History Of Women In The Workplace

It’s hard to believe that closing the gender wage gap will take nearly a century after the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963.

Let's take a look at the history of women in the workplace. The resulting timeline shows both the challenges and triumphs of women climbing the corporate ladder and fighting for equity along the way.

1769: Colonies Ban Women Workers From Keeping Their Earnings

The 13 colonies adopted English laws that prevented female workers from keeping the income they earned.

1900: Women Get Some Control Over Income

New York state passed the Married Women’s Property Act in 1848, which gave married women a degree of control over their own income and property.

1938: Fair Labor Standards Act Sets Minimum Wage

It established a minimum wage for all workers—regardless of gender.

1970: Court Reinforces Equal Pay For Women And Men

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that employers can’t change a job title to avoid paying women equal to their  male counterparts.

1984: New Law Helps Women Workers Collect Retirement Benefits

It permitted workers to take extended maternity leave  without giving up future  retirement benefits.