Boys were the first telephone operators, but they were rude and swore. Young women were hired soon after as they didn't swear as much (and were faster).
The telephone was a revolutionary invention.
Within a year of the Alexander Graham Bell introducing his device, 230 phones were installed by Bell, and he had established the Bell Telephone Company. In four years the number of phones was at 60,000!
When the telephone was new, it required switch operators to connect callers. At first they were all male, but that soon changed. Boys earned a reputation for being rude and abusive to each other as well as to the customers.
In response, young women replaced them, and by 1910, New York Telephone had 6,000 women working on its switchboards. The women didn’t swear as much and were faster as well.
These women had to adhere to strict codes for dress and conduct, though. They could only use certain phrases, while customers could say whatever they wanted. This led to the occasional rude customer yelling and swearing at them to which they would reply “thank you.”
Still, this was important because besides teachers, there weren’t many women in the workplace. This was one of the first steps towards equal work opportunities for women.