Women in management positions in the apparel manufacturing industry of Virginia

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


This study investigated management positions for women in the apparel manufacturing industry of Virginia in regard to ownership and size of firm, type of production, products produced, incidence of females employed, and criteria for employment of managerial personnel. The sample consisted of 33 management employees from different garment production plants in the state. The questionnaire, developed for collection of data through personal interviews, was pretested with three plant managers and with faculty and graduate students. Interviews were completed in March, 1977.

The chi-square test of independence tested possible relationships between the total number of females in management positions in relation to gross sales of firms, type of apparel manufactured, and total number of men having managerial responsibilities. There was a significant difference at the .05 level, between the number of women in management positions in relation to gross sales of the plants surveyed and type of garments produced; more females had managerial responsibilities in firms with annual sales over $5,000,000; and manufactured apparel for women, misses, and juniors. There also was a significant difference between the total number of females in relation to the total number of males in management positions. Men held a larger proportion of the top and middle level positions than women; females had a majority of the lower management and production worker jobs. A large proportion of managers who responded seemed to believe the fallacies about females in management which suggested that this may b~ one reason why few women held upper level roles.

Garment production firms in Virginia tended to be closed corporations; employed less than 300 people; had gross annual sales over $1,000,000; had only one production plant; and were classified as manufacturers. Some respondents recommended that individuals aspiring to top and middle management positions have a college education and that supervisory personnel have a high school diploma. Many firms preferred that all employees have previous work experience in the same type of garment production.



female management positions