Seven Million Women Join Workforce During World War II

1941

During World War II, the United States sends millions of young men into military service abroad. A massive government and industry media campaign persuades women to take jobs during the war to replace the men who joined the military. Artist Norman Rockwell creates an image of a tough yet innocent woman holding a rivet gun who came to be known as Rosie the Riveter. The image was to inspire women to join the war effort by taking part in what was traditionally considered “men’s work.” Nearly seven million women respond; two million as industrial “Rosie the Riveters” and 400,000 join the military. However, after the war, women found that they were expected to return to the home.