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Women in the Workforce 1940-2010

Activity Description

Students will examine graphs on education, earnings, and workforce participation for men and women between 1940 and 2010. Specifically, students will study a graph of the percentages of managers who were women from 1940 to 2009 to understand the connection between the increase in these percentages and the feminist movement of the 1960s.

9-12

60-120 minutes

Learning Objectives

• Students will be able to analyze and compare data in graphs to understand the differences in education, earnings, and workforce statistics for men and for women between 1940 and 2010.
• Students will be able to make connections between historical movements of the 20th century and changes in women’s levels of education, earnings, and workforce participation.

Materials Required

• The student version of this activity, 18 pages
• Teacher computer with Internet access and a projector to display web sites

Activity Items

The following items are part of this activity. Items, their sources, and any relevant instructions for viewing them online appear at the end of this teacher version.

• Percentage of Men and Women With a Bachelor’s Degree or More, Ages 25 and Older: 1940–2010
• Percentage of Men and Women With a Bachelor’s Degree or More, Ages 25 to 29: 1940–2010
• Percentage of Managers Who Are Women: 1940–2009
• Median Earnings of Full-Time, Year-Round Workers by Sex: 1960–2009
• Ratio of Women’s-to-Men’s Median Earnings for Full-Time, Year-Round Workers: 1960–2009
• Number of Full-Time, Year-Round Workers With Earnings by Sex: 1967–2009
• Usual Hours Worked by Sex: 1975–2010
• Percentage of Women-Owned Businesses: 1997, 2002, and 2007
• Percentage of Employees in Women-Owned Firms: 1997, 2002, and 2007
• Percentage of Firms by Sales/Receipts Levels by Sex of Owner: 2007
• Industries With Relatively High and Low Women Ownership: 2007
• Educational Attainment of Owners of Respondent Firms by Sex: 2007
• Average Hours Worked Per Week by Owners of Respondent Firms by Sex: 2007
• Ratio of Women’s to Men’s Median Earnings in Selected Occupations for Full-Time, Year-Round Workers: 2007–2009
• Major Occupation Groups by Percentage of Mothers of Preschoolers Opting Out of the Labor Force: 2009

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Teacher Notes

Blooms Taxonomy

Analyzing

Students will analyze and compare education, earnings, and workforce statistics for men and for women from 1940 to 2010.

Subject

High School History

Topics

• Earnings
• Educational attainment
• Post-World War II America
• Women in the workforce

Skills Taught

• Analyzing visual data
• Making inferences
• Using data to support conclusions
Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021