During WWII when men left for war, American women filled a labor shortage and filled jobs traditionally held by men. The iconic image of Rosie the Riveter was born, a strong, capable woman, able to swing a hammer just like a man. After World War II, the number of women working outside the home never returned to prewar levels. It was an important moment for American women — gaining the opportunity to join the labor movement and work in industries traditionally dominated by men.
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, there will be 533,000 good middle-skill jobs available over the next decade in manufacturing. Currently, only 7 percent of workers in these jobs are women. In transportation, distribution, and logistics, there will be 1.3 million middle-skill jobs available over the next decade. Currently, only 9 percent of workers in these jobs are women.
Jobs to Move America aims to change that, by bringing awareness to the hardworking and capable women who are building America’s 21st-century transportation.
The contemporary “Rosies” in this show work for global transit equipment manufacturing companies in their U.S factories, including Alstom, Siemens, New Flyer Industries, Nippon Sharyo, Kinkisharyo, and others.
These photographs are the results of a collaboration between Deanne Fitzmaurice, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and Jobs to Move America. Despite the odds, Women Can Build shows the strength, dignity, and leadership of women in manufacturing, from welders to electricians and beyond.
Deanne was inspired by the photographs in the Library of Congress. Her photographs employ the dramatic lighting, bold color, and props such as work tools of the original “Rosie” photos while making striking contemporary photos. Deanne’s portraits elevate the everyday reality of labor and celebrate it.
New York City
NYC Department of Transportation Art Display Cases
March 8, 2017 – May 18, 2017
Jobs to Move America and the New York City Department of Transportation launched Women Can Build, a photography exhibition that revealed the often-overlooked contributions of the skilled and hard-working women who build our 21st Century transportation including trams, rail, buses, bridges, roads, and streets. The photographs modernized the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” image, popularized during WWII, when with men away at war; women were actively encouraged to join the industrial workforce.
Making a strong visual statement, the Women Can Build photography exhibition ran from March 8 to May 18 2-17 in two outdoor locations in Lower Manhattan: on DOT Art’s art display cases on Water Street, at Gouverneur Lane and Pearl Street. The exhibit featured 16 “Modern Rosies,” taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice. Alongside these contemporary photographs, the exhibition also featured historic photographs from the Library of Congress of some of the original WWII-era “Rosie the Riveter” manufacturing workers.
Jan 12 2017
The AFL-CIO held a reception to honor key Obama administration labor agency appointees for their tireless efforts on behalf of working people during the last eight years. They were joined by appointees from the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the Department of Transportation and more. The reception also celebrated “Women Can Build: Re-Envisioning Rosie,” a photo exhibit honoring the women who build and work on our nation’s passenger railcars and buses. The exhibit was sponsored by the AFL-CIO, Transportation Trades Department, the Jobs to Move America Coalition and CWA, IAM, IBEW, SMART, TWU and USW.
The United State of Women Summit
June 14 2016
On June 14, 5,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., for the first-ever White House Summit focused on gender equity. Jobs to Move America and the AFL-CIO partnered to bring the Women Can Build: Re-Envisioning Rosie exhibit to the event. The collection featured 11 photographs, taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice, showcasing modern women in manufacturing from across the nation who build trains and buses, as well as six World War II-era photos from the Library of Congress. The term “Rosie” in the exhibit’s title derives from Rosie the Riveter, a cultural symbol in the United States that represents women who worked manufacturing jobs in World War II, replacing men who enlisted or were drafted into the military.
California Institute of Technology
March 8 2016
Jobs to Move America (JMA) teamed up with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event showcased the “Women Can Build” photography exhibit, which reveals the overlooked contributions of skilled and hard-working women who are building our buses and trains. In attendance were Caltech students, faculty, staff, and community members. The participants heard from two Caltech Professors, Azita Emami and Simona Bordoni, who commented on how women around the world are fighting for and achieving equal rights, equal pay and opportunity in the workplace.
Los Angeles Union Station
May 22 – June 19 2015
On May 22, 2015, the Jobs to Move America coalition will launch the Women Can Build project with a new study and an accompanying photography exhibit revealing the overlooked contributions, and decline in hiring since WWII, of the skilled and hard-working women who build our 21st Century transportation including trams, rail, and buses. The new study, “Women Can Build: Including Women in the Resurgence of Good U.S. Manufacturing Jobs”, issued by the University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), finds that 87% of the workforce in the American transit manufacturing industry is male.