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American Business Women’s Day honors the nation’s working women

Ashley Hunter

Greene Publishing, Inc.

Women hold a pivotal role in the modern business and career world.  Gone are the days where employment for women was limited to domestic or childcare careers.

Today, women can hold jobs that place them right alongside their male counterparts and many of them succeed in their chosen career.

Women began to truly enter the workforce during the two World Wars, when male enlistment left gaping holes in the industrial labor force.  Women holding jobs became more and more common, even after their brothers, fathers, sons and husbands returned from overseas.

The role of a woman in the workplace grew, and today, you can find women in every profession, from CEO of a big business to a welder and everything in between.  The limits and confines placed upon women are quickly slipping away and allowing women to stand shoulder to shoulder with men.

On Sept. 22, 1982, the American Business Women's Association, a professional network of women in business and women business owners, was responsible for starting the American Business Woman's Day as a time to honor and reflect on the contributions of the millions of women in the workforce and the millions of female business owners in the U.S.

In 1983 and again in 1986, the day was officially recognized by a congressional resolution and a proclamation issued by President Ronald Reagan.

The history of the United States and the world is decorated with the accomplishments of women inventors, governmental leaders, business owners, and workers.

Such as scientist and inventor, Katharine Blodgett, who was the first women hired by General Electric and who would later contribute important research for needed military items such as gas masks and smoke screens. Blodgett would also invent non-reflective glass, which was originally used for cameras and movie projectors.  Blodgett's glass is essential today, as it is what is used in eyeglasses, car windshields and computer screens.

In the 1800's, Bridget 'Biddy' Mason became a 19th century real estate mogul after rising from her roots of being born into slavery in Mississippi. Mason also successfully sued her owners for her freedom after the family and their slaves moved to the free state of California in the 1850's.

After winning freedom for herself and her three daughters, Mason became on of the first black women to own land when she purchased commercial property in what is now the heart of downtown Los Angeles for $250. Mason turned her investments into a small real estate empire worth about $300,000 in 1884.

Mason also made significant philanthropic contributions to the people of Los Angeles. She provided food to the hungry and shelter for the homeless and, alongside her son-in-law, Mason established the city's first African-American church.

The role of business women in American history continues to astound.

This year, on Thursday, Sept. 22, don't forget to remember the hard work put into the business world today by the estimated 68 million working American women and the 7.7 million American women business owners.

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