Rosie the Riveter is a powerful symbol in our country’s history. In the spirit of working women, our Chief Operations Officer perfectly embodies this paragon of strength in our history. And while we have some great men at our company, man, do we have some great women.
To give you a little brush up, Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of all women factory workers in the U.S. during World War II. While many of the men were away at war, women stepped in and took over the assembly lines nationwide. Rosie became an emblem for all of these women, individually as a single worker and collectively as a movement in a time when working women were a novelty.
Rosie is a riveter because she constructs rivets, meaning at the factory she fits metal pieces together for a larger piece of machinery or appliance. Yet Rosie is also a riveter because she is riveting in the juxtaposition of her denim factory oxford and slacks, hair pulled up and back, yet still boldly embracing her feminine identity.
In 1940, before the war, 12 million women were in the work force, and by 1944, when Rosies far and wide started punching the clock, 20 million women had entered the work force. A sea change occurred when 85% of jobs out there became “acceptable” for women, whereas before the war only 29% of jobs were fit for the ladies. After the war was over, many women returned to domestic roles, but they had already had a taste of the working life which began to show its colors in the 1970’s when women started spreading again into the workforce.
Today women owned and run businesses prevail, including, among others, Cisco Systems, Mary Kay, The Body Shop, Mrs. Fields, Flickr, Proactiv, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and of course, Blindsgalore. So on this particular Halloween, we are celebrating the tireless Rosies out there.
In fact, a song was written about Rosie, and I’ll leave you with the lyrics—an ode to all Rosies:
All the day long,
Whether rain or shine
She’s part of the assembly line.
She’s making history,
Working for victory
Rosie the Riveter
Women are riveting!