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A Rosier Financial Future for Women Entrepreneurs

September 5, 2012

As I walked the “Freedom Trail” in Boston, I ended up in a museum at the site of the breathtaking USS Constitution stationed in the Charlestown Navy Yard. As my husband and sons admired the war stories and ship lore, I was drawn to the Rosie the Riveter display. Rosie became a cultural icon of the United States representing American women who worked in factories during World War II.

 Rosie the Riveter has become a symbol of feminism and women’s economic power. According to the Encyclopedia of American Economic History, Rosie inspired a social movement that increased the number of working American women from 12 million to 20 million from 1940 to 1944. Although her image reflected industrial workers, she in fact represented millions of women who proved to themselves, and to the country, they could do a “man’s job” and do it well.

 One of my favorite images of Rosie the Riveter was an adaptation of the image turned into a political cartoon when Joanie Mahoney became the first female Onondaga County Executive. Joanie’s face replaced Rosie’s face in the drawing and appeared in the Post Standard the day after her victory. I had never thrown my support behind a political candidate but felt strongly Onondaga County needed a female leader. The image of Rosie saying “We Can Do It” has always had a special meaning since that day.

 In today’s economy it is important for women to keep Rosie the Riveter’s image and sentiment in our minds. I hope she reminds you that as hard working women entrepreneurs, we can do it too! Back in Rosie’s day, the average man working in a wartime plant was paid $54.65 per week while women earned $31.50. Not much has changed today in my mind, since women still do not earn equal pay. That’s why Women TIES exists to help more New York State women promote their companies and connect online and in person to increase their economic ties and opportunities to earn revenue by doing more business with other women.

 Today’s blog post is to remind you we still have a way to go to earn what men earn in our salaries and entrepreneurial revenue. It is up to all women to keep the cultural icon of Rosie the Riveter in mind when they need to buy a new product or service. Remember to strengthen the economic future for other women by choosing to do as much business as you can from other women locally, regionally and state-wide.

 I hope Rosie’s image will be ingrained in your mind and spirit in all your buying decisions. Let’s work together to help as many women as we can in our generation become more economically successful and lead the way for a brighter and rosier financial future for all women.

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