Women in the Workforce: The influence of the
Second World War
America's "Rosie the Riveter" may be the most famous
image of a woman toiling in a factory to support the Allied
war effort, but she's just a cartoon. "Rosie the Crane
Operator" — 19-year-old Rose Young of Whitney Pier
in Sydney, Nova Scotia — is real. She is one of thousands
of women who signed up for traditional "men's work"
in Canada's factories and foundries during the Second World
War. She freed up an able-bodied man to fight in Europe...
and married him when he returned!
The Second World War put an end to employment problems that
began in the Depression of the 1930s. In September 1939 alone
almost 60,000 men enlisted in the army. Over a million Canadians
served in the Armed Forces by the end of the war. That opened
the door for women to step into workplaces such as factories,
machine shops and farms, that had previously been reserved
To learn more about women’s roles on the “home
front” during the Second World War, try this lesson.