Schools Training

How Education Helped Women Become Part of the Workforce

13 MAR 2013
Career Path : Accounting

Female employment, and education, has always been one of the things that has gone hand in hand with equal rights. From formal healthcare training for nurses during the Victorian period to the rise of stenography courses and the office administration diploma, much of the early educational ventures were one of the ways women initially began to gain some sort of independence for themselves.


For much of history, even the concept of female independence was deeply alien. As a protected class of people, unfiltered interactions with the opposite sex were seen as a very unfortunate thing. It would of course be a mistake to say that women have only begun work outside the home recently, as this was always a so called “necessary evil” for people with fewer resources, even if the work was, at best, a form of exploitation and severely underpaid. Women worked as servants, as textile workers and similar roles. However employment generally mirrored household dynamics. These employed women were not high status but they would be considered an extended part of the family for their employer.


We tend to think of the starched and prim Victorian period, with its strict corsets and stricter morals, as the apex of female repression. In the reality it was a period of action and reaction, where feminism started growing, instead of being the pet project of a few lunatic fringe prophets. One of the causes of this was the industrial revolution and the land enclosure movement. As wealth depended less on the muscle power of men for farming, and more on the creation of things in factories, as poor a quality of life as this typically meant, the factory was one of the places where a woman could earn a wage for working at the same capacity as a man.


A rising middle class, also buoyed by economic changes, meant more education for all. There were more educated middle class women writing and communicating than ever before, and many wanted to make a difference in their world. Some turned to healthcare training, to revolutionize nursing. Some turned to social reform and the temperance movement, which at the time was posited on the idea that alcohol problems in a family effected women more unfairly because she had less freedom to escape if partnered with an alcoholic.


With more educated women they were also positioned to master the typewriter. A new invention in communication, the role of the female secretary was born and to this day keyboarding is still part of an office administration diploma. This made a wedge, that young women would increasingly work before marriage, even in wealthier families, that carried through the backlash movement of the 1950s. Today women can study in every field, from accounting courses to engineering and education is one of the best choices a woman can make to sustain employment.



Visit Academy of Learning College Toronto for more information on accounting courses and careers for women.