Opportunities for Women in the Workplace (Narrative Account 1865-1933…
Opportunities for Women in the Workplace
Possible Turning Points
Gilded Age (post Civil War industrial revolution)
Boom years of 'Roaring 20s'
Great Depression (1929-32)
Jane Addams and Hull House
National Consumers League (NCL)
National Association of Colored Women (NACW)
National Association of Women (NOW)
Narrative Account 1865-1933
Some employment opportunities in the Civil War (agriculture, rural areas, nursing). Considered extension of domestic sphere
Post war up until 1900 period of change.
opportunities post-war, unmarried women entered domestic service or in factories. Pay differentials
from working (convention or state legislation). Working class women supplement income through lodgers
On Great Plains, women were flexible; teachers, nurses, farm labourers, cleaning & cooking. Poverty, loneliness, unrelenting struggle for survival
of workforce to
of workforce. Unmarried moved from domestic service to factory work (textiles, garment, food processing)
Educated women moved from
factories to the office
as technology opened opportunities. By 1900, just under 1 mill white collar women workers. 1920, 3.4 mill but little management opportunities
Afro-American, Hispanic and other immigrants took over cheap, unskilled labour. Women in agriculture migrated to cities.
Better off married women
liberated by tech (indoor heating, fridges, washing machines, hoovers)
demanded female labour. Married women able to enter workforce.
Men had the right to return to their jobs once they got back from war
while the women believed in the centrality of home.
, massive manufacturing expansion.
which opened more opportunities for unmarried women and an easier life for middle-class women.
in working class married working women in 20s. Decade also witnessed secretaries, typists etc.
2 million more women
entered workplace, increase in women entering lower level work (nursing).
Membership of unions
from 200,000 to 800,000 in 10 years. Blacks and hispanics could not join. Japanese dominated domestic services
. Opportunities receded rapidly. 26 states tried banning married women working. Some women forced to work two jobs if husband was out of work
Narrative Account 1933-1992
Women benefitted from Roosevelt's
(1935 Social Security Act, 1935 Aid to Dependant Children, 1935 Fair Labor Standards Act). Still pay differential, women teachers paid
. Native American women benefit from
Indian Recognition Act 1934
for women workers. 1945 saw
5 million workers
more than in 1940, many in armed forces. Still seen as domestic work extension
of women stated desire to stay in work at the end of the war. However, still majority belief in separate spheres
1944 Serviceman Readjustment Act
meant GI's could get college degrees who then dominated professions, even in 'women's work' like social care.
Late 50s and early 60s, twice as many women workers than 1940. 1.5 million working mothers in 1940 and 6.6 million in 1960.
More well-educated women in workforce
More women 'returned to work' once kids had grown up
more jobs open and available to women
established a commission on the status of women. This led to
1964 Equal Pay Act
. Establishment of Equal Employment Opportunities Commssion
1970, laws against gender discrimination well-established. Women had new opportunities = police, engineering, construction etc.
Gender segregation fell
in the 70s
of women made up
Discrimination still limited women, few entered top professions or managerial roles, less than
of executive positions.
. Women now earn
of mens wages with the same qualifications and experience
Despite problems with childcare provisions in 90s,
women set up and ran their own business successfully.
women were working from home