Throughout many years preceding World War I, many women were not happy withtheir jobs. In 1870 most women worked in the agriculture of their homes, or diddomestic service. Even by 1910 though, more women were already working infactories, offices, stores and telephone exchanges. As opposed to 14. 8% in 1870,24% of women were now working in 1910. The practices of withdrawing from workonce married and only returning when necessary (i.
e. husband?s salarydecreased, laid off, injured, desertion) was unfortunately still being widelyaccepted and practiced. The birth of modern corporations began to change thelocation and nature of women?s paid labor and was an important factor in theadvancement of women?s labor (Greenwald 5). Multi plant firms began totransform the structure of business, as well as adding an element of elementarycompetition. There were still although a few financial giants, created by vitalindustries, such as John D.Order now
Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Swift, Borden, whosepractices ultimately determined how people lived, and what they bought(Greenwald 7). As large factories increasingly began to replace older andsmaller factories, skilled work became less needed and women even started tomake goods as machine tenders. Already, this reorganization was improving women?sstatus in the work force. There was although a great deal of gender segregation,women were low paid and restricted to unskilled and semiskilled jobs, usually intextile mills, food processing, apparel, tobacco factories, and commerciallaundries. Men of course were given jobs concerning transportation and heavyindustry. Unfortunately, as heavy industry became increasingly important, itresulted in fewer opportunities for women because companies were hiring moremen.
Another factor of unfairness was the fact that women were barred fromapprenticeship programs resulting in the loss of better-paid and moresophisticated jobs in the metal industry (Greenwald 11). World War I thoughwould provide a great opportunity for women to get ahead and although themovement into the work force was already underway, and it would certainlyprovide as a stimulus. As a result of World War I and changing social views,women?s role and place in American Society changed greatly. The results of World War I on women?s place in society can be seen clearlyin statistical evidence. Between 1910-1920 there was a dramatic increase inwomen in offices as clerks and in semi-skilled jobs, such as typists, cashiers,and typists. At the same time although, there was a decrease of women cleaners,tailoresses, dressmakers and servants.
As the men began to leave for war fromAmerica, more women began to work, the substantial change although was not thenumber of new entrants in the work force, but the numbers of women changing jobsand the new opportunities being opened to them. Many women decided to changejobs in hopes of better opportunities. Increased job standardization,specialization of work and increasing supervision resulted in making many jobsinterchangeable. Women cashiers for instance would become fare collectors orretail workers would move to office work. This was called skill dilution and itenabled workers to move from one area to another. As the war progressed therewas a greater need for American War materials, and after the 2nd draft of men inlate summer, the male workforce was greatly decreased.
Companies began to begfor workers, especially those that had contracts to fill and war resources tosupply. Businesses realized the number of women who could work and began toprint ads saying ?Women Wanted?. Bridgeport munitions even distributedflyers from an airplane urging women to leave their homes and work. This createdmany new opportunities for women, and they soon realized that. As women changedjobs and took over those formally done by white men, black women took theopportunity to do those formally of white women.
This was the first time a whitewoman could chose her job, and she t. . .