Friday, May 2, 2008

Article #3 Career Choices for Women

Photo (l-r) Mom, her sisters Esther and Ethel. When I was growing up there was a major revolution going on in America as a result of World War II. Most of the men were off fighting the war, and the women were holding down the home front while also having a career outside the home. I was surrounded by strong women role models. My aunt Esther was one of those who became a welder working in the shipyards in Long Beach, California. She became quite good at welding and was able to contribute extra money to the family’s income as well as help out with the war effort.

My own widowed mom also had a career to support us as a telephone operator. It paid her a modest salary. She seemed to enjoy working as an operator helping others to find their telephone numbers and connecting them in the growing metropolis of Los Angeles. My aunt Ethel in Utah worked at Geneva Steel as a secretary while her husband was serving in the Navy during the war. They even provided on site childcare for her two sons, a new development in those days. Times were changing and women’s roles in the family were expanding to include the possibility of a career as well as being a wife, mother and homemaker.

The concept of career women was quite new then as most women and little girls had been taught since birth to prepare to be a good homemaker, wife and mother after graduation from high school. If you didn’t marry then if was okay to get further education or training and have a career as a secretary, nurse or school teacher. During high school, homemaking classes were organized with cooking and sewing classes required for young women, and shop required for the young men.

But times were changing, though girls were still required to wear dresses or skirts to school. Most moms wore high heels and nylons with their house dresses whether at home or work. There was of course always an apron added at home to keep the dress clean. Some moms even started to wear slacks to make it easier to work at their new jobs. When dads returned from the war, it was difficult for women to give up this new independence and return to their old lifestyles. Our viewpoints were changing. Some would say for the better, others disagreed.

What strong women have influenced your life?


  1. Dear Lin, Just read your blog again. I like the way you reveal yourself and bring uplifting ideas and thoughts to others. I am so glad we got to know each other when we did, and I love the way you keep in touch. It's almost like being with you to read your blog and see the pictures, etc. Love, Dorothy

  2. That's worth thinking about. What strong women have influenced my life? You know what? I really wish I could say Emma Smith or one of my pioneer ancestors... I wish I could mention members of the General Board of the Relief Society, Mother Teresa, and other great women of faith. But, for the most part, that's not really the case. I need a more personal touch, I guess.

    My mother, my Aunt Shirley, my daughter Chandi, My sisters-in-law, my cousin Nancy, my friends Patti, Kaye, Lynn, Lin, Sandy, Mary, and LaVay.

    I've been taught by many fine women, touched by even more. Countless strong women have given inspiration on occasion. But, the ones who have really influenced me... been the antecedent to real change in me, are few, select, and have been a very personal, reach out and touch them part of my life.

    I loved this article. Very informative and thought provoking. Where is it being published?

  3. Strong women can be found everywhere. I have been inspired by many I don't even know well. No woman has touched or inspired or uplifted me more in my life than my mother. Also my mother-in-law whose husband passed away at 40 and she put herself through school while raising 7 children on her own. They are both amazing women. Friends, cousins, Aunts......I have always been surrounded by strong, independant, faithful, humorous, women.