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The ‘Rosies’, Cultural Icons of WWII, Honored with Induction Into Hall of Honor

 

 

The U.S. Department of Labor inducted into its Labor Hall of Honor the women who worked as riveters, welders, and industrial workers during World War II. Most famously represented by the iconic Rosie the Riveter, these women played a crucial role in America’s victory – and in carving a path for more employment opportunities for American women.

The United States government actively recruited women into the workforce at home while American servicemen and women traveled across the globe to join the fight for freedom. Employed by companies such as Kaiser Shipyards, Grumman, Westinghouse, Boeing Aircraft, and Ford Motor, women manufactured planes, tanks, guns, munitions, and critical supplies needed at home – allowing the U.S. armed forces to send more American men to the front lines.

Approximately 5 to 7 million women served in the war industries during World War II, increasing the female workforce to about 19 million. They proved that women could do jobs that were often reserved for men, ensured that production of critical machinery and supplies met the demands of our nation’s military, and have inspired generations of women.

The Labor Hall of Honor induction highlighted the Rosies’ contributions to labor and freedom, and women’s advancement in the workforce. We are grateful to Thanks! Plain and Simple, the American Rosie the Riveter Association and The Rosie the Riveter Trust for helping us with our program. These organizations work not just to preserve the history of the American home front during World War II, but also to share the accomplishments of women in the workforce.

This year, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Bureau, I am proud to be able to nominate the Rosies to take their rightful place in the Labor Hall of Honor. We honor these workers for their patriotism, their courage and their trailblazing efforts on behalf of American women.

The Labor Hall of Honor was established in 1988 to recognize Americans for their distinct contributions to improving working conditions, wages, and overall quality of life for American workers and their families. Learn more about the Labor Hall of Honor and its previous inductees.

 

Laurie Todd-Smith, Ph.D., is the Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau. Follow the Women’s Bureau on Twitter.

 

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