When the United States entered World War II production on war equipment increased due to a short amount of time. Companies eventually started agreeing to hire women due to all of the men leaving to go into war, but they also agreed that it would only be temporary.
The U.S. Government wasn’t satisfied with the women’s reaction to Rupp 98 so they had to get over these challenges in order to recruit them
So a fictional working woman named “Rosie the Riveter” was born.
A song of the same name was written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb of The Four Bag abounds and it was published by the Paramount Music Corporation in early 1943 became very popular being broadcasted on the radio nationwide. Norman Rockwell’s image was featured on the cover of the May 29, 1943 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. It was the first well known debut of the new “Rosie the Riveter” this lead to the creation of other incarnations of Rosie.
Depending on the situation of the woman their response to the call to work was very different. Half of the women who took jobs on the war were in a minority and the lower class all ready in the work force. They eventually got jobs working at the factory with better payment. How ever there was still a lack of labor so companies recruited high school graduates. It came across companies minds, even though nobody wanted them to work especially if they had kids to take care of, married women were needed although it was very difficult to recruit them because their husbands didn’t want them to work weather they wanted to or not. Women with teenagers were encouraged to stay home and care for them. The government feared that with the mothers busy working their children will become juvenile delinquents. The demands for workers were so bad that women with children took jobs.
Even though a lot of women were influenced by patriotism, it was the condition of the economy that convinced them to work. When they work they find out about the
nonmaterial benefits such as learning new skills, contributing to the public, doing job that was one thought that only a man could do.
In the beginning of World War II, 12 million women were already established workers and by the end of the war, over 18 million women were working. Ultimately over 3 million women had worked war plants, most of the women who worked during World War II became sectorys.There were a few women who worked in skilled jobs. Most of the women during that era worked in jobs that were both tedious and paid their employees very poorly in order to free men to work at better paying jobs or join the service. The only area that had both men and women working together was either in semiskilled or they were unskilled blue-collar workers in factories. The women who worked in typical job positions were able to keep their numbers and hire new women. These jobs caught the eye of many because of the shorter work hours, were white-collar, better security, competitive wages, and were less filthy unlike the previous jobs. The success of the demand for clerical workers exceeded the supply.
Just like the men, If the women were unsatisfied with what they are paied, where there job is located, or their surroundings they would quit their jobs. Women got hosed with the “double shift” .This meant that women had to work longer hours. After a long day at work, many women had to wait in long line at grocery stores. By the time they would usually get in the store ran out of limited supplies. Some store employees were aware of the problem and would save some supplies for working women only. Because gas was scarce like food many employees car-pooled together. Public transportation was very difficult to get a hold of and took too much time to get to work. Transportation alone could add more hours to a worker’s commute. Another problem was the work schedule for women which were 6 days per week and 8 hours per day. Many women quit their jobs due to them being overworked and depraved of sleep.
The biggest problem for all women was childcare. The communities and the industries were no help to working mothers. If their husbands were around the women would try to work when their husbands were home to take care of the kids. The government and most companies ignored the fact that women were concerned about putting their children in unfamiliar environments and were worried about child care when they tried to get women to use federal childcare. Around this time childcare became more accepted.
The second biggest problem for women was a place to live. Landlords allowed women to rent because they would want the privileges that the men did not get. Also women were very picky about their living area and could not afford to pay the same amount as men do since women get paid less. Groups such as the YWCA helped women find a home.
When responsibilities at home began to stack up. Women would either re sedchule their
work hours, take of as many days as they wanted, or give up sleep and recreation all together. The government was aware of the trouble women had to go through .they
encouraged development programs to help out the women workers which would help them with tasks such as getting what they needed from the grocery store. However it never stated that men had to help out women with the labor at home.
Women started to work at jobs where the men would normally work at. The biggest challenge of it all was changing their attitudes towards women. Women were not taken so seriously at their jobs. Women were excluded from the decision-making process of the companies they worked for due to their employers rejecting those positions of power. Women wanted to be treat equally just like the men.
Year after year as more women jump on the workforce bandwagon, the men change their attitude towards them. And they were praised by their employers.
The image of a woman worker was very important during World War II. Women viewed as mothers and wives never faded away. Society has accepted the minor changes during the war. However they were considered to be distasteful by a personal standard. Women were always reminded by the public that their greatest ability was finding homes and women with careers would never find a husband.
After the end of World War II, the wall between the sexes was reinstated. A lot of women were still working until their employers made them work at low paying jobs again. A Majority of the Women were fired and were told to return to where they came from.
Even though it was only temporary, World War II was a huge change for the way we see women. Most of them returned as homemakers during the 50s.The path taken by the women during World War II would continue into the future. A lot has changed for the better since then. The Rosie’s daughters and granddaughters continue the path that was graced by their mothers and grand daughters.
“Rosie The Riveter”1941-1945