During WWI, women took over the jobs the men did before they left to fight in the war. The number of women increased in common areas of employment, and they also started jobs in industries such as banking, railroads, farming and factories.
Prior to WWI, women were the homemakers and rarely did work outside of the home. They were judged by their appearance and not what they could do. A woman’s prewar duties included maintaining the home by doing all of the cooking, sewing and cleaning and raising children. When they began working, women were paid half the wages that men had been paid, and they sometimes worked in positions that were unhealthy, including munitions plants.