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1970-1989: Gaining Ground


With the Women's Liberation movement in full force, the 1970s and 1980s were decades of great change in the workplace. Although the number of female employees at the Shipyard had increased dramatically during both world wars, these increases were temporary and short-lived. The years since 1973, however, have seen a steady rise in the number of women making careers in both the trades and professional positions. In the Navy, women were assigned to duty onboard ships for the first time beginning in 1978.

Although sexist and discriminatory attitudes persisted, programs like the Federal Women's Program, which started at the Shipyard in 1975, strove to ensure the equal treatment of female employees.


By 1985, 1,732 women were working at the Shipyard in nearly all occupations. By 1988, women made up 14 percent of the workforce at the Shipyard.

Nationally, in the 1980s, women continued to be under-represented at the upper, executive levels of the workforce. It was also becoming more apparent that women would benefit from more flexible part and full-time employment choices. At the Shipyard, in 1984, the new Office of Personnel Management (OPM) attempted to close these gaps and provide more opportunities for women. This attempt included a Women's Executive Leadership Program and an increase in part-time career opportunities.





Welding school apprentice, 1974.











Time Keeper Service Group employee, 1974.












Chemistry Branch chemists, 1975.














Shop 99 electrician Opal Cunningham, 1975.












Hull Division design engineer, 1975.










Published: Fri Aug 12 12:54:13 EDT 2016