Keystrokes Per Minute
Keystrokes Per Minute: Women’s stories
from the Public Service Typing Pools since 1945.
This limited series, 8-episode, podcast will present the voices of Public Service typists with a recollection of stories, experiences and challenges from participant interviews recorded since 2017.
Broadcasting at 2pm every Tuesday, from 8 March 2022, for 8 weeks.
Throughout the post WW2 period, the New Zealand Public Service relied on the work of women employed in the typing pool and associated administrative activities.
For most of this period, these women worked largely in collective groups or “pools” located in each State department. In addition, many were engaged or promoted from the typing pool, from time to time, as the secretaries and personal assistants to senior managers in those agencies.
Although rarely acknowledged, without their work the Public Service and executive Ministers to whom the Service was accountable could not have operated.
Using various modes of document production such as shorthand-based typing, typing from handwritten notes, dictaphone typing and word processing, as well as event managing and providing a range of support services for the managers, the women from the typing pool were indispensable to the operation of the Public Service – and indeed the wider public.
Virtually no other public servants were trained in or competent to undertake the widely varied task carried out by these comparatively low paid women.
Why is this important?
It’s 2022 and gender pay inequity still exists, and still the lack of status accorded to much of women’s work means major issues for our societal wellbeing.
Recording and publishing this oral history will enable the voices and experiences of women from the Public Service Typing Pools, to join the dots for today’s audiences when asking ourselves ‘How did we get here?’.
The unheard voices of women’s experiences of the inequity and sexism through the ages, their interrupted and disrupted education, the power of the class and religious bias, so often unspoken and therefore unchallenged.
Find out more
Find more information, join our Keystrokes mailing list, and meet the Research Team behind this project at storycollective.nz