Woman at Grumman During World War II
During World War II, many women played important roles. Starting from the very beginning, men had doubts about women's abilities in these demanding, physical jobs. But as the war continued, the role of women became even more important! When the men left their jobs temporarily to fight in the war, women carried on with much of the work. Women served as riveters, welders, and assembly line workers. They would build and repair the planes that American pilots would use for victory. Some women even had the opportunity to become test pilots. Despite heavy skepticism from some men, these women flew test flights for years and served their nation admirably. This opened up the door to new experiences for women. Click here to read newspaper article about female test pilots.
At the start of World War II, there had been 12 million women in the work force. Because many of the men went to fight in the war, there were many job opportunities open for women. The number of women working increased by 7 million. There were now 19 million women in the work force. Women served in the Grumman factories as builders, inspectors, assemblers, and many other jobs that helped contribute to this war. Grumman tried to help the women maintain their tough roles as factory workers and homemakers. An example can be found in the Grumman employee newspaper, "The Plane News". An article from 1943 tries to assist women with some tips on balancing work with recipes that require "the minimum of effort." Click here to read the recommended recipes.
As the war approached an end, many women were laid off from their skilled labor jobs. With men coming home from the war, women were expected to return to their more traditional role as homemakers. The National Archives contains a Lynbrook, Long Island woman's plea to President Truman to assist her in keeping her higher paying Grumman job. Click here to read her letter to the President. Most of the women were laid off despite their years of service that were critical to American success in the war.
Many people over look the importance of women at that time. Women played just as an important of a role as men. With the help and support of the women, our demands were met for warplanes and other equipment that was needed.
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