New Jobs for Women in World War I

As American men became soldiers and sailors, new opportunities opened for women, allowing them to take on new jobs that had previously been done by men.
This poster of French women doing men’s jobs not only encouraged American women to contribute financially to the United War Work Campaign; it inspired some of them to take new factory jobs.
Women also took jobs as farmers.

The National War Labor Board promised women who took on these new roles that they would earn what men did in the same job.  Even women who took new jobs that were within women’s employment sphere earned better pay.  Washington’s need for 5000 stenographers forced the US Employment Office to offer a salary of $1,100 to women who got the jobs.  That was within a hundred or two hundred dollars of the 1920s cost of a kit home.

In this poster, the artist gave the stenographer the shadow of a soldier in battle.  She gazes at soldier, but being her shadow, he is also her.  In this way, the artist recognized the importance of the stenographer and the  women of World War I that she represented.

You may wonder why Rosie the Riveter is not in these images.  She’s from World War II!

Contributors:  Taylor Hollowell and Meyah Stovesand


Learn more about this whole suffrage centennial project, created by teams in Dr. Kim Little’s HIST2302:  America in the Modern Era First-Year Seminars.