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1950-1969: Reduction in Force and Seeds of Change

1950s

After the war, the Shipyard workforce substantially decreased. Due to the return of men from overseas and the overall reduction in force, the number of women employed at the Shipyard decreased rapidly. Although a national survey found that at the end of the war, 80 percent of women wished to continue their jobs indefinitely, in the shipbuilding industry, this proved unrealistic for many. Most were faced with the option of either dropping out of the workforce or returning to lower-paid "women's work."

Few women retained their positions in the shops and on the piers during the 1950s, though many continued to work in clerical positions at the Shipyard.

1960s

During the 1960s, opportunities for working women began to expand both at the Shipyard and throughout the nation. At the Shipyard, women began to re-enter the Shops and the piers, not as temporary, emergency workers, but increasingly as respected laborers and professionals.

Click the image for a larger view.

A Shipyard employee uses a turret lathe to machine a part, 1962.


 

Shop 06 workers replace machine sharpening tools, 1969.



 

An engineering student, 1969.



 


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