One of the most important affects of World War II was to greatly increase the number of working women, at least during the wartime period.
Between 1942 and 1945 about 6 million new women workers started jobs. In addition to doing such traditional women’s work as sewing, they built airplanes and ships, mined copper, staffed steel and lumber mills, and worked on the railroads.
To urge women to join the war effort, posters and magazines displayed pictures of a fictional young woman called Rosie the Riveter, dressed in overalls with her sleeves rolled up, ready for work.
Women were told that cutting out a dress pattern was similar to cutting out airplane parts and running an electric mixer was like operating a drill.
About 2,000 women joined the Women’s Air Service Pilots, which helped the army by flying new planes from the factories to the bases, training male pilots, and testing planes that were having mechanical difficulties.