The Trouble with Women (1959)

  |  Short

The Trouble with Women (1959) Poster

A boss is having trouble learning how to treat his female employees.


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1 January 2014 | bob the moo
Dated but forward-looking training package
The only user comment here seems to miss the point of this short training package and it also surprised me to see it voted so negatively by users who have seen it. Is it a great film? No, of course not, but how many industrial training videos are? This film is based on training material provided by Alcoa – the large aluminum producer; whether it was a script they provided or if they commissioned the video I don't know, but the credits put them as the source. To watch the film with no context perhaps gives the wrong impression because it is essentially 5 minutes of old school supervisor Brad Bradshaw complaining to his boss about yet another woman employee being assigned to his section.

He quotes them leaving to get married, refusing to move workstations once they get settled and also being absent from work so he needs to train up cover people. The film spends the majority of its time on this before his boss sends him back with the message that really these problems are not woman-specific. The film ends at that point more or less with a question for the class, at which point a room full of Brad's would be forced to question themselves and understand that management issues with women are just management issues – no women issues. In a way the title and the content can be taken as being a bit negative, but viewed as a starting point for a training room discussion it is actually quite an encouraging film because Brad's complains are typically real but also unfounded in the gender issue. Although this is very small steps compared to current situations, it is also encouraging to see a manufacturing firm putting equality forward to the point of creating training material which others then adopted. Also interesting when you consider that one of the newest Alcoa plants (in Iceland) is 50/50 male/female at all levels of the organization and has a female General Manager.

Not a great short film but a nice piece of training material at a time when it really was needed to try and shake off the old industrial notions and preconceptions on women in the workplace.

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