The Canadian Girl at Work - A Book of Vocational Guidance
by Marjory MacMurchy
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The wage-earning girl has often a very small income in the first years of her experience in paid employment. She can afford to spend only very small sums for her coats, blouses, skirts and hats. Often she tries to make her necessary clothing in the evening after her paid work is over. It is very difficult for her to do this if she has had no training in dressmaking or in millinery. But if she has learnt how to cut out and to sew and how to trim her own hats, work which otherwise would have been extremely difficult becomes interesting and successful. It is well to remember also that girls with very little money, if they must buy their clothes because they do not know how to make them, are compelled to buy only the cheapest things which wear but a short time.

For the worker who is well established in her employment and has a good income, home dressmaking and millinery become questions of health, time and energy. This worker should make the best use of her strength. It is often wiser for her to pay someone to do this work for her since she can afford to do so, though she sometimes may regret the days when she found time to enjoy making a blouse or trimming a hat. She has, however, the satisfaction of knowing that without this special knowledge of dressmaking and millinery she would not be able to buy wisely the wearing apparel which she requires.



The telephone girl who enters her employment in a city gains the first knowledge of her trade in a school which is maintained by the company. She fills out an application, stating how old she is, how long she has been at school, and whether she is living at home or boarding. She should be sixteen or seventeen years old, and it is better if she has had one or two years in a high school. Her work will require accuracy, and she must be quick in thought and action. There should be no defect in her speech, and she should be at least five feet in height since she requires a good reach on the telephone board. Girls who go into this work should have strong nervous systems. The necessity for rapid and constant action, the strain on thought and nerve, and the call for resourcefulness and coolness, all of which are connected with the work of a telephone operator, are a constant drain on nervous energy.

The girl remains at the training school two weeks or longer and during this time she is paid by the company exactly as if she were at work. Payment varies in different parts of the country. But the girl at school generally receives a beginner's wages.

In small towns and country districts, the beginner learns to be a telephone operator by substituting for the regular operator. There is less pressure in telephone work outside of cities, and there is more room for initiative than in a large city exchange.

Telephone exchanges in cities are large airy rooms, well lighted, well kept and ventilated. These rooms are pleasant places in which to work, and the telephone company provides lunch and rest rooms for its staff. A matron takes general charge of the girls, and a dietitian looks after the food provided and advises the girl employees with regard to their health. In the rest room are comfortable chairs and a lounge. The management provides tea, sugar and milk and the dishes in the lunch room. The girls may buy cold meat, bread and butter, biscuits and other food for a small charge. The hours are eight in the daytime and seven for night operators; this length of working day is regarded as the utmost which can be required from girls in telephone work. There are two rest periods in the day, besides time for lunch.

In the school the young operator is trained to answer requests for numbers, to make and break connections, and to keep account of calls. She is taught to enunciate clearly and to speak courteously and agreeably. She learns to know the board and its numbering. The board is divided into sections and each section comprises a complete multiple. Each multiple consists of eight panels, the panels being divided into "banks." Each bank contains a hundred "jacks," every one of which represents a customer. When a connection is made, the telephone operator connects one jack with another by means of a cord and two plugs. By the time the girl is an experienced operator, she has become accustomed to the little flashing lights constantly appearing in front of her, which mean that a connection is asked for.

The operator in a city begins with ten or eleven dollars a week. In two or three years if she is a satisfactory operator she should be earning fifteen. A supervisor receives from sixteen to eighteen or twenty. The duties of the supervisor are to walk up and down behind the girls at the board so that she may be certain they are giving satisfactory service, to check delays, and to help in difficulties. For instance, if a call comes through from a fire or accident, the operator will often give it in charge of the supervisor immediately so that there may be no delay. The chief operator who is responsible for the whole service and who has the management of the working force is paid from twenty-four to thirty dollars a week, according to the size of the exchange and the amount of work involved.

Skilled operators are often employed in private exchanges and when they are competent they earn from twelve to fifteen dollars a week or more. The most important switchboards are in hotels, apartment houses, public and governmental offices, stores and private offices. The work is often exacting and in many cases requires executive ability and resourcefulness. The operator is expected to answer calls, make connections, answer questions and keep account of the number of calls made. Sometimes important business depends on the good-will, executive energy, judgment and quick thought of the girl at the switchboard. A young woman of strong vitality and good mind—where she has responsibility and can use initiative—finds this work fascinating. Such a worker sometimes wins important promotion because she is able to show that she can manage both people and critical situations and has business and financial judgment.

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Telegraphy also offers employment for girls, but not to the same extent as the telephone exchange. The automatic machine has made a considerable change in this occupation. The Morse operator is now employed to a much smaller extent than formerly. There are still a number of men and women who are Morse operators, but they are being replaced to a certain extent by girls who operate automatic machines. The machines are extremely ingenious and do away with the necessity for the operator to understand or use a code.

Telegraph companies in some cases maintain a school for the instruction of Morse operators, and girls who enter telegraphy receive a weekly wage while at the school, as is the case with girls in the telephone school. In some cases instruction is given during work in the operating room. Schools are at central points only. If the girl who wants to learn telegraphy lives in a small town or in the country, she must be taught by the telegraph operator. A number of girl operators are to be found in country offices. The writer remembers specially two of these girls. One was in a telegraph and cable office down by the sea. She had been a telephone operator and had learned telegraphy from the telegrapher in the same office. The other girl was in an inland railway office, and had learned from her brother, who had held the position before her. Both these girls were earning good salaries.

The hours in a telegraph office in the city are from eight to six, with a luncheon hour. The room in which the girl is at work is crowded with machines and people. There is a good deal of noise and a great pressure of business, much of which is important. The girl needs to be thoroughly interested in her work and to have steady nerves in order to do well in telegraph operating. It will take her several years to become a competent Morse operator. An automatic machine is operated by a typist. The companies apply a simple psychological test by means of which they can judge whether the applicant has the power of concentration necessary for accuracy and success in this employment.

Many girl operators have charge of agencies in different parts of towns and cities. These girls have agreeable work under no great pressure in a quiet place, although with a certain amount of responsibility.

The wages paid girls who operate automatic machines vary according to the age, ability and efficiency of the workers, and the locality where the work is done. Typists may begin at seventy-five dollars a month, with increases up to eighty-five. Girls in training as Morse operators are called check girls and may receive thirty, thirty-five or forty-five dollars a month with an increase in the second year to fifty dollars. Women who are Morse operators belong to the same union as the men and receive the same wages. In larger places they begin at eighty-five dollars a month and receive increases up to one hundred and twenty-three dollars and twenty-five cents.

Both telephone and telegraph operators are in a sense public servants, and may win the respect and gratitude of their clients. They sometimes suffer from a lack of appreciation of their really arduous work; but as a rule the public recognizes good service. These workers often show loyalty under trying and exacting circumstances. On many occasions girls have risked death from fire and flood by staying at their posts to warn others of danger. During the Great War there have been instances of telephone and telegraph operators performing services as faithful and as brave as many of the deeds on the battlefield.



Hairdressing and shampooing, manicuring and chiropody, are almost exclusively the work of girls and women. There has been a decided improvement in these employments, and any girl who takes a serious interest in making herself a thoroughly trained worker in one of these lines of work, provided she has the gifts which are needed, is likely to find her occupation becoming more and more necessary and esteemed.

To be entirely successful in work of this kind a girl should have engaging personal qualities. Just as a doctor or nurse with abundant personal vitality gives health and encouragement to patients by being in the same room with them, so the girl who gives massage after a shampoo quiets and soothes the client with whom she is working and who has come in for a rest as well as to have her hair shampooed. A girl with this power to soothe is a helpful person. She will never lose a customer who can remain with her if the customer has once experienced the difference between an ordinary treatment and the superior work of the girl who is gifted by nature with a personality which both soothes and invigorates.

While a girl may begin her training as young as sixteen, it is better if she is nineteen or older. Some experienced women say that no girl should begin work of this description younger than twenty. She should apply for a position as a helper in a shampooing and manicuring establishment or with a chiropodist. Sometimes the pupil is expected to pay a fee of twenty-five dollars or more for three months' instruction. But in many good establishments it is held that the work of a beginner is very soon worth something. It is not necessary, therefore, for the girl to pay a fee in order to become trained. She may find a place where she will be paid a fair wage for a beginner within a short time after she has been accepted. But if the beginner pays no fee for her instruction, the head of the establishment will expect rightly that the assistant will remain in her employ two or three years at least so that she may repay the time and care which have been given to her training. In a year and a half a good assistant should be earning from ten to twelve dollars a week, and in two or three years her weekly wages are likely to be fourteen or sixteen dollars. If she takes some responsibility in managing the work and workrooms, she may earn as much as seventeen or eighteen dollars a week. In some establishments tips are allowed. The girl should understand, however, that as a rule wages are lower where tips are permitted. It is better for her to be employed in the best kind of establishment where the highest wages are paid. In such an establishment tips are unusual.

The helper is likely to begin by taking care of the rooms and toilet articles, washing brushes, combs, etc., and carrying out miscellaneous orders. The attractiveness of the rooms depends on the perfection of these details.

After some years spent in a good establishment the young woman may undertake appointment work. She should choose carefully the district in which she means to work, so as not to interfere with any other shampooing or manicuring business. She should not take away customers who belong to the business where she was trained. She will need to have some money saved in order to provide herself with the necessary articles which she has to carry with her, as well as tonics and lotions. Her expenses will also include a telephone, carfare, printed cards, and so on. She should estimate her expenditures carefully to determine how much she is making over all expenses by the week, the month, and finally by the year. The summer months are likely to be slack, and this should be taken into account. She should arrange her appointments so that she may make the best use of her time and energy, and she must keep appointments punctually. A successful business of this kind may realize a weekly return of from twelve to eighteen dollars. Such a worker by the time she has saved some capital to invest may be able to start an establishment of her own, but she should do so only after a careful calculation of the expenditure required.

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The modern tea-room has changed to some extent the occupation of the waitress. The modern lunch room in the same way makes a feature of the class of girls who attend on customers. They are expected to be especially quiet, deft and well mannered, and they should be dressed with that entire suitability to their occupation which is a mark of the well-bred girl. These girls have often been brought up with no special occupation in view—possibly they had not expected to earn a living by paid employment. But the opportunity comes to find work in a tea or lunch room, which is owned or managed by a woman friend, and they gladly enter on their new occupation, pleased as every normal girl should be to be busy and to earn an income. It is possible for the girl who has duties at home to spend part of her day as a waitress in a lunch and tea room. The same gifts and knowledge which make her a success in her work at home cause her to be prized as a waitress. She understands how a table should be set. Quickly and deftly she lays the table after each customer has been served. Her touch and movements are noiseless and pleasing to watch. She is interested in what each customer wants. She is thoughtful and has a good memory, is good tempered and not impatient. She has an instinct for placing and arranging food so that the man or woman at the table feels that he or she is being waited on by an intelligent, well-mannered person. In spite of the high standard of the service required, the pay is rather small. It may not even cover all the girl's expenses. She has the advantage, however, of limited hours and leisure to carry on her duties at home.

The work of the regular waitress is in an hotel, restaurant, women's club, or in the dining rooms connected with apartment houses and private hotels. Women who work in such places should be neat and smart in appearance and should wear dresses of a uniform standard, generally black with white aprons, cuffs and collars. A good home training is of great assistance to them in their work. They should have common sense and good judgment, and be polite to customers and fellow workers. Perseverance, intelligence and physical strength are required by waitresses. A girl who is naturally erect, with a good carriage and graceful walk, is at an advantage in this occupation. She needs to be kindly and thoughtful and to take pleasure in serving her customers. She has to understand and remember her customers' checks, and the amount of the checks she hands in ought to equal the average cash sales of other waitresses. Many customers make a point of coming to the same waitress every day, and she should remember where they prefer to sit and how they like to be served.

One advantage in this work is that the worker is given two, sometimes three meals, in addition to her payment in actual money. In a number of establishments the tipping system prevails, which provides a girl with an added source of income. The average Canadian girl, however, dislikes being tipped, and there are many objections to the tipping system.



Among those who choose work on the land as a special employment are girls and women in the country who have the opportunity to give either part of their time or all of it to farm work, and others from the city who prefer an outdoor life. The problems of the city girl or woman who wishes to engage in farm work are how to acquire skill and experience in her business, capital for land and equipment, labour, transportation and a market. The girl on the farm can solve these problems with an advantage of fifty, seventy-five, or one hundred per cent. as compared with the girl who migrates from town or city to carry on independent productive work in the country.

Most girls and women in the country are familiar with farm life, and know beforehand what they require for success in any kind of farm work. Eggs, poultry, cream, butter, vegetables and fruit are sent to market by women who are also home makers. There is, also, a growing movement among a few able country women to make their productive work so extensive as to constitute one-half or one-third of the whole work of the farm. Thus in some instances a third of the farm land may be devoted to a poultry farm; and its management is in reality an extensive business, undertaken with all the thought, planning and attention which are given to a large farm project. Productive work of this character is successfully carried on by a few women.

A restricted number of women who have lived previously on farms and are thoroughly familiar with farming conditions have undertaken farm management successfully. Such women are exceptional and there is no present indication that this employment will be taken up to any large extent by women. The farm manager must be strong enough to do her own work when she is unable to procure assistance, and she may at times have to live alone.

The girl who lives on a farm and who has the endowment needed has an exceptional opportunity to engage in productive work on her own initiative. She should secure a plot of land on the farm for her own use. When the other labour on the farm is being done, it takes little extra time and exertion to do what cultivating is necessary on the girl's plot of land. In this way she can arrange with little trouble and at little expense for any manual labour which is beyond her own strength. A girl or a woman who goes into the country from the city to engage in independent productive work finds the problem of labour one of her greatest difficulties. In this as in other respects the girl whose father or brother is a farmer is at an advantage.

A young woman thus situated has her land secured as her share of family good will, or at a small rental after her business has begun to pay. An arrangement, as has been pointed out, can easily be made for the manual labour required. She has an opportunity to learn her work thoroughly, and to experiment, before she actually goes into business. She can arrange for necessary fertilizers at an advantageous rate. Finally, the means of transportation to market, and the market itself which has been found for the products of her father's farm, often can be used for the products which the girl has chosen to raise on her plot.

If she is particularly attracted to flower-growing, the girl on the farm may devote herself to growing violets for market. She must study violets carefully. She should be an authority on the subject. She should learn to understand their appearance, habits and diseases. She should know just what to do for her plants, how to feed and tend them, how to get the best results, how to make a violet blossom the best blossom of its kind that can be offered for sale. Besides this, she must know how to pick violets, how to grade them, how to pack them, and when and where and how to send them to market. It would appear practically certain that if the farm produce is sent to market, the girl may send her violets, properly handled and packed, at the same time, and she will be likely to find a ready demand for her flowers, if she offers fine violets for sale.

A woman who is a bee-keeper writes as follows of how a woman may acquire skill in this country employment. "A good beginning for the woman who is to keep bees is to read Maeterlinck's 'Life of the Bee.' If after reading such a book the girl or woman who thinks she would like to be a bee farmer is still further interested in bees, then she may decide to go into bee culture.

She should offer herself as apprentice to an up-to-date bee-keeper as soon as the spring work begins and stay with him to the end of the season. The following spring, if still inclined for the work, she should buy from her employer two, four or six prosperous colonies of bees. If she prefers to do so, she may take a short course in bee-keeping at the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph.

Characteristics which the bee-keeper needs are a cool head and steady nerves. She should also have determination to succeed and some indifference to pain.

Some difficulties which may be encountered are bad choice of location, winter losses and poor seasons. There is heavy lifting to be done, but generally a lad in the neighbourhood can be hired to come for part of the day to help. By ingenuity a good deal of the lifting can be avoided.

The advantages of bee-keeping are a healthful, outdoor occupation which takes one's mind off real or imaginary worries, with a certainty of small profit in spite of set-backs and large profits in favourable seasons. Bee-keeping is a good occupation for the woman who is suited to it, but not every woman can be a successful bee-farmer.

When the bee-keeper's work calls for larger space she may rent outyards from farmers in the locality. Her market is likely to be found near where she lives. Those who know that she keeps bees will bring her orders. Bakers use a considerable amount of honey. If the bee-keeper lives near a good road for motorists, she may put up a sign saying 'Honey for sale,' and the demand probably will be larger than she can supply."

A woman who moved from the city to the country is now favourably known as a grower of flowering plants for marketing. She began as a student of wild flowers and became a wild flower specialist. The first money she made from flowers was earned as the result of her wish to give to a missionary society. She bought seeds from a reliable dealer, parcelled them out in selected varieties, and sold the packages. She also planted the seeds in her own garden and studied the plants carefully. The occupation grew until it took up most of her time. A larger garden was obtained and expert knowledge was acquired gradually in the growing of perennials. The demand for her plants grew steadily. When she made a change from a city garden to a country place, greater expenditure was necessary, and the cost of labour became a serious item. But the beauty of outdoor life and love for her special work have counter-balanced all difficulties. Her business is now well-established and successful.

The principal difficulty, according to one authority, for girls and women in the business of farm production, is that they have to find out that they must learn to understand facts with which they think they are already familiar. A girl on a farm, for instance, makes up her mind to undertake poultry farming as a business. She may be of the opinion that she knows all about poultry, from the kind of buildings which ought to be used to the nature of any disease likely to attack poultry. This believing that she knows all about poultry, or vegetables, or fruit, when in reality a good part of the knowledge she has is imperfect, will be a great obstacle to the girl in such work. The girl of good judgment will set to work to study her subject with enthusiasm and perseverance. As a rule people who understand a subject best are slow to believe that they know all there is to know on that subject.

The girl or woman who hopes to leave town or city life to engage in work in the country should have a certain amount of capital, not less, it has been said, than five thousand dollars; but the amount of capital required depends on the locality. A greater amount than five thousand dollars may easily be necessary. She will also need a small income, since she may not be able to support herself wholly by this work for a number of years, if indeed she does so ultimately. She should be strong physically and should enjoy manual labour. She should be fond of an outdoor life and of whatever kind of work is involved in her enterprise. She should like animals and growing things, and be able to live without constant social stimulus.

The Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph has trained a number of young women in different branches of agricultural production. Short courses may be taken during the year, and the special classes during the summer months are most useful and popular.

The special need for production which developed during the War induced many girls and young women, including a number of women students from universities, to volunteer for farm work. During the summer months some hundreds of young women engaged in fruit picking and worked in canning factories under government supervision, and were lodged in club houses managed by the Young Women's Christian Association. Others undertook various forms of work connected with agriculture, meeting with success in their employment and with public approval. In the summer of 1918 a special course of instruction for young women in farm work was arranged at the Ontario Agricultural College, and later regular courses were established throughout the year. Women now may qualify for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the Ontario Agricultural College and at Macdonald College, Quebec. Wider opportunities for women in agricultural employment are thus being recognized.



Library work, although unusually attractive, does not employ a great many workers. The work is pleasing, it is valuable to the community, and the associates with whom the librarian works are trained and intelligent.

Almost any girl who loves books and reading may be attracted to library work. She should test herself first to see if she has other necessary qualities before she makes up her mind to train as a librarian. A girl who really dislikes detail and who fails in detail work is hardly likely to succeed in this occupation. The usefulness of a library depends on a constant routine of work faithfully performed by its staff. An assistant does not spend her time in reading new books, although the best type of library worker must always find time for reading. The librarian is working for the interests of others. Her mind should be sensitive and alert to the needs of the public. She must love books, but it is equally true that she should be a lover of humanity. If she feels only impatience and irritation when she is asked to leave some routine work to find a special volume for a boy or girl, man or woman worker, or some old person who has come into the library to read, then she should not be in library work.

The standard of education required for a librarian is constantly being raised. The entrance examination to a university is often required as the minimum in academic training. A librarian cannot be too well or too widely educated, and it is generally agreed that sound scholarship is required in a library. This point should receive careful attention from the girl who is thinking of library work. A position as an untrained assistant is not easily found. More and more, it is becoming a profession for men and women who are college graduates and who in addition have taken professional and technical training in a school for librarians.

Training in library work may be obtained in different ways. The girl may enter a library as an assistant where she will be taught the methods of the library in which she is working. As has been said, she should be interested in books and people. She should be neat, accurate and quick in her work, widely read and well informed. The payment which she will receive may not at first be sufficient for her support, so that she will need either to have saved some money earned in another employment, or to be able to live at home, remaining partly dependent on her own people until she has acquired skill as a librarian.

After she has worked in the library as an assistant, she should attend classes in a school for librarians. The library training school, conducted under the authority of the Department of Education for Ontario, has a course of several months, with lectures, instruction, and practice work. Library boards frequently grant leave of absence to librarians and assistants so that they may attend this school. Application for admission should be sent to the Inspector of Public Libraries, Department of Education, Parliament Buildings, Toronto.

Library schools in the United States give courses of one and two years in all the branches of librarianship. These schools require for entrance either that the applicant has a standing equal to the second year in a university, with a knowledge of French and German, or a university degree. Any young woman who is a college graduate and has a certificate from one of these library schools is likely to find good employment in a library.

The technical training which a library assistant must acquire, either in a library or at a library school, includes the classification of books according to subject, the cataloguing of books, some knowledge of binding and repairing, the arrangement of books on shelves, the use of open shelves, how to serve the public, filing and use of periodicals, how to use reference books of all kinds, preparation of reading courses for clubs, how to make the library useful to boys and girls at school, and practice in the children's library.

In a small library, while the work is not greatly divided, one librarian, possibly with an assistant, must carry on all the work of the library.

In large libraries, the work is divided into a number of departments, each of which is in charge of a responsible head, who may have several assistants. Over all the work of the library is the head librarian.

The administrative side of library work calls for executive and business ability. The best experience for a young worker whose gifts are in this direction is to be obtained in a small library. She may, if she has training, become director of such a library and she will gradually win promotion to a larger library, unless she finds that the work where she is suits her capacity better.

The cataloguer labels the books as they come in and prepares cards which will represent the books in the catalogue. A book may be asked for under several different classifications, and the skill of the cataloguer is required to decide how many cards are needed and under what headings the books should be listed.

The reference librarian has work of an altogether different character. She is constantly in touch with the public. All kinds of questions are brought to her. The reference department sometimes maintains a telephone service; that is, clients may telephone inquiries to the library and the information needed will be looked up and telephoned to them within a reasonable time. The reference librarian requires a complete knowledge of books of reference, encyclopaedias, bibliographies, and dictionaries of all kinds, and she must be skilful in their use.

The circulation librarian has charge of the collection of books to be loaned to the public. She must be familiar with the collection and should understand the tastes of those who use the library. Book exhibitions and announcements are under her care, and she generally has charge of a number of assistants.

One of the most pleasant and yet one of the most exacting positions in a library is that of librarian in the children's room. The children's librarian must be fond of children and should be able to control and influence them for good. She should have the wish to instruct and she needs a rich endowment of imagination, since this is necessary in order to understand children and to sympathize with them.

Other openings for librarians are in scientific schools, medical schools, and in some law firms and business houses where the keeping and filing of documents are of special importance. Librarians in such positions are on their own responsibility and sometimes do important reference and bibliographical work. Civic and engineering libraries, municipal libraries, libraries on music, architecture and art, the cataloguing of prints and pictures, special work in bibliography and indexing, offer in a few cities opportunities to trained and gifted librarians.

Salaries of from six to eight hundred are not uncommon for library assistants who have training or experience. In a number of positions the library may be open during limited hours, or on certain days only. But when all a librarian's time is required an effort is made to pay a salary which will ensure for the librarian a reasonable standard of comfort. The better paid positions have salaries of eight or nine hundred up to twelve, thirteen or fourteen hundred for women librarians in charge of branch libraries, heads of important departments, and chief librarians.

A woman's work in a library offers opportunities for service and self-improvement. The profession is fairly well paid. It requires careful training and constant study. Enthusiasm, ability and initiative may make the librarian one of the most useful and influential citizens in the community.



We have been referring so far to girls who are earning a living in paid employment, working usefully and happily in almost all the occupations which make up the gigantic output of national activity. Many thousands of girls at home are doing household work which is just as necessary to national well-being.

Chapter Eighteen on The Home Employments, which follows this chapter on Work for the Girl at Home, is intended to state more fully the importance of the occupation of home making. The present chapter is planned to suggest lines of remunerative work for girls who are helping in home making, but who require spending money and a healthy, active interest in life and people outside the home.

Every girl who is helping to make a home may be certain that she is one of the world's necessary workers. The home people are dependent on her more directly and to a far greater extent than the work of the office or factory is dependent on the girl who is a paid employee. The girl at home may not seem to have anything definite to show for all her daily tasks. As one home maker said of her own work: "Just a lot of dishes washed and a lot of meals cooked and eaten." But the working efficiency of all the members of the household is dependent on this work, and not only their working efficiency, but their happiness as well. The output of a factory can be expressed in so many thousands of dollars and cents. But the work of a home is expressed in a spiritual and mental, as well as in a physical, total.

The girl who is doing necessary work for the home should be paid an allowance, unless the family income is so limited that it is impossible to arrange for one. It should be understood in every case that the work of the girl has a money value, as well as a value which cannot be recompensed except by affection. When the family income does not permit of an adequate allowance, happily the girl is often able not only to support herself with work which allows her to continue her home occupation, but to make a contribution to the upkeep of the home. The girl at home who is making an income from other work should save part of what she makes for investment, for some special training, or for recreation and travelling.

The home girl should remember that her expenses are small. She does not pay for board and lodging as is generally the case with the girl in paid employment. There are a hundred small incidental expenses met by the girl who goes out to work which are not necessary for the girl at home. She has no set hours to keep and she has time to sew, to make clothes and trim hats without over-tiring herself as the wage-earning girl often does if she is her own dressmaker and milliner. The working clothes of the girl at home may be very simple. She does not need to go out every morning to her work, and for this reason can dress more economically than her wage-earning sister, and still be neat and fresh.

Let us suppose that the girl at home needs to earn an income, either small or fairly large. The first step she should take is to think carefully over her own possibilities, and the possibilities of the neighbourhood in which she lives. What can she do that is worth payment, and where can she find someone who is willing to buy what she has to sell?

She may have a gift for sewing and dressmaking. If she is really capable and can do satisfactory work, she may easily build up a small business among her friends and their friends in the making of smart blouses. The girl should always remember that poor work is never worth while. Her blouses should be better than anything her clients can buy at a store. They should have distinction and style of their own, and a fineness and individuality which the stores cannot rival. If her gift is undeniable but her workmanship is poor, she should take lessons at a school of dressmaking and make herself a first-class worker. She may possibly undertake dresses, although blouses generally are more useful and more possible for the girl at home. In the same way, the girl with a gift may specialize on hats, but her hats must be professional in workmanship and individual in style.

Perhaps the girl at home is a born cook. Home-made bread is always in demand. But it must be the best that can be produced. A specialty in home-made cakes of certain kinds may be made profitable. Candy-making is often carried on successfully as a home industry. But the home girl who does work of any kind for profit must have business sense. She must itemize her expenses accurately. Cakes or bread which have not turned out well should never be offered for sale. To do so is not fair to the worker, for one of her most valuable assets should be the fact that her work is always satisfactory.

The work of the home has changed greatly in the last fifty years. Once rugs, carpets, blankets, yarn, soap and candles were made at home. If the girl can find a market for home-made rugs she might make rug weaving a profitable employment. The same is true of soap. In these days of thrift and economy, days when work must be better done than ever, a girl might induce the women of a neighbourhood to let her become a local soapmaker. But she would have to be certain of herself and of the work. A co-operative canning kitchen would be a great benefit to the women of any community, and two or three home girls who could count on a certain amount of time for this work could manage the kitchen. This work would be specially suitable for girls in a small town or country district. They could arrange for a market in a neighbouring town or city. The arrangement could be made through a local Women's Institute or Home Makers' Club. "Canning circles" have been managed successfully in some parts of the country. If the girl wants a small business of her own in preserving fruits and canning vegetables, she may develop a market in her own neighbourhood. If her home is in the country she may arrange to supply a store or a number of housekeepers in a neighbouring town, or she may help to form a circle and work with other girls.

Selling flowers, choice fruit and poultry may be made money-making occupations by either country or city girls. First, the girl should know her specialty. She should not merely know something about it, but she should make herself an absolute mistress of it. Her flowers should be fine in quality and colour. They should be properly handled and properly packed. To begin with, of course, they should be properly grown. Nothing is left to accident in a successful business, and the home girl should see that she is not in any way behind professional dealers in her line. If she is selling hand-picked fruit, the people who buy from her should know that they will receive only the best. Those who buy are willing to pay a higher price for any specialty which is the best of its kind.

Girls whose interests are of a different character may find other paying employments. To find the employment depends largely on the study of one's capacity and one's neighbourhood. Is there any opening for a lending library? Then the girl who is fond of books and reading and who understands the average taste in reading, provided she can find a little capital, may start a lending library. It is possible that there may be a library in the neighbourhood which would be glad to engage her services a few hours in the day. There are villages and country districts where a girl living at home could make a success of a small library.

The girl with a turn for keeping accounts might become a visiting bookkeeper. Doctors and dentists often have their accounts kept by someone who is not altogether in their employ. A good business connection of this kind might be worked up in a neighbourhood. Or a girl might answer the dentist's or doctor's doorbell and telephone during certain hours in the day. She could give attendance in his office at the same time. A girl is often able to find employment for some hours a day in a store in the neighbourhood of her home. A village store which is also the post office may engage her as an assistant for part of the day.

Mothers in a suburban neighbourhood are often glad to have some girl at home look after their children one or two afternoons in the week. To undertake work of this character successfully the girl should be fond of children and able to manage them. If she can tell stories well, she might form a circle of children to attend a children's hour. A visiting mother's help would be a boon in many neighbourhoods.

The possibilities of paying employment for girls at home who have initiative and some spare time are almost limitless. The girl's ingenuity is the only measure of what she may do in the way of paying work. The field of success of two such girls of the writer's acquaintance is the lovely, old-fashioned home garden. One girl has made a specialty of poultry. Her stock is of the best. She sells eggs, both for household use and as "settings." The other girl grows roses in the garden and from her own success as a rose grower she has become a seller of rose bushes. They are both happy in their employments, and they continue to be home makers as well as business women. The income is not the only benefit which the girl at home receives from such work as this. Her work brings her into contact with other people, broadens her interests, increases her usefulness, and, moreover, is often a recreation. The home-maker needs outside interests. The girl at home is never dull, or unhappy because she is dull, when she has an avocation in addition to her work and life in the home.

To unite her home-making and her other employment successfully, the girl should learn how to organize her time. A girl, for instance, might look after poultry while she waits for the kettle to boil. The same time might be taken for work in the garden. Heat that is used to cook dinner will help to can or preserve. The day's work should be planned carefully if time is to be put to the best use.



The more thoroughly women and girls understand paid work outside of the home, the more clearly they recognize that work in the home is of high standing, intellectually, artistically and spiritually. The most able women in outside work are constantly looking back to the home, hoping that they may be able to introduce into home life and management much that they have learned in other pursuits.

One of these women whose name is associated with a famous business success, in writing of her own work recently said: "I believe that work which is most commonly thought drudgery can be made attractive and beautiful if it is approached in the right spirit, and I feel more than that—that until all women are awake to this, and really enjoy their work—whether it is running a home and bringing up their children, or being out in the world in business—they will never be as efficient as men are in their field."

We should be careful then to know how a girl should equip herself for the home employments. If she will look back to chapter five, "What Every Girl Needs to Know," she will find that in order to develop into a young woman able to meet the problems, work, responsibilities and joys of life, she should know how to keep herself and other people well. To keep herself well, she should understand the values of food and how to prepare food; she should know how to dress, which includes knowing how to make and mend clothes; and she should know how to rest. In order to keep other people well, she must know what food should be given to babies, to people at work, both men and women, and to old people. She should also be able to judge whether they are properly clothed and cared for. If possible, every girl should have some knowledge of nursing. She may not be a trained nurse, but she should have some of the knowledge and skill of the trained nurse.

One of the finest of the home employments is this great work of caring for people and keeping them well. One of the functions of a home is to preserve the health of its inmates.

Fortunately, any girl who wants to learn the art and science of home making may learn at home or in school, or she may go to special classes where all these domestic subjects are taught. There is hardly any study which is more delightful, because one has the pleasure of working with one's hands as well as studying. A girl who is a good cook, and knows how to cut out clothes and sew them, has a good part of the knowledge of the home-maker.

What else does the girl need to know before she can feel that she is properly trained to have charge of a home? The girl should be prepared to find that home-making requires a varied and very interesting training. The best home-maker needs a thorough knowledge of household accounting. The business girl understands that the factory, the store and the office can not be managed successfully unless the manager understands all about the bookkeeping of his business, for the books of the business should show the exact condition of the enterprise. The home is not a business and yet it requires some knowledge of business.

Much of her own happiness and usefulness and the happiness and usefulness of others will depend on her knowledge and ability to handle an income. She should read the best books and magazines on household management. If the girl has no books of her own she should ask for advice and help at the public library.

The home maker has many interests and an endless variety of duties. She needs to study—and if need be to take some action to try to control—the sources of food supply for her household. She must decide what manufacturing work should be done in the house. Are bread and cake to be baked at home? What preserving and canning are to be undertaken? How much clothing is to be made in the house, either with or without help? In every case the decision has to be made according to individual requirements. It may pay one home maker to bake her own bread; in the case of another, her time and strength may be needed in other ways. The problems of mending, and of taking proper care of household furnishings, are part of the duty of the home maker. She should also be an expert buyer, and should be able to judge of the quality and price of fabrics and of their suitability. If she employs a houseworker, she must be able to plan the work of her helper. It is important that the home maker should be fair to everyone whom she employs. Wages, hours, food and shelter, treatment and standing, should all be of the best character that she can give. The very nature of a home is based on right human relations. Nothing that is unjust or unkind should be tolerated in the management of the home or its relationships. The home is not managed for profit, but for human well-being. This fact alone places the work of the home maker among the first and best employments.

By far the most important function of the home is the care and training of children. No girl or woman can have too great a talent, or too careful a training, or too fine a personality, to devote all she has to the care of little children. It is a very wrong thing for anyone to undertake ignorantly, or to fail to be interested in, the best care of the health and feeding of infants and their early training. All girls who have had anything to do with the care of babies know how very delightful babies are, and how worth while it is to take care of them and to win their affection.

The twentieth century girl has to deal with two aspects of home-making, one of which is an old aspect revived, while the other is a principle new in its application to the work of the home. We have been taught by the stern necessity of the Great War the importance of the food supply of the world and the household. Every woman who is a home maker should have, if possible, a small garden in which to grow vegetables. Even if she lives in an apartment, she may arrange to have a garden allotment in co-operation with others. Gardening is one of the oldest of the home maker's employments.

The principle which is new in its application to the work of the home is co-operation. So far home makers have carried on their affairs independently, each woman very largely by herself. Suppose a group of ten women, practical, experienced home makers, with sufficient business sense to recognize fair business dealing, were to decide to arrange for some of their home making work in partnership. A great deal of the household buying of coal, bread, flour, canned goods (when buying canned goods is advisable), sugar, and other groceries, meat, poultry, butter, eggs, etc., might be carried on to great advantage in partnership. Canning, preserving and baking might be undertaken by one or two of the members of the group, or a professional worker might be engaged to do this work for the ten members. The actual expenses should be shared fairly and a considerable saving would be effected when the output was distributed amongst the members. In the same way, the co-operative group might arrange for household help. One skilled houseworker might assist with the work of three or four households. Washing, ironing, cleaning, dusting, mending, dressmaking, sewing, shopping, and the care of the telephone, could be carried on either partly or wholly by members of the group in return for other service, or by paid helpers who in every case should be reliable experts.

The principle on which successful co-operative work is based is the forming of a small group of well-known and trusted individuals to carry on work either in production, or buying and selling, or in both, with the sharing of expenses and the elimination of commission and secondary profits. Co-operation is admirably adapted to the work of home-making. The girls of the twentieth century, with courage, cleverness and enterprise, may bring a new blessing to the work of the home through the use of co-operation.

While the home-maker recognizes that her first interest is the work and the life of the home, she must also be interested in the affairs of the day. The home is the heart and kernel of the affairs of the world. It is a mistake to try to get rid of the work of the home; the right way is to enjoy it; just as a doctor, an actor, a writer, a manufacturer or a merchant enjoys his or her work. The affairs both of the home and the world belong to the woman home-maker. We should take pattern by English and French women, for the English woman is keenly interested in political affairs and is able to discuss them with understanding, and the French woman is admired by all because she is her husband's business partner and can continue the business in his absence. A partner with responsibility is better and happier than a worker without responsibility, and of infinitely more value to the community than an idler without an intelligent interest in life.

No true home can exist without the recognition and love of spiritual interests. Home life is intended to promote the growth of kindness and mercy. The woman of the home must also help in providing recreation for her family and herself. Thus home becomes the best and happiest placein the world and is worth all we can give in time, energy and love to make it so.



Many girls who have definite gifts are specially interested in the occupations described in this chapter. As a rule, the girl with a decided talent has no difficulty in choosing the employment which she wishes to follow. But she sometimes is in doubt as to whether her ability is sufficiently great to justify her in choosing an art rather than a handicraft, or an art rather than a profession, or whether her gift should not be used in a directly practical business pursuit. One of the purposes of "The Canadian Girl at Work" is to teach the work of whatever kind may be interesting, and that the standing of the worker depends on the skill and perfection with which the work is done. Good art is found in many forms, but never except as the result of work, devotion and a gift. If the girl, in any artistic employment, helps to make the ordinary surroundings of everyday life more beautiful and more suitable she is using her gifts to advantage.

The girl who wants to write may find a suitable and enjoyable field in journalism. Some instruction in journalism is given in colleges, more often in connection with college papers than in any other way. But the usual method by which a girl is taught journalism is by working on the staff of a newspaper. Such positions are not easily found. Application may be made at newspaper offices for a regular position when one becomes vacant. While she is waiting to obtain regular work, the girl may write special articles and submit them for publication. We may take for granted that she enjoys writing, but she should be able to choose subjects on which to write. One of the first questions that an applicant for newspaper work is likely to ask is: "What shall I write about?" This question the writer must learn to answer for herself. She should know what is interesting and worth writing about. The journalist, besides enjoying writing and having some gift of expression, should be keenly interested in people, and should have enthusiasm for her work. The hours are long and the rate of payment not particularly high, but the true journalist is always in love with her work. Positions for women on newspapers are varied in character. Some women are general reporters and take assignments from the city editor. Others are in charge of a woman's page and may have one assistant or more than one, working under their direction. Some are special writers, covering a certain amount of general work and having a specialty in addition, such as music and drama, book reviewing, a page for children, fashions, market reports for women, and so on. An assistant on a woman's page may begin at ten dollars a week, and as her work increases in value she may receive twelve, fifteen or eighteen dollars a week. The woman journalist in charge of a woman's page is paid as a rule from twenty to thirty-five or forty dollars a week. Few women journalists are paid larger sums.

A number of other positions are held by women in connection with weekly newspapers, magazines and publishing offices. Salaries vary all the way from ten or twelve to thirty or forty dollars a week. The average salary for the woman journalist who has proved her ability is in the neighbourhood of twenty-five dollars a week. Many newspapers and some printing offices employ girls as copy holders. These girls begin at a weekly wage of seven, eight or nine dollars, and when they become expert, receive higher wages. The best paid positions for women proof readers are held by those who have proved their ability to compete with men expert in the trade. Women proof readers belong to the men's union and their wages are the same as those received by men.

An employment which is becoming more important for women journalists and writers is the writing of advertisements. Much advertising is addressed almost exclusively to women and women have proved that they can do work of this description to great advantage. Salaries are high as compared with salaries in other women's employments. The work is difficult and requires a distinct gift, besides a knowledge of how to write and of what is being written about. The woman who is doing advertising writing needs accurate knowledge of a number of special fields, such as fashions, the history of costume, period furniture, and so on.

Work for the girl who is gifted with an unusually fine sense of colour and form is developing rapidly. To be a painter, a woman should have an outstanding gift, and it is generally necessary for her to have an independent, or at least a supplementary, income. Many young women painters add to their income by teaching, and girls who live at home are able to continue the study of painting for their own pleasure and in part for an additional income. The training of a painter is long and costly, and while the gifted girl has happiness in her work, the occupation of an artist is exacting, although it may not seem so to the public. Girls with artistic gifts may find employment in illustrating, designing, bookbinding, handwrought jewelry, woodcarving, embroidery, and in weaving from original designs. The girl who is attracted to photography may obtain instruction in a photographer's studio, but the artistic photographer will have to depend largely on herself in developing the possibilities of her work. A number of women have achieved success in artistic photography.

To work successfully in any of these occupations, the artist must be trained and should have special gifts. Training is obtained partly in schools, partly in studios at home and abroad, and from working with other artists. Some of these artistic occupations pay well; in others payment is variable and more or less uncertain.

The woman architect needs a special gift and should be trained as thoroughly as possible in draughtsmanship. Her next step should be to obtain a place as draughtswoman or general assistant in an architect's office. Promotion afterwards will depend largely on individual ability.

Architecture and houseplanning are fields of work not yet occupied to any large extent by women. Girls with gifts for work of this character should be encouraged to enter these occupations, provided they have perseverance. It is always difficult to enter a new field, but a few women are already successful architects, and the advantages which should be possessed by women in designing houses are obvious. When a woman plans a house she considers it from the standpoint of a home and takes into consideration the nature of the people who are to live in the house and also the kind of work they will do both in the home and in the outside world.

Landscape gardening has, as yet, been developed little in Canada. There are, however, a few establishments carrying on such work and in one or more a woman is a partner.

House decorating and house furnishing have also been entered on as professional occupations by women. House furnishing in particular offers a promising field for girls with the necessary training and endowment. Many girls have ability for this work, and as the employment is being developed commercially, the opportunities for girls in house furnishing should increase with some rapidity.

Payment in all these fields of artistic work depends not only on the ability and skill of the worker, but in particular on the degree in which the products of her art are planned to meet the needs and desires of a large public. The individual worker who expects her work to find its own public is far less likely to have a steady income than the worker who is employed by some large firm. If the artist or the worker in handicrafts feels that she must work alone, or if she works better by herself, then she should have either an independent income or an alternative occupation; otherwise she will need a well-developed business sense in order to handle the products of her skill to the best advantage financially.

In music, the gifted girl may be a teacher, or may appear in public as a player or singer, or she may combine teaching with public appearances. Teaching music has been systematized to a marked extent. Many young musicians who teach are engaged on the staff of the conservatory or academy where they obtained their instruction. Musicians who appear in public generally possess, along with musical ability, a more or less impressive personality. A number of teachers who have made a decided success are in receipt of good incomes. A performer or singer needs to have unusual ability to earn a large income. Women musicians not infrequently make fine accompanists and may devote themselves to this branch of their art. In general, what has been said of the remuneration in other arts applies to music. But the systematizing of the teaching of music by institutions has a tendency to steady the income of the music teacher. Training of the best kind is long and costly, but any other kind is unsatisfactory.

In order to attain standing as a professional actress a young girl should have special physical training, voice culture and a broad literary education. She should know something of singing and dancing, and she should learn how to walk well and how to speak correctly and impressively. Part of this training may be obtained at schools of dramatic expression which are often connected with conservatories of music. The people of the stage work harder than the average trained or untrained worker. Their hours are longer and they endure more discomforts. There are few spectacular successes, and still fewer genuine reputations for genius in dramatic interpretation. Seasonal unemployment is prevalent in this occupation. Salaries seem to be large, but very few are large in reality. If we reckon the number of weeks throughout the year during which payment is received, it appears that few actresses earn a good income. A young woman of decided gifts may become an individual entertainer.

Dancing has recently come more into favour as an occupation, regarded both as giving physical training for health and as an art. The teaching of art dancing is undertaken by some conservatories of music and also by individual teachers.

All work of an artistic character requires an endowment of imagination, sympathy, insight, and artistic ability. The artistic worker gives a great deal, and does not enjoy or suffer temperately. It is impossible to do good work unless the whole being is thrown into the effort. Unless the artist possesses financial, as well as artistic, ability, the pecuniary reward is likely to be uncertain. But the individual with decided gifts rightly is dissatisfied in any other occupation.



Among girls at work and at school are those whose mental capacity is developed strongly. They enjoy thinking out problems. They analyze situations, because they want to understand why some particular fact happens to be true. These girls may be executive and practical, but they are always thinkers. If possible, they should remain at school in order to continue their studies. But although a girl who is intellectual may have to go into paid employment early, there is no reason why she should not eventually find her way into work for which she is better fitted.

Employment for the intellectual girl is varied, just as the intellectual girl herself, according to her individual capacity, is fitted for a number of different occupations. Banks have long employed girls as stenographers and a number of young women have held junior clerkships. But now the work of a ledger-keeper or teller is sometimes given to a woman, and there is a prospect for the intelligent girl with capacity for financial affairs to find a position in a bank, suited to her gifts. There are a few women in accountants' offices. The number of women who act as insurance agents is increasing, and it is considered that they have special advantages in insuring other women. A small movement, therefore, has already begun to introduce women into the higher branches of business and finance. In order to be successful in financial work, a girl will need to prepare herself as carefully as possible. She should understand something of business law and should be familiar with the machinery of banking and credit. The study of economics and popular government are part of her preparation. Women who have taken a university degree in economics are already influencing the fields of work which may be entered by the girl with a good intellectual endowment.

Women lawyers are doing good work in many of the larger cities, especially in the United States. The training required is long and somewhat expensive. There is no reason why a woman lawyer who has training and the legal instinct should not be a useful and successful worker. After graduating, she may find herself confined to office work altogether. If she has greater capacities, she may have difficulty in making opportunities for using them. Occasionally she may find employment in government service in connection with laws regarding children and factory work. Work in social service has attracted the attention of some young women to the study of law. In dealing with family difficulties through a "settlement," the social worker becomes impressed with the importance of understanding what legal redress may be obtained for some just grievance, and applies herself to legal study. Work among immigrants and foreigners unable to speak English is also encouraging the study of law by young women who are social helpers. This field of employment for women is not likely to be large, but it is growing.

The woman physician is an important social force in modern life. Some medical colleges require for admission a university degree, so that the course of training may cover seven or eight years. As a rule only girls who are strongly attracted to medical work and who are specially gifted for it, undertake the study of medicine. In addition to university work and medical school training, the young woman doctor if possible should spend some time on the staff of a hospital and should take postgraduate study either before beginning private practice or shortly after. For the first few years she may hardly be able to meet her living expenses. She may, however, obtain a position as a school physician or with an insurance company. The woman physician needs strength, health, a fine nervous system, idealism, self-control, unselfishness, and knowledge of human nature. Every fine quality which she possesses will be of service in her work. Her ideals cannot be too high, but they must be balanced with common sense. She needs also to be gifted with intellectual force. Her patients should have confidence in her skill and also in her character.

Dentistry offers to women a good although restricted field of employment, and so also does pharmacy. The woman dentist needs scientific accuracy, mechanical skill and good nerves. Her training is shorter than that required by a physician and will cost less. Her first employment may be in schools. Work with children offers the woman dentist special inducements; she may find employment doing children's work for another dentist. When she opens an office of her own, she will need a thousand, fifteen hundred or two thousand dollars in order to make a successful beginning. The woman pharmacist requires to attend a college for two years and to have had experience in a drug store before she can obtain a certificate. Accuracy, skill and carefulness should make her a successful druggist. If she has business ability, she should be able in time to manage a business of her own.

Young women who have graduated in science from universities are finding openings for chemical work in a number of industries. One girl who has specialized in botany recently discovered "a growth" which was injuring the quality of paper turned out by the mills of a paper company; she was able to tell the manufacturer how he could solve his difficulty. The chemical expert is constantly increasing in industrial importance. Teaching and laboratory work, therefore, are not the only employments open to the girl with an aptitude for scientific work.

A number of able women find employment in the Civil Service. They are required to pass a Civil Service examination. College graduates hold positions in the higher grades, while many women clerks are employed as stenographers and in minor positions. The statistical office, forestry, trade and commerce and the labour department, all need expert assistants. While few of the higher offices are held by women, still women with special knowledge and ability are being employed in increasing numbers by the government.

The income earned by professional women is likely to be comparatively small at first. These occupations are all full time employments and require the undivided attention of the worker. After some years of steady application, the professional woman is fairly certain to receive a reasonable, even a good, income. Two, three, and four thousand dollars may be regarded as incomes which may be obtained with reasonable certainty by women who are successful in their professions.

The intellectual girl should choose her work wisely. She is a good student and while she is in training it may seem to her that she will have no special difficulties of any kind to face.

When she comes to follow her occupation in everyday life, she will find that personal initiative, judgment, and executive energy in affairs are as valuable as the ability to master a problem in her study or in the laboratory. If her studies have left her isolated from human nature, she will find this want of understanding and sympathy a heavy handicap in whatever occupation she may enter. Scholarship cannot be made fruitful in everyday life unless it is used in the service of humanity.

One of the modern employments for young women of education which is increasing rapidly in its scope is to be found in social work. A broad general training and a special interest in humanitarian work are required by those who enter this occupation. The missionary and the deaconess may be regarded as forerunners in some sense to the modern social worker. Many Canadian women of the finest aspiration have become missionaries in distant lands; women physicians have accomplished work of great value as medical missionaries. The deaconess of to-day may be a graduate of such training schools for social workers as the Departments of Social Service and Social Science in the University of Toronto and McGill University. The special training of the social worker includes lectures in economics and sociology and the history of philanthropy, discussion of social problems in classes, and "field work" under the guidance of experienced workers. Positions for those who take training in social service are found in "settlements," and in connection with "Big Sister" associations, and Charity Organization Societies. Welfare departments in stores and factories indicate the growing importance in modern industry of work which has to do with social factors in employment. The trained social worker may find a position as secretary, statistician, visitor, investigator, lecturer, dietitian, nurse, or as a clerk or executive officer, in child welfare, civic improvement, or family relief work. Young women who mean to undertake such work should have, not only training, but common sense and idealism. Salaries are sometimes low, and much valuable work is contributed to social betterment enterprises by young women who live at home and are able to give their time and work free or for small remuneration. There are, however, a number of well-paid positions in connection with social service work.



Responsibility is something in which we all should share. If girls will observe people, they will see that human beings grow and become better able to work and help others through the exercise of responsibility. The girl or woman at work who feels her responsibility and is able to act on her own initiative is more valuable than the worker who always has to be told what to do. By gradually learning how to take responsibility, the girl becomes fitted to go into business for herself.

In the first place, few girls actually enter paid employment or business life with the intention of becoming independent proprietors. It is only after some years' experience of work that the idea occurs to them. A trained nurse may have been in private practice three or four years before she begins to think that she would like to own and manage a private hospital. For the properly qualified and equipped woman, this is a good business enterprise. A number of nurses are conducting excellent private hospitals. The work is exacting, the hours are long and the responsibility is heavy. But any girl who thinks of going into business for herself should know at once that all these conditions are true of every independent business that is worth while.

The business woman requires a precise technical and financial knowledge of the business which she means to enter, and she needs as well originality, a fund of ideas, courage, initiative, imagination, that feeling of capacity for responsibility and enterprise which is like love of adventure, judgment, nerve and character. She should not be too excitable and yet she ought to be keen. She should not be easily disturbed and she ought to be a steady worker. Above all, she requires to be able to deal with people, both customers and employees.

Instances of women who have been successful in business enterprises may be quoted which do not seem to conform to the requirements specified. But if they are examined, these instances will show that the women in question have fulfilled the conditions of success almost exactly as described. A woman has succeeded, for instance, in managing her own country inn. She was in a totally different employment before she started this successful enterprise. But she had already bought, built on, and sold with a margin of profit, three or four other properties. She had learned how to buy land to advantage in the neighbourhood of a city. She bought her present property, choosing a few acres which were already in fruit or in use for growing vegetables. There was an attractive, large, old-fashioned farm house on the premises, the property was near a railway station and situated on a road constantly used by motorists. Other enterprises of the same kind were studied by her. The food provided was made a specialty. Every expense which could be lessened in connection with the property was considered. A flock of poultry was kept. The fruit was either sold or put down for winter use in the inn.

In almost every instance the successful woman of business enters on her new enterprise in a small way. A girl begins by making and delivering lunches to the staff of a large office building. Later she adds other buildings to her list. She sells cakes, sandwiches and preserves from her own home. Having saved some capital, she embarks on a down-town tea room. Every detail of her business is planned as it expands and the management is entirely in her own hands. The successful management of a large business would have been impossible for an inexperienced girl, but it comes easily to the young business woman.

In the same way a nurse began a business preparing supplies for doctors. Soon she added invalid cookery to her other work. Her venture developed into a business partly catering, partly a dining club, and in part a depot for surgical dressings and home made cooking for invalids. Another woman has inherited a large catering business from her father. It was a considerable business when she became manager, but she had gone to work with her father as soon as she left school. Still another woman has established a system of hairdressing businesses. She began with one room in one city. Her business has been extended to over forty cities. No chance good fortune can account for successes such as these described. Managing ability, foresight and character are responsible for a great part of the achievement. The woman in each case made the discovery that the best commodity of its kind offered to the public in the right way must bring success, if the business enterprise itself is well managed.

Examples of the wise judgment of women in business are found in every large community. A girl who makes good marmalade for home consumption began to make and sell this product in a small way. She is now part owner of a large business. A woman who went into a factory as an office helper proved to have a gift for designing dresses. After spending a number of years in the employ of the firm with which she began work, she has gone into partnership with a woman dressmaker in a small specialized factory. A large wholesale fish business is owned and managed by a woman, whose knowledge of the business, including sources of supply and distribution, is entirely adequate.

Women who own and manage business enterprises when they succeed often do so because of their womanly qualities. There is no conflict between capable thorough work and womanliness. The normal woman has always a capable and helpful side to her character. She generally retains in affairs her gentleness, considerateness, and patience in dealing with all sorts of people. No quality is more important in business than a natural ability to understand and sympathize. A woman's ideas may be original and her knowledge of business details exact, but it is her power to work with others and to make the best of them which is the highest part of her business ability. Many of the businesses owned and managed successfully by women are connected with food, clothing, health, physical, mental and moral training, and personal well-being. The woman's advantage in business has to do most frequently with perfection in detail, personal supervision, knowledge of the highest home standards, and with making her commodity a little the best on the market. The best women in business excel in making conditions for their employees ideal. They plan to give their workers opportunities for education and training, and sometimes help them to start in business for themselves.



One of the best known doctors in the country has chosen a special trained nurse to act as his anesthetist, that is, she accompanies him and assists in giving his patient the anesthetic when he is about to perform an operation. This girl when she entered the training school of a hospital had no idea that she would specialize in this way as an assistant to a famous surgeon. Her work is but one of the many examples of the usefulness of the trained woman worker. Varied opportunities in employment may be discovered by girls who are in earnest in finding the best work they can do.

A number of the new employments for women are connected with food, clothing and home making. The woman who fits herself to be a food expert may make a good income as a writer or lecturer, provided she has the necessary gifts as well as knowledge and skill. A food expert is sometimes employed in large departmental stores. Such a specialist is often found in charge of the dining-room of college residences. Dietitians are a necessary part of the staff of a hospital. The woman who qualifies as an expert on food is entering an occupation which is being recognized as of the first importance.

A visiting household expert who is competent to advise in the arrangement of household work and who is skilled in household accounting is a new worker in the oldest occupation for women. A food demonstrator is sometimes sent out by the government to teach canning, preserving and drying, and to explain new household processes. Women experts in poultry keeping and vegetable growing are also in government service. Women specialists have made a study of public marketing. Many women have made a success of the business of catering, of tea and lunch rooms, and of food specialties such as mushroom growing, raising squabs, preserving, pickling, and spicing fruits. In hotels, there are women managers, chaperones, hostesses and matrons. The old-fashioned boarding house is still a useful institution, and the girl who will undertake to keep house for a group of professional women on a co-operative plan is a modern worker likely to find remunerative employment. Any woman who has the capital to establish a well-arranged, well-organized home where expensive, high-class board may be obtained, in a city, or in the neighbourhood of a university, is certain to attract as many clients as she can accommodate.

Clothing and house furnishing offer fields of new work for women. The expert shopper in these departments is already in demand. An adviser in dress for women has made her appearance as a paid worker. Many women could save time, trouble and money if they could go to an expert for consultation about their clothes. A girl who is a specially good shopper should be able to build up a business among her friends.

Some women have made a success of high class laundry work. Girls who will undertake fine washing and mending of delicate fabrics are in demand. There is a greater need for the expert who will take classes in health exercises for women. Teachers trained in the Swedish gymnasium system are likely to find employment. Others are required for children who need special care. Courses of training are already planned for teachers of this description, and the occupation is likely to develop considerably. Social work is constantly requiring helpers in new departments. Investigators, secretaries, statisticians, lecturers, health workers of various kinds, are employed by social organizations. Welfare workers have made their appearance in factories. Employment departments of factories and shops are offering work to the woman who is an expert in employment. Others are in the service of civic and government employment bureaus. The vocational adviser is to be found in colleges and is employed by organizations of a benevolent character.

Rent collecting as an occupation for women was begun in Great Britain by Miss Octavia Hill. A woman in this country with capital invested in an office building, who has had business experience, manages her own building and collects the rents. Other women are employed as managers and agents for apartment houses. The real estate business has been entered by women who sell real estate, and accompany prospective tenants to houses and apartments. Other somewhat unusual employments for women are publicity writing in various commercial and public campaigns, and lecturing on various phases of modern life. Women are also commercial travellers, conductors of entertainments, pageant managers, window decorators, brokers and financial advisers, theatrical managers and producers of plays. They find employment as civil engineers and in research work of various kinds. Women have succeeded as conductors of foreign tours, and as lecturers on current events for women's clubs.

Some of these occupations may appear out of the way, and even romantic, to the girl who is choosing her work, or who is already at work in some paid employment. But in every case, the pioneer worker needs special training and experience. New work requires more originality, perseverance, and if possible better preparation than may be necessary in standard employments.

In conclusion, a word may be said to the girl or woman who has been at work for some years. She should take stock at intervals of the work she is doing, and of her prospects and possibilities. Let her devote some clear thinking as to whether her work could not be re-arranged to the advantage of her employer and herself. Purely routine work is scarcely ever as well done as it might be. She should ask herself, "Can I improve my work? Is there any new line in which I can develop? What special knowledge and skill have I? Am I using all the capacity I have? Does my work need to be changed or re-organized?" The girl or woman at work should not be satisfied with a superficial answer to these questions. It is generally possible to improve one's own work, by thinking about it carefully and by trying.



The weekly wage on which some girls live comfortably will give others only the bare necessaries of life, and sometimes not even that.

The girl's real wages are what she is able to get for the sum of money she is paid in exchange for her work. Before she can judge whether her wage is good or poor, she must know how much her board and lodging will cost, the cost of clothes, and the total amount of her other expenses. She should know what additional advantages there are in the place where she is working. If there are disadvantages, she should consider them also before she can tell whether the wage offered is a good or a poor wage. Local prices, and the difference in the cost of living between one place and another, must be learned by the girl at work before she can estimate the value of her wages.

During the time when she is becoming skilled in her occupation it is difficult for the girl at work to support herself entirely. If she is living at home, her family will help her. But she should always remember the girl who is not living at home, and should feel that it is her duty not to lower this girl's wages below a living standard. Every girl at work should make an effort to know what a living wage is in the place—town, city or country—where she is employed. Wages for skilled workers should be of a good standard, that is, the wage paid should be sufficient to make the worker efficient and comfortable. Even the beginner should have a living wage.

Prices of food, clothing and board, and the other expenses which one has to meet, are different in town, city and country. When the girl wage-earner changes from the place in which she lives, she should find out beforehand as accurately as possible how much she will need to live on in the place to which she may be thinking of going.

If we do not think accurately and carefully about what we earn and what we spend, we shall likely always remain undeveloped in judgment and character, and shall not be able to take the responsibility which should come to every mature person.

A girl worker in one employment may necessarily have a different scale of expenses from a girl at work in another occupation. For instance, it costs the average stenographer more to keep up her standard of efficiency than it does the average girl in a factory. The stenographer also has to spend more time and money in preparing for her occupation. A girl in a factory who is earning twelve dollars a week is better off financially, therefore, than the stenographer earning twelve a week. A woman physician may have a yearly income of two or three thousand dollars. A teacher who has an income of fifteen hundred dollars a year may be better off financially. The physician has to pay the rent and upkeep of her office; she must have someone to answer her telephone and to take messages; she may need a conveyance so that she can get about to her patients. Her training and the equipment she uses in her work are more varied and expensive as a rule than those which are required by a teacher.

We should remember that while what we earn is important, there are other considerations as important. The joy of the worker in her work is the first consideration. The born teacher, like the born doctor, is happier in her own employment. An income is a necessary possession, but it does not give that happiness which work alone can give. Very few of us work for money altogether, while many of us work to earn a living, which is a different thing. To be self-supporting through work which we enjoy is one of the greatest blessings of our existence.

It is impossible to state an amount which will represent accurately a living wage for girls who are beginning work in all the towns, cities or country districts of Canada. At present a living wage in a city may be nine, ten, eleven or twelve dollars a week; in places outside cities it may vary as greatly. Girls at work should look for an employer who recognizes reasonable standards and pays such wages as far as possible. The more loyal girls are to such employers the better working conditions will be for everyone.

Skilled and highly trained workers require, and receive, wages far above the sums mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

The girl should estimate the value of her yearly income. This is important. She may be a milliner and have steady employment for only thirty or thirty-five weeks in the year. If she is paid a weekly wage of twelve dollars, her yearly income will amount to three hundred and sixty or four hundred and twenty dollars. She must find some other occupation for the rest of her time or her total income will amount to three hundred and sixty dollars, or four hundred and twenty dollars and no more.

The trained nurse who is paid twenty-five or thirty dollars a week when she is on a case, will make a mistake if she forgets that she will not be able to work without intermission throughout the year. She may be engaged in her employment only forty weeks in the year. Nurses may earn no more than eight or nine hundred dollars in twelve months. Even the most capable factory worker does not earn her highest wage every week in the year. She should be careful to reckon her income by the year, not by the week.

The girl at work exchanges her yearly income for food, shelter, clothing and a number of other requirements, such as doctor's and dentist's fees, carfare, and washing, holidays, recreation, savings, etc. If she earns twelve dollars every week in the year her income will be six hundred and twenty-four dollars. Out of this she may pay five dollars each week for board, or two hundred and sixty dollars a year. If she spends between one hundred and twenty-five dollars and one hundred and fifty dollars for her clothes in the year, she will have about two hundred dollars for other needs.

What she uses her money for gives to the girl the real meaning of her wages. Her income means food, clothing, and a house to live in. Besides that her income means many small expenses, a little holiday and recreation, a little kindness to someone, church collection, a gift to someone who is in need, some small pleasure for the girl herself. It should also mean a savings account. Something will be said about saving in the next chapter. But here it may be said that if we spend everything we have from day to day, we are left with little choice in spending. Choice in spending is a test of the girl's character. We may choose to spend our spare money for candy. But if we do we shall probably not be able to buy a volume of poetry which we should love to keep and treasure. We may need a warm coat, but the money we might have had for it we spent for a second expensive blouse when we had one pretty blouse already. It was money we had saved which helped us to go to a course of lessons in gymnastics, and that course may have cured a tendency to headache.

The average girl hopes that her wages will increase, and this is right. An employer once said of the amount that he was willing to pay his most useful employees: "I feel that if a girl is not able to make a good bargain with me for her work, she will not be able to make a good bargain for me with others." The best and surest way for the girl to increase her wages is to think out some plan for increasing the value of her work, and then if necessary to say to her employer that she has been able to make her work more valuable.

A word of warning about wages may not come amiss here. If our wages are too low, the best way to go about raising them is to act ourselves, not to expect others to act for us. The best results are likely to be obtained by giving your employer some increased advantage, and by seeing at the same time that he gives you an equal advantage in your income. But never feel ill-used, because that lessens your happiness and your power to help yourself. Remember it is your own difficulty and you are the person to find the way out.



There is only one way by means of which we may know accurately how we are spending our wages. To know this we must keep accounts. Perhaps the girl has an impression that accounting is dull and troublesome. But this impression, if she has it, is a mistaken one.

This chapter on Spending, Saving and Investing is not written to keep the girl from having what she wants. It is written to help her to make the most of her wages, so that she will get the most use and pleasure from her spending. A pretty blouse does not make up for the prettier colour that ought to be in the girl's cheeks; it rather makes one notice more readily that the girl herself is not looking her best. To be well dressed and well cared for, to make the best of herself, a girl should learn to keep accounts and to plan her expenditures carefully. She has often seen a man poring over his business books, because he knows that by doing so with good judgment he can improve his methods. Similarly, the time a girl gives to the study of her accounts will also be to her advantage.

One business woman who has made a study of her expenditure has the following list of headings for her private account book: Board and lodging; clothes; laundry; dentist and doctor; car tickets and stamps; contribution to family life; books, magazines and papers; church and benevolence; gifts and entertainment of friends; holidays and travel; recreation, candy, music, and the theatre; study; clubs and societies; miscellaneous; taxes; saving and investment. The girl at work can usefully make a study of these headings since they, or others of the same character, are used by women in business who desire to lead normal, generous and helpful lives. The business woman just mentioned says that the money she has for her income would give her no satisfaction if she had not people of her own to love and if she were not helping to take care of them. From this statement any girl will understand the meaning of the heading "contribution to family life" in this business woman's accounts.

The girl at work, however, can begin her accounts in a much simpler form than the foregoing. The list of headings given above have been evolved to fit the life of a woman who has been at work for a number of years. A girl's first accounts may be as follows: Board and lodging; clothing; recreation and holidays; dentist and doctor; church and charity; savings; miscellaneous.

Mrs. Ellen Richards, whose work in teaching people how to live wisely is making her name more famous every year, gives in one of her books a division of a family income which every girl should study and try to understand: Food; clothes; rent or housing; light, heat and wages (operating expenses for the house); miscellaneous, including books, education, church, charity, savings, life insurance, doctor, dentist, travel and pleasure. Various divisions by percentages have been made of the family income. The one chosen by Mrs. Richards is based on an income of $1,000 a year. The percentages are 30 per cent. for food; 20 per cent. for rent; 15 per cent. for clothing; 10 per cent. for operating expenses; and 25 per cent. for miscellaneous.

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