Before the WWII few women followed careers. Most jobs for women were ‘traditional’ roles such as nursing, secretarial or caring jobs.
Only when millions of men joined the armed forces, women took on an active role in World War II and took on many paid jobs that previously had been held by men – such as bank teller, shoe salesperson or aircraft mechanic. Woman started working in factories – this was called the “Rosie the Riveter” phenomenon.
As a way to lure young women into the factories, advertisers showed women workers as glamorous and even fashionable. They mentioned that women did not care much about their appearance while at work, but that they were still feminine underneath the dirt. [sources: 1 2 3]
It’s hard to believe but some of your grandmothers actually made WWII bombers! Scroll down through these amazing vintage women photos and maybe you’ll find yours.
Women are trained to do precise and vital engine installation detail in Douglas Aircraft Company plants, Long Beach, Calif. 1942 Oct. photographer: Palmer, Alfred T.