"Little-Known Program: Equal Opportunity Must Be Accorded to Women."
Commander's Digest. Vol. 12, no. 2. Washington, D.C. GPO, May 18, 1972. P. 5.
SuDoc No.: D2.15/2
Saying that women made up about one third of the Army work force, this article points out the
problems of women who wished to make a career out of the Army. It then offered some solutions
including numerical goals and timetables and a way to measure the effectiveness of various
Little-Known Program: Equal Opportunity Must Be Accorded Women.
Equal Employment Opportunity for all is Army policy. This means removing any irrelevancy such
as sex from consideration in the total work environment.
This was the theme hit hard by Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
Hadlai A. Hull before a civilian personnel conference February 10 in Washington, D.C.
Actually, he was addressing one of least known programs of Equal Opportunity, that of Equal
Opportunity for Women. And Mr. Hull minced no words in saying, "the program for equal
opportunity for women is hardly alive and well."
The Army's manpower chief backed up that viewpoint with a set of Army statistics:
About one-third of the total workforce in the Army is women.
Women fill about 42 per cent of the white collar jobs.
Yet 75 per cent of these women are at grades GS-6 and below.
Only about six per cent of the women are at grade GS-11 and above.
The average GS grade for women in the Army's workforce is 5.4; for men it is 9.6.
In Army career programs, women make up only a little over 14 per cent.
In six of those career programs, women make up less than seven per cent.
The highest grade attained by women in career programs is GS-15 and there are only four. This
compares with 1,867 men at GS-15 and above in career programs.
Mr. Hull pointed out that President Nixon in April 1971 stated that "the Nation's highly
qualified women represent an important reservoir of ability and talent that we must draw upon
to a greater degree" but that the Army has done little about it.
One of the reasons, he feels, is that people – when they think in terms of high level
positions – thinks in terms of men. He also said women are victims of several myths.
One myth is that women work for pin money, when the facts are that half of the 31 million women
in the labor force are working because of pressing economic need.
Another myth is that women are only temporary workers, young women before marriage, when the
truth is that 60 per cent of women workers are married, 50 per cent of them have children, and
the average female career is 25 years.
There is also the myth that women are more often absent because of illness, even though studies
by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare show very little difference in absentee rates
of men and women.
A fourth myth is that women do not make good supervisors, when studies show some women are good
supervisors and some are poor, reflecting the efficiency spectrum of men in all aspects.
And, there is the myth that some women are not available for travel, forgetting that some men
also bring to their work this immobile aspect.
"Clearly, women are being under-utilized in the Army, and this under-utilization is due
in part to sex discrimination," he said.
Mr. Hull then outlined the fix to the problem, calling for these specifics:
As Secretary Hull saw the ultimate goal – "Men and women alike must put away
antiquated attitudes about 'women's place'. The place for women in the Department of Army
is in full partnerships with their male counterparts."
- Adopting numerical goals and timetables to correct the problems and develop a sound way
to evaluate progress toward the goals;
- Seeing that a Federal Women's Program coordinator or committee is appointed and then giving
the program support;
- Developing jobs that bridge the gap between clerical and technical positions and those in
management or in the professions;
- Making certain that qualified women are referred for vacancies; and
- Recruiting at women's colleges and contacting women's professional groups.