Jobs In The 1920s
What are some jobs that men and women did in the 1920s?
The 1920s are seen as a time when the “New Woman” was coming into existence. Historians say that the women of the 1920s were willing and able to do things that they had not previously been allowed (by social values) to do. One of these things was working outside the home. The majority of married women still did not work for pay, but the numbers of women working increased during this decade. The link below provides a really good graphic that shows you the sorts of jobs that women did during this time. Please have a look at it for more detail.
Women in the 1920s did not have the ability to work in as wide a variety of jobs as they do today. They were much more segregated into a few types of jobs that were seen as acceptable for women. Many women worked as teachers. Many worked as nurses. They worked as telephone operators and retail clerks. They worked in some factory jobs, particularly in the textile and clothing industries, and they worked as domestic help (maids and cooks). They worked as cooks and waitresses in restaurants. Although we do not think about this much, a large number of them worked on farms.
Men worked in a wide variety of jobs. Jobs in those days were much more concentrated in the blue collar sector than they are now. Men worked in factories. They worked as farmers. They did manual labor, doing things like digging ditches. They worked in construction. They also worked in white collar jobs. There was a growing middle class of managerial workers at this time. In general, men worked in just about any kind of job that they wanted. There were few kinds of jobs that were closed to men.