The emancipation of women has been one of the biggest social shifts of the past century, and the idea of women in the workplace has changed substantially over this time. In the early 1900's, a woman employed was unheard of (except domestic jobs); today it is customary for women to participate in the workforce. .
How have these changes in the workplace evolved? What affected these changes? And where is it going? .
Under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 it is unlawful to discriminate against people on the ground of their: sex, marital status, pregnancy, sexuality, race, physical and intellectual disability, and age. Also made unlawful are sexual harassment and victimisation. .
A key factor in the changing image of women in the workplace is advertising. This may seem unusual, but this is what was used in the first half of the twentieth century.
During this time the world was faced with many crisis, including the Great Depression, World War II and the economic changes, which occurred after the war. Women were forced in and out of the workplace depending upon how they were needed. .
Throughout the depression years of the 1930s women were portrayed in the home; in the war years of the early 1940s women were pictured in advertisements as the heroines of the assembly line; and after the war women were expected to, and portrayed as, returning home to allow their men to have their jobs. .
October 1929 sent America into panic when the Stock Market crashed and the worst depression the country had experienced occurred. "Men, who were the support of families, lost their jobs. Women too. But that seemed more natural, somehow less tragic. In fact, there were those who began to say that women should voluntarily step out in order that men might remain." A movement was occurring to deny women employment, to refuse to hire wives or women who might be independently wealthy. This was to try and free more jobs for the men, this caused employed wives to be considered, "thieving parasites of the business world and married women whose husbands have permanent positions should be discriminated against.