Women in the Beaufort Workforce
The production of the Beaufort in Australia was notable in that for the first time in such an endeavour, a large proportion of the workforce were women (around 35%) and untrained in this field. Before the war, it was generally expected that a working man was the main provider for his family. So, any woman who took a job was somehow taking it from a man, who needed it to support his family. With so many men away at war, this argument could no longer be supported.
A booklet was created in 1943 about the role of Women in the Beaufort workforce - in which Sir John Stanley Storey (Director of the Department of Aircraft Production - Beaufort Division) praised his "unsung work crew".
Under the title, "The InvisibleCrew," the Beaufort Division, Air-craft Production Department, issued an attractive booklet conveying a message of appreciation of the work performed by its women employees, who comprise 34% of the total of 10,000.
This total does not Include the employees of some 500 sub-contractors.
In a foreword to the booklet, which is freely illustrated, Mr John Storey, Director of the division, states: "This booklet acknowledges the debt we owe to the women of the Beaufort Division. In helping to build the Beaufort torpedo-bomber you have made, and are making, a notable contribution to the defence of Australia, and your patriotism and self sacrifice will find a permanent place in the annals of the nation. In the coming months even greater dependence will have to be placed on women in view of Australia's man-power shortage, but I know that we shall not look in vain for your loyal co-operation."