1980s Women in the Workplace

After 1980, the speeches and marches were largely over, but women continued to push for economic and social equality in America.

In 1981 Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed to the US Supreme Court, in 1982 the New York City fire department opened their ranks to women firefighters, 1983 brought about the first woman in space and 1984 Geraldine Ferraro made a historic run for the vice-presidency. Women were stepping into boardrooms and all over the country “Women Not Wanted” signs were coming down.

At 24-years old Oprah Winfrey was just beginning to make her mark on the world, co-anchoring a television show in Baltimore. She was outraged when she found out that her co-anchor was making significantly more money than she was. When her boss told her she didn’t need as much money and a man she thought, “I’ll show you.”

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Get to know the story of Barbara Burns and how she broke into a male dominated industry.

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