Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department of Labor Announces the “Rosies” Will Be The 2020 Inductees into the U.S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor
WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, at 1:00 p.m., the U.S. Department of Labor will release the Hall of Honor induction ceremony for the “Rosies.” During World War II, these women riveted, welded and did so much more on the home front to help the nation win the war.
The name “Rosie” came from Rosalind Walter, who went to work in a Corsair factory in 1942. Rosie became a household name due to the famous, archetypical depictions of Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell in the Saturday Evening Post and due to J. Howard Miller’s famous “We Can Do It!” poster commissioned by Westinghouse. The Rosies played an instrumental role in winning World War II.
“I am proud to announce that the Department of Labor will honor and celebrate the ‘Rosies,’ women who helped our nation win World War II and changed the way our country thinks about women in the workplace,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “By inducting the ‘Rosies’ into the U.S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor, we recognize the contributions they made and the changes they inspired.”
“It is fitting to honor such a special group of women during the Women’s Bureau’s centennial celebration,” said Women’s Bureau Director Laurie Todd-Smith. “During one of the darkest points in world history, while millions of our citizens enlisted into military service, the ‘Rosies’ made sure that the industrial production of the United States properly supplied the armed services and our allies, and in turn helped defeat the Axis Powers. Through their commitment to hard work, these women also made it clear that women could do the jobs that were often reserved for men, setting a lasting example for future generations of women workers.”
While millions of men deployed to the front lines, the Rosies maintained American war production by manufacturing the planes, ships, tanks, arms and munitions required to defeat the Axis powers in both the European and Pacific theaters. American production would not have been able to keep up with the needs of the war effort had these women not elected to work in factories that had typically employed male workers. Additionally, many women also assumed essential jobs as first responders such as firefighters.
It is estimated that between 5 and 7 million women held war industry jobs during World War II, increasing the female work force to about 19 million. This permitted American industry to transform to war production rapidly, supplying not just our armed forces, but also the armed forces of the Allied powers.
The Department of Labor’s Hall of Honor was established in 1988 to honor Americans whose distinctive contributions have elevated working conditions, wages and overall quality of life for American families.
To learn more about the Women’s Bureau and their 100th Anniversary celebration visit: www.dol.gov/wb.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.