As the United States entered World War II, millions of men from across the country left their jobs to join the armed services. This created a massive labor shortage in both private and government industries. Although the government and society worked hard to keep women in the home through the Great Depression, the war made it necessary for women to do the opposite. During World War II, over six million women took paid jobs for the first time in their lives. By July 1944, they made up 35 percent of the American workforce. In many cases, protective laws were temporarily lifted so that women could do work once unavailable to them.
Women took jobs of all kinds during the war, but factories had the biggest demand. Women built everything—from airplanes and battleships to gas masks and parachutes. They also worked in non-war industries such as car and appliance manufacturing.
Although women entered factories in large numbers, the transition to women workers was not always easy. Both employees and supervisors felt anxiety. Most women workers needed to quickly acquire new skills around dangerous equipment quickly. And most male supervisors needed to learn how to work with different employees.
The federal government distributed this training film to companies producing war-related materials. The film was intended to teach male managers how to manage women in the workplace. Although it was intended to be helpful, it includes many sexist ideas and stereotypes about women.