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A Photo Journey Through 50 Years of Women at Work
1940s: Women join the WWII arms race
In the 1940s, women joined the workforce in response to extensive campaigns by the United States government to recruit them to produce World War II weapons in factories across the country.
1950s: Welcome to the "steno pool"
In 1950, women represented only 29 percent of the workforce, with 70 percent of employed women in clerical positions, on factory assembly lines or in the service industry.
1960s: Educated women yearn for more
Enter the 1960s and women’s roles were still very limited in both family life and the workplace. While women represented 38 percent of the workforce — up from 29 percent in 1950 — their roles were relegated to jobs as teachers, nurses or secretaries. Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique, captured the frustration of a generation of college-educated housewives who felt trapped and unfulfilled.
While women couldn’t get credit cards without their husband’s signature until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, they could operate switchboards with no problem.
1970s: "You've come a long way, baby"
The ’70s ushered in a women’s movement in large part as a reaction against the “happy homemaker” that was so often portrayed in television sitcoms of previous decades. Hundreds of thousands of women marched in the Women’s Strike for Equality rally in 1970 to mark the 50th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave U.S. women the right to vote.
1980s: Women make career strides in traditionally male-dominated roles
By 1985, women’s share of management jobs grew to 36 percent and their share of professional jobs grew to 49 percent. By 1990, theU.S. Census Bureau reported that women outnumbered men in “professional specialty” occupations such as doctors, lawyers and scientists in some states.
The Black United Body fashion show, organized and put on by students, provides an outlet for students' fashion creativity and highlights on-campus diversity at Bentley.