Careers and job opportunities for both men and women have changed tremendously over time. From the availability and variety of jobs to the secondary education efforts available to do those jobs, recent generations have seen doors open to a world of seemingly endless opportunities, and women have made especially large leaps in recent decades.
Women have filled a variety of roles in the workplace throughout history and experienced being welcome and being outcast during their climb to equality, but some historians view World War II as the big game changer for women in the United States who wanted a career outside of the home. As the men went off to war, the women went off to work.
In Canada, it was the innovation in new technologies and the expansion of views on social norms that flipped the switch for women in the labor force. The development of kitchen and household appliances shortened the time that it took to complete household chores and tasks, and women found it easier to go to work and still get all of the household to-dos complete. The stigma that women should be at home and men should provide was also deteriorating, and women felt more at home in a position in the labor force.
With newfound confidence and more availability for work outside of the home, women took to new careers in increasing numbers. The more women who started working, the more higher-level personnel felt inclined to compensate the female workforce for their contributions. Salaries have risen by more than double for women in the last five decades, according to Canadian statistics, and American women have seen an increase in annual median income of 30% in the past three decades.
Women continue to grow in numbers and find their place in the labor force. Some industries have shifted over time to be female-dominated, and some industries that would stereotypically be viewed as male-dominated are female-run businesses or corporations. Women have found their place and flourished as contributing members in the working world, and the statistics show that their numbers are only growing.