Category Archives: equal opportunity

Employment of Women

I found this gem when I was trawling through the Report of the Victorian Royal Commission on the State Public Service (1917). The Commission was chaired by one Alexander Gooch, Esquire.  

I quote from the Report verbatim.

Employment of women 

Until the war forced the position, the powers given by the Public Service Act to employ women were rarely taken advantage of. The spheres wherein the services of women can, with great economic advantage, be utilized have been wonderfully widened.

There are classes of work for which they are peculiarly fitted, and they have proved in an unmistakable manner their capacity for shorthand, typewriting, and bookkeeping.

Much of the work in the Departments is of a purely routine character it never varies through the years, and it is, therefore, better suited to women, whose term of service is more limited than that of men, for there is the ever-recurring possibility of marriage, and other reasons which render vacancies more frequent in female employments.

For the kind of work indicated the salaries could be fixed, and there would be no expectation of rising to the higher offices, thus leaving the path of promotion more open to the male members of the Service.

Heads of Departments where women are employed have expressed their satisfaction with the way in which they have discharged their duties, and we strongly recommend that they should be more generally employed for shorthand and typewriting, and in the more purely routine classes of clerical work.

can find no personal information on Mr Gooch except that he was a banker. I do not know if he returned home at the end of the day to a wife and daughters!