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Kirsty Young Exposes Changed Attitudes to Working

28th March 2011

Kirsty Young, one of the UKs top broadcasters, presents The British at Work – a study of employment in the postwar years. Her modulated tones take BBC2 viewers through an examination of how attitudes to jobs have changed since the end of World War II.

This week the series explores the theme of the advancement in mobile technology and how it has impacted our work-life balance.

The British at Work takes on formidable subjects such as the miseries of coal mining and manual labour and racist abuse of immigrant workers.

Young exposes the enormous shifts in attitudes, for example the 1953 report on the annual Perfect Secretary contest. The judges “must have had a very difficult job choosing the perfect secretary,” piped the male voice-over, “there was so much attractive talent competing.”

Another clip asked, “What makes the ideal shorthand typist? Presentable, but not so glamorous that the big executive’s mind goes round like a satellite – nor yet so plain that he envies his colleagues who are away with Asian flu.”

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