Bottom line: You worked hard and were paid squat
Popular jobs among women during this period included cooks, waitresses, manufacturing, clerks, secretaries, teachers and nurses. Their wages varied by state and profession, but their pay was low. A 1919 report on female candy makers in Pennsylvania said that the majority in that profession earned less than $6 a week, or $92, in 2019 money. If you were lucky to be a female resident of a state like Massachusetts, which had minimum wage laws for women, you could enjoy fairer pay. But only for a little while — those laws were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1923.
The International Congress of Working Women formed in 1919, and while they asked congress for eight-hour workdays, equal pay and maternity leave, the group was unsuccessful. It wouldn’t be until the Equal Pay Act of 1963 when gender discrimination would be banned.