2. Trends

Work Force

In the early 1940s the only women who were working were minority’s and lower-class women while middle-class women were expected to care c of the home and the children while the men worked. Most people were against women working after the Depression because they saw women taking jobs from unemployed men (1940’s Women at Work, N.D). The women who were working, typically worked in the food and other retail establishments but then moved jobs during the war because workers were greatly needed. Many of the women who were already in the work forces went to defense industries because they paid a lot more compared to other industries. Women were needed so companies began recruiting girls who were just graduating from highs chool. Men were fighting for their wives to not have to work, especially if they had young children at home but eventually even married women with children under the age of six were entering the work force (1940’s Women at Work, N.D). Between 1941 and 1945 the female labor force increased by more than six million (55%) with wages being increased as well (Bomarito & Hunter, 2005). Things did not change much in regards of sexual equality during World War II. Yes, women were getting a lot more jobs, however they were not getting managerial or supervisory positions. Those positions were still expected to be held by men.


In the 1920s, 47 percent of women were enrolled in college however after the war, in 1950s enrollment dropped to 30 percent (Discovery Education, 2013). Women were mainly attending college for nursing and social work. School teachers were also men during the 1940s. “School systems refused to hire married women and would fire them if they ended up getting married after being employed” (Bomarito & Hunter, 2005).

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