When IBM Let Married Women Work

It may seem quaint now, but it was common in the 40s and 50s for companies to require their women employees to resign when they marry.

The memo above, dated January 10, 1951, put a "temporary modification" on IBM's personnel policy that effectively allowed its female employees to remain working after marriage and allowed the company to hire married women in the first place. It was sent in by Marc Sobel The Society Pages' Sociological Images: Link - via The Atlantic


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When I worked for IBM, they paid female engineers quite a bit more than males. It was galling, but we were told that is just the way it was and we had to deal with it.
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In 1951, it was assumed that when a woman marries, she will become pregnant soon. And get pregnant every 2 or 3 years after that, and stay home with the children. IBM saw the writing on the wall, and weighed the cost of training new workers against the benefit of that year or two they could work a woman after she married. Also, they could pay a woman a LOT less than a man and no one batted an eye, because that's the way things were. They weren't being particularly progressive.
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