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Leaders in Women Workforce Movement: Roosevelt, Perkins, and Rosie The Riveter

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Women started to take on bigger roles in the workforce during the Great Depression. At this point in history, millions of men lost their jobs because of the Stock Market Crash of 1929. This caused panic amongst everyone because many families had no income. This horrible event is one of the most important events for working women. Anyone who was able to work was looking for a job. Over the next decade, 2.5 million women would join the workforce. These women were paid less than male coworkers and received fewer benefits. Ten years later, World War II began. Most men were drafted into the armed forces, leaving behind family and jobs. The open job spots were filled by women. The work opportunities given to women expanded to almost all careers. The government needed laborers and factory workers to manufacture supplies for the soldiers. Over 30,000 women joined the Air Force industry in the mid-1940s. Those women would make up 65% of the workforce in that industry.

Every woman who worked during the 1900s paved the way for modern women. Three important women had a major impact on history and the integration of the workforce. Eleanor Roosevelt, Frances Perkins, and Rosie the Riveter were some of the many leaders in the movement for working women. 

As the First Lady, Roosevelt used this publicity to speak out about women’s suffrage and unemployment. Roosevelt influenced her husband, President Franklin Roosevelt, to hire women to serve on the Federal level. Because of this, Frances Perkins became the first woman to be a member of the Cabinet as the Secretary of Labor. Perkins was the main force behind the Social Security Act, a way to help the elderly and unemployed Americans. She paved the way for other women to work as a part of the Federal Government. Rosie the Riveter was a propaganda star during the Second World War. Based on Naomi Parker, this famous woman is a symbol of empowerment to American women. This historic advertisement has a drawing of a woman in overalls and a red bandana, saying “We can do it!” Her message influenced women to join the workforce in support of the troops. Today, Rosie the Riveter is used as a symbol of feminism and strength.

The years between 1930 and 1960 were very important to the history of women. Women came out of their homes and entered the workforce for the first time in history, demolishing gender roles and gaining political power. This major movement made it possible for all the women of today to go to work, own a house, and vote. These brave women entered the workforce and unknowingly changed the world.

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Leaders in Women Workforce Movement: Roosevelt, Perkins, and Rosie the Riveter. (2022, July 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
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