.  The interview seemed to help some of the women to think and to put into  words the situations they are facing - planned household duties, family respons i b i l i t i e s , personal and family gains and losses i n their dual role, personal and family activities. For the most part, they liked their jobs, but there are three facets to consider — work, home-life, and leisure.  It i s the leisure time to be with  her family and time for her own personal, interests that she considers her greatest loss.  The woman wage-earner i n the handicapped family goes to work out of  necessity and duty, as she i s responsible f o r the present and future plans of the family.  It i s with great admiration that you listen to the story these women  pour out and with amazement realize how they have adapted their lives to the new situation. The young married woman, whose husband i s incapacitated by injury, has enjoyed going back to factory work, i t has given her a "feeling of independence, greater responsibility, gives her a broader outlook, and has helped her to make friends".  She came from Britain and returning to factory work may be  a link with her former l i f e . The separated or divorced woman views her situation differently; she has her worries and anxieties but, on her own, i s able to cope with them. "I manage better without my husband" i s a phrase repeated.  She now knows what  her total income i s and plans accordingly, which, to her, i s an improvement from the days of wondering how much money her husband would bring home for the family. These women were receiving no support from their husbands, with the exception of one who did get some support irregularly.  During the interview, they did not  complain of non-support; they talked i n more positive terms regarding finances. They did not seem to have the bitter tone of voice or the frustrated attitude  - 53 of the woman who i s continually laying a charge of non-support; their moral standards seemed higher than the "professional widow" who looks to public assistance for support.  This was quite noticeable i n the interview with the woman who  goes to work as a cook to help support her incapacitated husband (illness).  She  realizes when her husband's condition regresses to the point he cannot help himself, she w i l l be obliged to stay at home and they may have to apply for some type of public assistance. In the meantime, this couple are proud of their plans for "independence". One divorcee, with two small children, found herself i n the d i f f i cult situation of being considered a "poor risk" i n the financial world when she decided to purchase a home. The mortgage company questioned her a b i l i t y to plan for such an undertaking.  However, she was able to work through this problem  with the support of her parents and a few good references. The maternal grandparents also live i n the new home on a 50-50 basis and take care of the children during the woman's working hours. ness.  Her planning shows ingenuity and resourceful-  During the past six years, this trained employee has changed her job  three times, increasing her salary with each change, and she i s now earning two and a half times the salary on the f i r s t job.  Since her ex-husband complained  about her inability to manage, this woman i s more than pleased with her achievements. Women working from necessity had d i f f i c u l t y i n looking at their "gains and losses". As chief breadwinner, they had no choice but to return to the labour force to "earn a l i v i n g " but the fact they are "independent" i s a predominant factor i n their attitude towards l i f e .  Their gains are not as  materialistic as those of the married woman working, who i s a member of a normal family group.  They are working to keep the family together, clothe, feed and  educate the children, and this gives them a greater feeling of status.  One  woman said her children f e l t insecure when she f i r s t accepted employment, but  - 54 she feels "they w i l l understand better later on". Home-Making The care of the children i s of great concern to the woman. The Day Nursery hours do not f i t into the schedule of the vrorking mother. However, most mothers expressed the belief the children are happier and f e e l more secure when i n their own home and coimnunity during her absence.  The woman, who must leave  the pre-adolescent and the adolescent without parental supervision after school hours, has her worries about their activities and friendships. that delinquent behaviour might develop was a real fear.  The possibility  The woman's income  does not allow her to employ a reliable person to substitute for her.  The mater-  nal grandmother who cared for the two children said "I know these children better than their mother". However, one mother had a more positive attitude towards her planning.  Although she preferred home-making to employment, she had an excellent work-  ing arrangement with her child.  The mother worked a five-day week from 9:00 to  5:00; and, the child attended school Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 4:00.  They  both concentrated on their respective jobs during week days and play together each week-end. This mother tried having her child i n a boarding school Monday through Friday, but she found this separation meant divided loyalties and a poor relationship.  She also f e l t , while she would like to be a f u l l time home-maker, the  child probably benefitted from her working, as she did not have time "to fuss too much over the child". On the other hand, the mother, who could not afford any of the paid services, said "we don't spend too much time together". Few women were able to buy services to lighten their burden. This was, naturally, noticeable i n the lower income group.  The small group who had  the advantage of higher education and employment training, plus material assets,  - 55 -  such as, being a home-owner, were able to plan for paid services.  One woman was  able to plan for a cleaning woman one day a week, sent her bed linen to the laundry,  and paid a woman to supply the family with home baking.  At the other ex-  treme, there i s the woman who had to take on the added chore of helping the landlord to take care of the apartment block i n order to have the rent cut i n half. In between, there are the women who get up early, go to bed late, and use their week-ends for house cleaning, washing, ironing and baking.  There i s l i t t l e won-  der these women need a five-day week. The woman wage earner must also concern herself with economical buying.  Shopping becomes a time consuming chore, which i s sometimes given over  to the children.  The community i n which the big markets stay open one evening a  week i s a real asset i n this woman's l i f e . Gains and Losses Each woman's situation i s different and she faces the two facets of her l i f e - work and home-life - with reality.  However, she has l i t t l e time and  energy l e f t for leisure and her job and the people she meets there are a substitute for social l i f e .  Participation i n community affairs i s not part of her l i f e ;  the associations she does belong to often pertain to family affairs, such as, The Parent-Teacher Associations or parent groups i n connection with scouts or guides.  Three women expressed their love of music, and their leisure time was  saved for concerts and musical groups.  Another woman made a practise of attend-  ing a "T" group once a week. Visiting with other families and return v i s i t s to their home were considered the recreation most indulged i n and enjoyed. The occasional movie and television also shared top place i n their form of recreation. A quiet type of recreation for the woman seemed to be what she desired. The woman at the head of the handicapped family has a three-fold jobwork, home l i f e , and her own development as a person.  When the c a l l to duty came,  - 56 she adapted and adjusted her l i f e to the situation, and often a new personality develops.  The woman gave willingly her opinions, views, and attitudes. Un-  fortunately, the schedule did not bring out the woman's feelings about the importance of the father figure i n the development of the child. The sampling i n this survey i s too small to have s t a t i s t i c a l value, but^as this i s the f i r s t study of i t s kind i n Canada, much w i l l be learned of the reasons, problems, attitudes and implications of the married woman and her family, where the woman has worked i n the labour force during the past twelve months.  CHAPTER V THE MARRIED WOMAN WORKING - PROS AND CONS It now remains to consider the general pros and cons of the married woman working for pay.  These w i l l be considered from three aspects: the effect  on her role as a parent, as a wife, and as a member of the community.  For the  most part, this summary i s derived from information secured i n the interviews, though on a few points the experience gained from the survey has been brought to bear on some f a i r l y well known points of view. To help give a review of the total group of women interviewed, some of the most indicative material from the schedules has been gathered i n table form: Table 1 3 Family Constellation  Family Group A. Married Couples with: No Children One Dependent Child Two or more Dependent Children Total B. Mothers with: One Dependent Child Two or More Dependent Children Total Total Families  Under 2 5 yrs  Age of Woman 25-34 35-44 45-54  yrs  yrs  yrs  Total  4 2  7 2  6  3 3  20  3 9  4  5 11  2  14  3  1  2 2  2 2  7  8  1 4  Total Families  41  4 5  1  9 50  -58-  Table 1 4 Dependent Children  Preschool  Description of Families Married Couples with: One Child Two or more Children Widows with Children Separated or Divorced Women with Children Total Number of Children  Grades 9-13  Grades 1-8  4 7  1 18 3  5 2  2 13  9 31  7  Higher  Total  2 1  7 31 5  1 4  12 55  Table 1 5 Income and Occupational Grade Occupations  Profess- Business Clerical Service Factory  Income Group  Total  ional  $  199-1 499 500999 1,000- 1,499  1,500-  1  1 1 2  1  1,999  2,000- 2,499 2 , 5 0 0 - 2,999 3,000 or more •^Unknown Total  2  1  1 6 1 4 5  4 2  3 3 4  4 2  15  7 10 6  2  7  5 4  2  1 4  17  16  6  1 50  #Woman declined to give this information. The Care of Children In evaluating the effect on the child of having his mother work, impressions can be based only upon the woman's reactions, since for the most part there was no opportunity to assess the child's reactions directly.  Some  assessment can be made, however, of the working mothers' statements i n regard to the care provided f o r the children; the gains and losses f o r the children as they see them, and the reservations they express about leaving children while they work.  - 59 Since the child's need for dependency upon the mother decreases as he grows older, i t seems advisable to consider separately three groups among the children included i n the study: 1) The very young child (pre-school) 2) The child attending elementary school (pre-adolescent) 3) The teen-ager attending high school (adolescent) The Child of Pre-School Age Most child welfare authorities agree that the quality of parental care which a child receives i n his early years i s of v i t a l importance for his future mental health.  Dr. Benjamin Spock states: "The important thing for a  mother to realize i s that the younger the child, the more necessary i t i s for 1 him to have a steady, loving person taking care of him ". 1  In a summary of  John Bowlby's report on Child Care and the Growth of Love i s the statement, "what i s believed to be essential for mental health i s that the infant and young child should experience a warm, intimate and continuous relationship with his mother (or permanent mother-substitute - one person who steadily 'mothers' 2 him) i n which both find satisfaction and enjoyment". Many of the women visited i n the survey have not found complete satisfaction and enjoyment i n their role as mothers and have sought employment for this reason.  In regard to the mother's employment, Josselyn and Goldman  recognize that "Certainly, i n some cases of this type the mother returns from employment stimulated and eager for the short period of companionship and emotiona l relationship with her child.  She has just so much to give a child.  She can  give i t intensely i n a few hours, whereas, spread over an entire day i t would soon wear thin. Such mothers are actually better mothers because they do 3 work." This very thought seemed evident i n a statement of one young nurse  1. 2.  Spock, Benjamin, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, Inc. N.I. 19k6~. Bowlby, John, Child Care and the Growth of Love, Pelican Books,  1953. 3. Josselyn, Irene, M..& Goldman, Ruth Schley, "Should Mothers Work?" Social Service Review, Vol.XXIII, Number I, March 1949.  -  60  -  interviewed, "I love the baby, but I'd get bored and frustrated i f I was never able to get away from her".  It was not true i n other cases, however.  The  survey brought to light those mothers who have tried working but have found the experience exhausting rather than satisfying.  Again, as Josselyn and Goldman  state, "In many instances the (working) mother i s so exhausted by the physical strain she i s under that she i s unable to give emotionally to the child, i n spite  1  of her primary capacity to do so".  Judging from the few examples i n the present limited survey, the mother's decision to work has sometimes proved satisfactory, and there are other examples where i t has been unsatisfactory, both for herself and the child. Those mothers who are sole breadwinners of the family have l i t t l e choice i n regard to their dual role.  The two families i n this category, having  pre-school children, recognized that the children were not happy about the mother working.  One woman whose husband i s on compensation f o r a fractured spine,  i s employed i n a factory.  She enjoys her work and has the assurance that the  children are i n their father's care, but told the interviewer that the children beg her to stay at home. The other woman who has been separated from her husband for three years also enjoys her work (as a cashier) but has had d i f f i c u l t y keeping a regular and reliable baby-sitter.  The children often t e l l her, "why  don't you stay home?" In homes where both parents are employed, the woman i n most cases can choose to stay home with the young child rather than work. The effect on the child as the result of her working depends upon a number of factors, three of which seem of particular importance: 1) Whether the child's physical and emotional needs are being met adequately by a steady substitute during the mother's absence, and that this i s not a source of worry for her.  1.  Ibid  - 61 2) Whether the mother receives satisfactions from her work, enabling her to give optimum emotional gratification to the child (she must be relatively happy to express her fullest emotional potential) and, 3) Whether she i s able to assume a dual role as worker and mother and not feel over-burdened and fatigued by the pressures of her responsibilities. These factors showed up i n the survey to some extent. Among the seven women with pre-school children, two of them, employed in less-interesting service occupations (cook and dishwasher-elevator operator) did not find their work satisfying and gave up their jobs. The cook was unable to employ a regular baby-sitter and said she always l e f t the house worrying about the child's care.  The dishwasher-elevator operator (who also had two children  i n school), described her work as "very fatiguing" and recognized that her children did not have as much contact with their mother as they should have had. She described herself as "so tired and cross a l l the time".  On the other hand, two  women employed i n professional occupations, the nurse and the x-ray technician, were both well satisfied i n their work and with the arrangements made for child care.  Both women limited their hours of work to twenty-four hours a week and  neither found their jobs fatiguing.  Their babies were under a year old and they  did not feel they were deprived i n any way.  One of them was able to leave the  child i n her husband's care, and the other had a baby-sitter, an "old family friend".  Both were satisfied with the child care arrangements.  Since both of  these women have been happier working, they engage i n only part-time employment that i s not fatiguing, and they have made provision for consistent and adequate child-care during their hours of work, i t i s quite possible that the mother-child relationship, so important i n early development, i s better than i t would be otherwise.  -  62 -  In the other three situations, two of the women are office clerks and one a telephone operator.  The telephone operator does not leave for work  u n t i l 5 P»nu and works u n t i l midnight, leaving her two young children with her husband, her mother or a teen-aged g i r l who lives next door.  While care of the  children i s not consistent, i t would be similar to an arrangement made i n any. home where the mother has social obligations i n the evening.  This telephone  operator does not f e e l the children are deprived i n any way as she i s with them a l l day long. The interviewer describes this woman as "bright and perky". One advantage she expresses about her working i s that this brings the children and their father closer together.  The children are both over a year old.  The two office clerks worked full-time during the day.  One f u l l -  time hours too exhausting and f e l t that her children lacked attention and affection.  Since her husband worked night shifts and took care of the children dur-  ing the day time, neither of the parents were able to provide more than bare physical care f o r the children. economic need  The woman recognized this and, because of the  she f e l t to continue employment, she was looking for part-time  employment. The other office clerk went to work when her child was seven months old and has been working full-time for a year.  She i s satisfied with the care  the child i s receiving from the maternal grandmother who lives with them. She feels that the child i s better off as "she i s not too dependent on me". In this situation, the child's grandmother seems to be taking over the major part of the mother-role.  The child's father puts the baby to bed.  The child does receive  consistent care during the mother's absence from the home, but one would wonder, as Josselyn and Groldman state, whether such a person i s "incapable of functioning i n a mother-role".^ 1.  Ibid  The mother sees that the child i s benefitting materially  - 63 -  by her working, and states "I would rather work when she's.small. make so much difference to her".  It does not  At the same time the mother was concerned that  "I can't keep the house just the way I'd like to have. i t " . In summary, the mother-child relationship may be benefitted i f the mother desires to work at a job she enjoys, particularly i f she arranges this on a part-time basis. She w i l l gain more satisfaction from her working i f she i s relieved by the knowledge that her child i s i n good care.  In these cases the  mothers have found that the children are best cared for i f one person consistentl y substitutes i n her absence, either a relative or a reliable baby-3itter. When the child's father i s willing and able to take this responsibility, the child undoubtedly benefits.  This allows greater depth i n the father—child relationship  to help the child grow i n a healthy, happy manner. Apart from the emotional gains seen by these women, there are the physical advantages afforded by the additional income.  In many situations, i t  has bettered the family's standard of living and thus increased the physical well-being of the child. In those instances where the mother's working did not benefit the mother-child relationship, i t was usually due to the mother's working full-time at a job that was uninteresting and exhausting. care provided for the child.  Added to this was the inadequate  An extreme example of this might well be a case  for a child-protection agency.  The woman who worked as an elevator-operator  and dishwasher on shifts from 4:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., p.m. to 6 a.m.  7 to 3 a.m.  and 10  expected to provide day time care for her four year old child  as well as her two children of school age.  Fortunately she stopped working.  The Child Attending Elementary School As Dr. Spock says i n regard to the pre-adolescent, "After six years  - 64 and particularly after eight, the child's nature seeks and enjoys independence, turns more to outside adults (especially to good teachers) and children, for his  ideals and companionship.  He can get along comfortably for hours at a time  without having to turn to a close adult for support.  After school he s t i l l  ought to have a feeling he belongs somewhere, even i f he forgets to go there".^" Dr. Josselyn and Ruth Schley Goldman add to t h i s : "As the child, through social contacts and through school experiences, gains new confidence i n his a b i l i t y to handle situations that arise, and as he transfers some of his emotional ties to his  own age group and to other adults, he manifests less need for an intense  tie to his parents or parent substitutes.  This shift, however, i s possible  only when the child i s confident of his ability to deal with the demands which the external world places upon him and when he requires only diluted experiences of dependency gratification.  Faced with some problem with which he feels com-  pletely incapable of dealing, he has again an intense need to turn to someone who w i l l give him the same depth of security that was so essential i n his earlier l i f e .  He then seeks the security he can consistently find only i n 2  parent figures". The brief contact with the women i n the survey did not allow f o r a valid appraisal of the mother-child relationship. based upon only the mother's statements.  An assessment, again, can be  To determine how the relationship i s  affected by the mother working, the following factors seemed most important: 1) Whether the mother's hours of work coincide with the child's school hours. 2) Whether satisfactory arrangements can be made for the child i f the mother i s s t i l l at work when he arrives from school or when he i s home week-ends and during school vacations. 3) Whether the child accepts his mother's employment* 1. Spock, Benjamin, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. Duell, Sloan and Pearce, Inc. N.Y. 1946. 2. Josselyn, Irene, M., and Goldman, Ruth Schley, "Should Mothas Work?", Social Service Review, Vol. XXIII, NumberOne, March 1949.  - 65 Of the eight homes i n which the mother was the sole breadwinner i n the family, two of the mothers had worked a comparatively short time and were able to choose employment i n which the hours of work coincided with school hours.  Both of them could stop working during school vacations. One of them  was unable to be free during Christmas and Easter vacations but, since she worked only a few doors away, the children could reach her easily.  In each  of these families the mothers expressed concern about their children becoming i l l and said they would stay home with the child i f this happened. These mothers could manage working on a part-time basis since one, an office clerk, had been separated three and a half years and received occasional financial help from her husband, and the other, a church secretary, had been a widow for two years and had some private income. Six of the women worked full-time, five during day hours and one, a nurses' aide, on eight hour shifts.  One of these, a widow with a thirteen-  year old boy, operated a rest home which included living quarters and she did not have to worry about child-care arrangements. Another who worked as a legal stenographer, has had the same housekeeper for three years and finds this arrangement satisfactory. vacation.  Her nine-year old g i r l goes to. camp for part of the summer  A waitress managed to work 8 a.m. to 4:30  p.m. as her husband was  temporarily unemployed and could stay home with the children.  She had to work  occasionally on Saturdays and did not find this too satisfactory. time off from work when one of her children was i l l .  She also took  A divorcee, employed as a  secretary, had her parents living with her, which relieved her problem to some extent. Working full-time caused problems for two of the mothers, one a factory worker, and the other, the nurses' aide, who worked eight-^hour shifts. After five years employment, the nurses' aide decided shift work was unsatisfactory and was looking for another job. Her boy who i s now eight, was boarded  -  66  -  with her aunt u n t i l he started school, then the child's older sister, a divorcee, came to live with the family and assumed responsibility for him.  ATth ough the  arrangement was better with the child l i v i n g at home, the mother described him as insecure and unhappy because of her working.  The factory worker i s divorced  from her husband and receives no support from him.  One of her boys, aged fifteen  and i n Grade 6 , was placed i n an institution for retarded children, and the other boy, aged fourteen and i n Grade 7 , i s unsupervised after school and during vacations.  She leaves the home at 7 : 3 0 a.m.  lunch.  As she says, she has not had any worries about him yet.  and he must get his own breakfast and They l i v e i n a  downtown rooming house and he i s on his own most of the time, makes use of the f a c i l i t i e s at the Y.M.C.A., belongs to the Sea Cadets and has his own group of friends.  This woman's brother, living i n another city, i s willing to take her  boy to live with his family and the mother feels this i s a good plan, i f the boy w i l l agree to i t .  She intends to t r y i t on his next summer vacation.  She feels  she has "lost the companionship of the kids" by working, and recognizes that she cannot give adequate supervision and support them too.  The children's reaction to having their mothers work can be assessed only from the views expressed by the mother. Where child-care arrangements were not required due to the mothers' part-time vrork, the children seemed less affected. One, who worked part-time, was particularly sensitive to the children's feelings about having a mother who worked. She suggested perhaps the children might understand better when they are older, that "it was hard to explain this to them now. She seemed relieved that they had "good neighbours". long time".  "We have lived here a  As i n most cases, this woman was conscious of the attitude of the  community, both i n relation to herself and the effect this had on the children. In another family this was recognized by the interviewer but not by the mother. The mother, who operates a rest home, seemed quite unrealistic i n believing her child looked upon her work as "wonderful", since she commented later i n the  -  6 7  -  interview that he had asked her "not to put a name on the outside of the house". In cases where child-care arrangements had to be made, the children seemed better cared f o r and happier when they could remain i n their own homes* The divorcee who now has her parents l i v i n g with her and caring for her two g i r l s , learned from experience that boarding her younger child with an aunt f o r four years had a detrimental effect on her relationship with the child.  This arrange-  ment was made to relieve the child's grandmother while the l i t t l e g i r l was of preschool age.  The older child remained at home. The mother said that her younger  child f e l t "pushed out" and added that she i s "trying to make this up to her  now".  Even when the children are cared for by their grandmother i n their own home, the substitute care provided affects the mother-child relationship.  In this case,  the grandmother told the interviewer, "I know the children better than she does". In spite of the mother's conscientious effort to provide adequately for her children, and her real concern for their physical and emotional well-being, i t i s sometimes d i f f i c u l t for her to protect her relationship with her children when she i s employed full-time. The legal stenographer who has a housekeeper to relieve her i n her absence, did not find this arrangement unsatisfactory.  Instead, she saw some  advantages f o r the child, i n that she might fuss too much over the child's appet i t e , clothing and activities i f she were not working.  This i s probably realis-  t i c ; she may recognize that, i f she were not meeting some of her own needs by working i n an interesting job, she might easily become absorbed i n her only child. Having a housekeeper allows her the freedom to spend time with the child evenings and week-ends. Her child expresses no objections to her working as she knows i t i s necessary. In general, the pre-adolescent child i n these families i s old enough to understand that his mother needs to work, and i s accepting of whatever arrangement his mother i s able to make for his care while she i s absent from the home.  It seemed particularly important for the child's happiness, that he be allowed to remain i n his own home where his surroundings were familiar and wtere i t was possible for him to turn to his mother when he needed her* In families where the father was also i n the home and earning the major part of the family income, the woman had not worked f o r long, i n most cases, and had not planned as carefully to provide care for her child while she worked. The burden of her responsibility as a parent was not f e l t as keenly as i n those cases where the woman was not only the chief breadwinner but also missed the emotional support of a husband. With the exception of a kindergarten teacher who had operated a kindergarten i n her own home for ten years, the average length of employment for these married women was less than two years.  Of the nine families i n this  group, five of the mothers had been iirorking full-time.  Child-care was adequate  when relatives were able to be home with the children i n the mother's absence. In three cases where the children were l e f t to fend for themselves u n t i l their mothers arrived home from work, the youngsters f e l t that they were burdened with too much responsibility and preferred to find the mother at home after school. Those mothers whose employment required that they work Saturdays and during vacations, f e l t that this arrangement was particularly unsatisfactory, especially when the children were l e f t unsupervised.  One mother recognized the advantage  of having resided i n the same community for sixteen years as the neighbors knew the children well and took an interest i n them. It i s probable that many of the working mothers f e l t the disapproval of the community, as some tended to defend their need to work and emphasized the material benefits to the family. As one woman said, her girls "do not complain or make comments", but "appreciate the extras" she i s able to purchase for them. Another woman said, "you feel kind of guilty" i n case home responsibilities might be neglected.  Another  - 69 mother commented that since she has been working, she "hasn't the same control" over the children.  Some saw advantages to being employed; as one woman said  about her ten-year old g i r l , "I spoil her when I'm not working". However, the g i r l feels i t i s "nicer when she's home". In most cases, this particular group of mothers f e l t that i f they continued to work, part-time employment during school hours would be satisfactory.  Only three planned to continue working f u l l -  time, two of these had their mothers staying with the children and the third was able to leave the responsibility of her twelve-year old child to his sixteen-year old sister. The kindergarten teacher, working only part-time, believed that her work enriched their family l i f e .  The children enjoyed sharing i n the kinder-  garten activities, have gained a valuable understanding of children and parents, have profited by the school equipment and library, and, because of her added i n terest, they have greater freedom to develop emotionally. The Child Attending High School.  It i s understandable that when a child reaches  adolescence, he has less need for dependency upon his parents.  Providing that  his earlier years have given him a sense of security i n his family relationships, he has a greater capacity, at this stage, "to deal with reality through his own judgment rather than through complete compliance to a parent figure"."'" In the five homes where there were adolescent children, four also included pre-adolescent children.  In such cases the mother seemed more concerned  about the reactions from the younger g i r l s and boys as the adolescent did not express objection unless he was overburdened with responsibility.  Her employment  meant more to the older child i n terms of the financial gains to the family, especially when i t meant an increase i n allowance.  In one home where the only  1. Josselyn, Irene, M., Psychosocial Development of Children, Family Service Association of America, 1948.  -  70 -  children, two boys, were high school students, their mother's employment had real meaning to them i n terms of the extra income being set aside for their university education.  One of these boys happened to be present when the i n -  terviewer visited the home and seemed obviously proud of his mother.  Although  she has worked as a telephone operator almost continuously since the boys were small, she appears to have maintained a close relationship with them and i s accomplishing her goals i n working. Apart from the consideration of general factors already mentioned pertaining to the mother's employment, her hours of work and arrangements f o r child care, the determination of which mothers should work and which should not i s a determination that must be made on an individual-case basis, involving evaluation of personalities and relationships. Other Aspects of Family l i f e Although a married woman may not be a mother, she must be a wife and the marital relationship can be strengthened or weakened by her employment. If i t i s to be strengthened there are certain requisites, such as, that both husband and wife are agreed on her need to work; that the job must be satisfying to the wife; that the hours of work must permit them to spend time together in the running of the home, i n leisure, and i n participation i n social a c t i v i ties; and the husband must be willing to share the household duties to lighten the strain of the dual role which the woman bears. In those situations where the woman i s a widow, or separated, or divorced, or has an incapacitated husband, there i s l i t t l e need to discuss her reasons for working — i n almost every instance, she had an urgent need to work to provide the essentials for her family. For the woman whose husband i s f u l l y employed, hoxrever, the situation may be different.  A large proportion of the  women interviewed gave financial need as a prime reason f o r taking employment.  As the husband's wages i n the past twelve months varied from $1,600. to $5,000. with a median income of $3,300. i t i s obvious that this was a r e a l i s t i c reason i n many cases.  Even where the husband's wages did meet the actual day-  to-day expenses, few of them were able to provide security.  Actual want i s  much less common i n North America today than previously, but lack of security i s one of the serious problems. people.  Security means different things to different  To one family i t may take the form of their own home; to another i t  may be a retirement fund or annuity; to another i t may be further education for the children so that they may be more secure i n their future. And to another woman i t may be that she feels she must seek employment to support her aged parents lest the burden on her husband prove too much, and place undue strain on the marriage.  A l l these pressures are realistic and the wife has the right  to seek security. There are other women for whom the need to work i s psychological. The childless woman, i n this day of labour-saving devices, may find herself with too l i t t l e to do to keep herself busy and happy, and social l i f e does not attract her.  Then, too, there are women for whom housework i s not satisfying.  They need the companionship of fellow-workers; the approval that goes with a job well done (not taken for granted, as are so many of the housewife's efforts); and the feeling that they are doing something constructive which gives them status and a sense of independence. This sense of status i s l i s t e d by Dr. Zweig as one of the three essentials of mental health -— the other two being love and security. These women seek employment which w i l l f i l l their needs f o r security and psychological satisfaction insofar as their education, and the jobs available at the moment, permit.  Once again this survey demonstrates that the woman  with the best education i s the one who can choose between jobs, and can get  - 72 most satisfaction from i t .  It i s noticeable that i n this sampling those who found  least satisfaction i n the job were those i n the service-type jobs such as waitress, dishwasher, and elevator operator.  This may have been coloured by their working  conditions and by the type of employer but i f so, this was not mentioned by the women. Those who had positive feelings about the job were those who had specif i c s k i l l s which measured up f a i r l y closely with the needs of the particular job. To be satisfying, and to be a strength to the marriage, the reasons for work must be acceptable to both husband and wife.  The small number of wives  who stated that their husband disapproved of them working, admitted that this greatly lessened their enjoyment of the job.  Most of the wives reported that  their husbands had resisted the idea at f i r s t because of a desire to be the sole support, but had accepted the idea gradually, on a temporary basis, and as they recognized the improvement i n the wife's mental health.  The willingness of most  of the husbands to undertake a sizeable share of the household duties may be an indication of their willingness to cooperate i n the plan.  It i s hard to be cer-  tain of this, however, i n view of the fact that there are strong cultural d i f f e r ences which must be taken into account.  In the younger age group, however, the  idea that the husband shares the household duties seems to be f a i r l y acceptable. The hours of work can be v i t a l i n the strengthening or weakening of the marital relationship. If the wife works a day shift while her husband works at night, as was true of a small minority i n the present survey, the s i t uation i s intolerable. Some families justify this on the grounds that they have such heavy budget committments that they must make this sacrifice.  Even on a  temporary basis, however, i t would seem to be a dangerous threat to the marriage.  Similar hours, or shorter hours for the wife, but certainly a similar  shift to that of the husband; these would seem to hold most for the home l i f e .  - 73 Reasonable leisure from the job, and reasonable leisure from homemaking i t s e l f — these are necessities. There should be time for both quiet relaxation,. and for active social l i f e .  Too much active social l i f e , of course,  can become a continuation of the rush and tension of work, and housework. It may be stated i n passing, that television was so frequently one of the "hazards" of interviewing, that one was moved to wonder i f a l l the women were working i n order to pay for television sets!  Further experience with the i n -  terviews indicated that television had something to offer i n such homes where the woman was often too overworked to have the time, or the inclination, for outside activity, but could share some of the family's enjoyment even when performing a sedentary task, such as ironing. It was noticeable that, for so many of the families encountered in this survey, there seemed to be no outside social l i f e .  In some instances  there were indications that this had been the family's pattern even before the wife took employment.  In others, however, a real, unsatisfied desire for social  activity was expressed. Finally, i t should be noted that paid services such as laundry, housecleaning, diaper service, etc., could have relieved the household pressures to permit more recreation, but, because of the expense i t was rarely used. For the married woman employment does seem possible, without seriously injuring the marital relationship, provided that certain safeguards are observed.  In most cases, however, i t would seem to be a strain on both man  and wife. With the separated or divorced woman there i s another aspect, about which, unfortunately, the schedule did not e l i c i t sufficient material to draw conclusions.  The schedule did not reveal the causes of the separation but i t  did reveal that a l l the women i n this category had been full-time housekeepers  - 74 prior to the separation. One wonders, however, whether the knowledge that she was employable, and able to earn a living, was a factor i n her decision to separate.  In several instances the woman was getting a great deal of satisfaction  from her job, and stated that she was actually much better off than before separation.  Her mental health appeared to be much better than that of the major-  i t y of women who take court action for support, and are, i n so many cases, ridden by hate, and a desire to punish the erring husband. Community Implications In addition to her role as wife and mother, the married woman i n employment plays her part as a citizen.  Why do married women work?  In the  modern urban household, fewer demands are made on her time i n the home and there are also more opportunities for her services i n the labour force. result, far greater numbers of married women have found employment.  As a  It i s  often stated that married women work from necessity or for psychological reasons, but these generalizations can be misleading: as shown by this survey, there are many reasons why married women become wage-earners.  In some instances, women  are working for some contribution to economic security, f o r example, saving to invest i n a home, to help build up a retirement fund, or a fund permitting higher education for their children. Is part-time work primarily a married woman's field?  This study  does not furnish a complete answer; but, of the f i f t y married women interviewed twenty were part-time workers, and about forty per cent of the total number were without dependent children.  One of the advantages of part-time work i s  the time factor, since i t permits more opportunity for child care by the mother, better organized household routine, and leisure time which can be spent with husband and children.  The women seemed to consider part-time work  largely i n terms of what i t meant f o r hours of school and the husband's hours of work.  - 75 -  Importance of Hours of Work The married woman worker feels she can carry on her dual role, under present conditions, only through planned hours of employment.  She i s  more likely to seek a job with minimum responsibility and a shorter day.  Some  business and community services are already making an analysis of operations and services adaptable to part-time schedules, and through careful recruiting and selection of applicants have gone a long way towards making part-time work mutually profitable and satisfactory to the employees, employers, and the community. The married woman who works full-time would like special considerations to plan her employment, i n regard to hours of work and days off, to cc— . incide with the family schedules.  Whether or not these concessions to married  women create a problem i n administration or for the personnel manager i n their overall planning and schedules, can only be l e f t to conjecture as the study did not include interviews with them. Information regarding the reaction of fellow-workers, who do not receive special consideration of this sort, was not available for this study.  If other types of interviews had been included,  such as, information supplied by personnel managers i n business, the findings of this part of the study might have been more factual. Dr. F. Zweig, i n his study of the whole range of sex differentials i n industry (in the Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and London districts i n England) found that, "Some firms give married women half a day off for shopping, not regarding this as absenteeism, but where the practice i s not adopted married women often do this on their own responsibility. It i s important for them to have at least one half-day free, i f the week-end i s not going to be " a l l work" and husbands neglected at the time when they are free to enjoy life".-*1.  Zweig, F. Women's Life and Labour. Gollancz, 1 9 5 2 , London.  - 76 -  Many of the women interviewed showed l i t t l e interest i n long-term employment, since homemaking was the important aspect of their l i f e .  For this reason, they  attach l i t t l e importance to further vocational training as a means to a more responsible position. Because the community as a whole very often f a i l s to understand the economic problems faced by the married woman and her family, she meets with opposition i n the form of prejudice.  She may be criticized for neglect-  ing her family or for taking work from a woman who has no other means of support.  Generally, the prejudice emanates from a member of the older genera-  tion who s t i l l believe that "woman's place i s i n the home". The younger generation enter into marriage expecting to share economic responsibility and home planning. It i s interesting to note that the prejudice against married women working does not extend to certain types of work, for example, when women are giving service to the family, such as, nursing or domestic help. This may be because this woman i s meeting a need and giving personal service, or because society considers this type of job exclusive to women and, therefore acceptable. Another form of prejudice i s that frequently entertained by married women themselves who are not i n the labour force. Criticism may be directed against the working mother who has no immediately apparent financial need to work. In such cases, the effect on the children of the mother's absence from the home i s l i k e l y to be questioned.  In general, however, this  kind of prejudice does not enter into those situations where the family has acquired some standing i n the neighborhood and where i t i s known that conscientious plans have been made for the care of the children.  - 77 -  Community Resources The woman who contemplates employment outside the home must cons i d e r the welfare of her family i n the areas of c h i l d care, health, and recreat i o n , so that she may f e e l more secure i n her dual r o l e .  The woman who l i v e s  i n a community where health and s o c i a l services are a v a i l a b l e to her i n the care of the pre-school c h i l d r e n , i n an emergency such as i l l n e s s , or providing recreation f o r the family, i s fortunate indeed.  There are not many communi-  t i e s that have a l l these services; but as the need increases the trend i s t o wards an extension of health and welfare services by private and p u b l i c agenci e s , so that the mother w i l l be able t o remain i n the labour force where she i s needed.  Nursery schools have not kept pace with the growing need e i t h e r i n numbers or scheduled hours t o accommodate the working mother.  Some author-  i t i e s , such as Dr. Benjamin Spock, claim"that the nursery school i s a cold i n s t i t u t i o n , lacking i n i n d i v i d u a l attention and a f f e c t i o n . "''"In some instances, i t has been found h e l p f u l t o have a professional s o c i a l worker appointed t o take charge of intake work.  When the parents are f a m i l i a r with the p o l i c y  of the school, and the s t a f f have knowledge of the c h i l d ' s background, an attempt can be made to meet the emotional as w e l l as the physical needs of the pre-school  child.  Dr. F. Zweig interviewed matrons and s i s t e r s i n nursery  schools:  the points frequently made were"that the c h i l d should be brought to the nursery gradually; that the hours of separation from the mother should be short; that the units of nurseries should be small; and, that the standard of the nurseries should not clash v i o l e n t l y with the standard at home."  1.  Spock, Benjamin, Baby and C h i l d Care, Pocket Books, Inc.,  2.  Zweig, F. Women's L i f e and Labour, Gollancz, 1952, London.  New York.  - 78 Varying points of view were brought out during the present survey. The majority of women interviewed expressed the opinion that the children are best cared f o r i n t h e i r own home and neighborhood.  In the home environment,  the children were happier and had a greater f e e l i n g of s e c u r i t y .  Some married women, who were not e l i g i b l e t o complete the quest i o n a i r e as they were not working, said that they wanted t o work, f u l l - t i m e or part-time, but c h i l d care arrangements i n the home were either too expensive or too complicated, and i t was frequently mentioned that a nursery school was not a v a i l a b l e .  In the homes where there are pre-adolescent and adolescent c h i l d ren, another problem a r i s e s .  There may be a period of two hours between the  time school i s dismissed and the mother's return to the home. Unless adequate supervision i s provided, the mother i s anxious about how they may occupy t h e i r timej f o r example, l i v i n g i n a questionable d i s t r i c t , a mother of three g i r l s , ages 10 to Ik years, planned that the g i r l s watch t e l e v i s i o n i n t h e i r home unt i l she returned from work.  On her a r r i v a l home, they planned outside a c t i v i -  t i e s when she was there t o give supervision. Another mother, l i v i n g i n a good r e s i d e n t i a l d i s t r i c t , c a r r i e d on supervision by telephone and a fellow-worker t o l d of the anxieties surrounding these telephone c a l l s , e s p e c i a l l y i f there was no answer from the home.  This problem i s being p a r t i a l l y met i n some areas through the community centres, the Y.M.C.A. or Y.W.C.A., various kinds of organized church and service groups.  In a few agencies, trained s o c i a l group-workers are g i v -  ing leadership. Besides catering t o the children, the agencies provide r e creational a c t i v i t i e s f o r adults, and, i f the married women workers can stretch t h e i r day t o include recreation, these are a v a i l a b l e t o her.  - 79 -  The health of the family i s also of great concern.  Illness can  become a hazard and a source of anxiety for the married women i n employment. As the survey was not primarily concerned with the health problem, specific observations on this were not included i n the interview schedule.  Many of the  women interviewed, however, brought up the question both directly and indirect l y , and referred to their anxieties when there i s illness i n the family. Adequate health services are needed and these might include a registry of practical nurses and homemaker services, to allow the married women worker to meet an emergency with the aid of a supervising agency.  This would help to elimin-  ate the procession of unreliable baby-sitters, which i s their only source of available help. It i s appropriate to conclude with a quotation from an address by Marion V. Royce, Director of the Women's Bureau, which has been the sponsor of this national survey to which the present study i s related. "We are l i v i n g i n a time, as i t were, 'between the times' when the old ways are no longer useful though, as yet, the ways of the future are drawn only vaguely. In this context the role and status of women are aligned closely with changes i n patterns of family l i f e and the organization of work, especially the division of labour between men and women". One conclusion that i s relevant to this study i s that the married woman w i l l probably be a permanent member of the labour force, both because she i s needed by the economy and because of present day cultural and scientific changes which have altered family living i n so many ways. The old adage "woman's work i s never done" was formerly applied only to the woman with a home to manage and several children to rear; how far i t need be true for a middle-class woman with labour-saving domestic appliances i s another story to-  1. The Chronicle, 1955-56, Pub. by Canadian Federation of University Women - excerpts from address by Marion V. Royce, Director of the Women's Bureau, Dept. of Labour, Ottawa.  - 80 day.  But for the married woman who i s also working i t may have a new meaning  for her i n her dual role.  Scientific methods of homemaking have not released  her from the responsibilities and anxieties of wife and mother; being a wageearner has decreased her time to participate i n neighbourliness and i n communi t y affairs. Sharing the responsibilities of housekeeping and child care to relieve the pressures i s something which w i l l have to come either from the husband or the community or both.  - 81 APPENDIX A This summary of information sought was attached to a letter from the Director, Women's Bureau, Department of Labour, Ottawa, which was given to the woman prior to the interview.  EiEPAR'MENT OF LABOUR Canada WOMEN'S BUREAU"  SURVEY OF MARRIED WOMEN WHO ARE WORKING- FOR PAY  Outline of Information Marital status; age group. Country of birth. Education and training. Current or last job; period of work; work experience. Earnings; pension participation. Busband's job; period of work; income. Size of household. Dependent children; care of children. Housekeeping duties. Recreational interests. Purposes in working. Ideas about convenient working hours for married women. Future plans with respect to work.  APPENDIX B  Table 16 Women's Participation i n the Labour Force of Canada, 1931 - 1951  Labour Force  1931  1941  1951  3,921,833  4,510,535  5,286,153  537,657  665,623  723,433  Married Women  66,798  85,633  348,961  Widowed and Divorced  61,335  81,546  91,927  665,790  832,802  1,164,321  Total Labour Force (men and women) Single Women  Total Women i n Labour Force  Source: Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Census of Canada, 1931, 1941, 1951.  APPENDIX C Occupational Categories as used i n the Study A. Professional Nurse X-ray technician Agricultural technician Home economist Social worker B.  Business Confectionery-grocery owner Rest-home owner Kindergarten owner  C*  Clerical Secretary Bookkeeper Doctor's assistant Stenographer Legal stenographer Office clerk F i l i n g clerk Comptometer operator  D, Service Salesclerk Telephone operator Switchboard operator Nurse's aide Waitress Cook Elevator operator E.  Factory Package hands (cheese, dates, ice-cream, e t c ) Warper (woollen mill) Power machine operator  - 84 APPENDIX D Bibliography Caplow, Theodore—The Sociology of Work, University of Minnesota Press, 1954. Chapter 10. Komarovsky, Mirra—Women i n the Modern World; Their Education and t h e i r Dilemmas. L i t t l e , Brownj Boston, 1953. Lundberg, Ferdinand and Farnham, Marynia—Modern Woman, The Lost Sex, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York and London, 1947. Zweig, F.—Women's L i f e and Labour, Victor Gollancz, Ltd., London, England, 1952. Spock, Benjamin, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, Inc., N.Y., 1946. Josselyn, Irene, M. and Goldman, Ruth Schley, "Should Mothers Work?" S o c i a l Serv i c e Review. V o l . XXIII, No. I , March, 1949. Josselyn, Irene, M. Psychosocial Development of Children, Family Service Associat i o n of America, 1948. Bowlby, John, Child Care and the Growth of Love, Pelican Books, 1953* CANADA Labour Gazette - "Women i n the Labour Force", March 1954. Labour Gazette - "Womanpower", A p r i l , May, June, 1954* UNITED STATES Part-time Jobs f o r Women - B u l l e t i n No. 238, Women's Bureau, United States Department of Labour. Women's Jobs, Advance and Growth, B u l l e t i n No. 232, Women's Bureau, United States Department of Labour. Changes i n Women's Occupations, 1940-1950, B u l l e t i n No. 253, Women's Bureau, United States Department of Labour. Women's Occupations Through Seven Decades, B u l l e t i n No. 218, Women's Bureau, United States Department of Labour. The Annals of the American Academy of P o l i t i c a l and S o c i a l Sciences. "Women's Opportunities and Responsibilities , May, 1947. 1  1  


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