Women in the Workforce:
Decade by Decade
Extenuation circumstances throughout history have allowed women to shift gender roles in
What aare the extenuating circumstances?
How have they gotten to keep these jobs?
Women have always been treated differently in the
I will explain how women progressed in the workforce,
decade by decade.
During World War II women left their duties at home
and entered the workforce.
With the men off at war, there were many factory jobs
Women felt compelled to make this sacrifice to work
outside the home, because they were constantly
reminded that their loved ones were in danger of not
receiving the supplies that they needed.
This was their “Patriotic Duty”
Women are discovering that CAN work.
When America won the War in 1945, the
women were expected to give up their jobs.
Women were not satisfied with this role
The government created reverse propaganda
to convince women that it was, once again,
their “Patriotic Duty”
There had been a great advancement from the
1940s to the 1960s
Many changes were put in place to help women
get on top.
In 1961 Kennedy created the President’s
Commission on the Status of Women.
Women are now wanting to work. They enjoy the
sense of independence and experiencing their
Women were using contraception after the federal
government approved a birth control pill.
Women saw this as more freedom.
This decade was a decade of extremes and
Flower children and assassins
Alienation and idealism
Rebellion and backlash
Even with the guilt from the government, many married women
continued to work.
By now, there are millions of women in the workforce.
Women were expanding their roles and demanding equality
and respect from their husbands, since they now have a larger
say in the family finances and also in the marriage.
Women were starting to graduate from college in 1970 and continued their lives
throughout the rest of the decade.
Women were still struggling finding successful business careers they would enjoy.
Professors were strongly encouraging women to take secretarial classes. No young man
would have received the same advice.
At this point in history, women are only being paid 45% of what men did.
Feminism began to grow stronger during the 1970s, led
by strong, independent women such as Gloria Steinem,
Betty Friedan, Betty ford (Former First Lady) as well as
Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr.,
supported the feminist movement and called for an end
to discrimination of all kinds, including against women.
However, not everything was moving forward on the
feminist front. The Equal Rights Amendment to the
Constitution failed to be ratified.
The wage gap between men and women did shrink, but
there still remained a significant difference.
End of the 1970s
Many women were still entering the workforce , most men were still considered the bread
winner in the family.
Women were only leaving the work force to start a family, but then returning when the
child(ren) become school aged.
Women were still torn between their connection to the feminist movement of the earlier
years, and their desire to be conservative, loving, mothers.
Late 1970s- Early 1980s
Women still put off having children until the 1990s
Consumers became more sophisticated
Shop for foreign cars
Home became larger
Show off success
42.5% of the nation’s workers were women.
By 1984, 49% of undergraduate college degrees were being awarded to women.
Most women who received a college education, majored in the fields of education, social
service, home economics, nursing, and library science.
In the past, only few women were working in the fields of physical sciences, engineering,
agriculture and law.
In 1989 the proportion of women engineers was still only 7.5%
In the mid-199-s the growth in the percentage of adult women working outside the home
was stalled. Many women wanted to take time off to get married,, and have and raise
These women found it difficult to get back into the workforce after taking this time off.
Women in the military
The movie G. I. Jane premiered in 1997.
It had a profound impact on female viewers, and empowered many women to enlist in
the United States Military.
She was not expected to succeed.
Female Naval Officer
Test sublet for Navy Seal Training.
She was not expected to succeed.
77 percent of women in the prime ages of 25 and 54 were in the workforce.
Any American working mom fall far behind in three areas:
Protection of part-time work
Public spending on childcare
The U. S. passed the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993, mandating up to 12 weeks of
unaided leave for those who had been at a compact for a year that has over 50
Women put many more hours into household activities then men do.
This puts a woman’s quality of working at a disadvantage. It is unrealistic to expect gender
if workplaces demand that women be available all the time. Because without the
women, “Who’s minding the kids?”
Women are being punished for staying home with their sick children. This sets them back in
the long run.
unable to get a certain promotion
I Am Proud. 1940. Google Images. Google Images. Web. 24 May 2014.
US Employment Service. 1945. Google Images. Web. 24 May 2014.
Working Women. 1961. Google Images. Web. 24 May 2014.
Birth Control. 1965. Google Images. Web. 24 May 2014.
President’s Commission on the Status of Women. 1961. Google Images. Web. 24 May 2014.
Kennedy. !961. Google Images. Web. 24 May 2014.
Women Graduation. 1970. Google Images. Web. 24 May 2014.
ERA Strike. 1975. Google images. Web. 24 May 2014
Awaiting Parents. 1979. Google Images. Web. 24 May 2014
FMLA. 1993. Google Images. Web. 24 May 2014