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Code Girls


The riveting story of the USA's courageous and accomplished WWII female American...
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What skills and characteristics did the military look for in the women? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort?

Created: 09/26/18

Replies: 7

Posted Sep. 26, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

What skills and characteristics did the military look for in the women? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort?

What particular skills and characteristics did the Army and Navy look for in the women recruited to their code-breaking programs? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort? 


Posted Sep. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 281

RE: What skills and characteristics did the military look for in the women? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort?

For standards at the start of the program—researchers, knowledge of math, science, history, work crossword puzzles, could keep secrets, be willing to relocate, not married, teachers, etc. And definitely high grade women.

In the beginning the same stereotypes that are used today to epitomize the perfect woman were used then when recruiting the initial code girls. In time, when they became WAVES, the high principles were somewhat relaxed.


Posted Sep. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianned

Join Date: 07/02/15

Posts: 91

RE: What skills and characteristics did the military look for in the women? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort?

The Navy initially recruited women from the all-female Seven Sister colleges in the Northeast. The admissions criteria for those schools were extremely high, with women trained in math, science, and foreign languages, as well as English (including typing). Furthermore, their separation from men might mean they would remain single during their employment (although that was not a requirement at first). The Navy, and later the Army, which recruited from women’s colleges in other parts of the country, wanted the women to be attractive, too, to raise the morale of the men who were fighting for their country in WWII. These were vastly different times, and women did not expect to be paid the same as men—they definitely weren’t. Since the only jobs usually open to college-educated women were teaching positions, women were thrilled with the increased pay they received in the cryptology world. Men acknowledged that women were smart enough to do the work, but they saw no reason to pay them at the same rate as their male counterparts.


Posted Oct. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 187

RE: What skills and characteristics did the military look for in the women? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort?

Similar to today, the search was for smart women who did not have family ties. For some reason, men can have families, but women's lives can't manage both. In the #metoo era, the anger about employment requirements and male preference is beyond acceptance; even the difference between men and women when the job became too much. It is just another frustrating chapter in equal rights for women.


Posted Oct. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 373

RE: What skills and characteristics did the military look for in the women? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort?

They searched for smart women with no family life. I think the military thought this would allow them to keep secrets better and not be distracted by a 'home life'. Women weren't thought of as equals to the men with the same skills.


Posted Oct. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 460

RE: What skills and characteristics did the military look for in the women? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort?

Certainly math, science, problem solving played a big part in the recruitment of these women. As well as background checks.


Posted Oct. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jhoov

Join Date: 10/16/18

Posts: 10

RE: What skills and characteristics did the military look for in the women? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort?

ability to work with numbers and letters and find patterns. Patience...if a solution doesn't come at first, keep trying. I love word and number puzzles and kept thinking as I read this book--I would have loved to do that.


Posted Oct. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 249

RE: What skills and characteristics did the military look for in the women? How do you believe stereotypes about women were employed or challenged in the recruitment effort?

Others have enumerated the skills quite well. As I was reading about what the military was looking for, I realized that I might've fit in very well in a code girls job, but probably wouldn't have been recruited as I went to a public university. Years later, these same skills were sought by the National Security Agency. I did well on the test, but opted to pursue a different type of government work.


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