I met my husband at Para Rubber in Wellington, New Zealand, which is where we both worked at the time. I worked my way up to the accounts department which was a role that would have ordinarily been done by a man. But when we got married in 1954 I had to leave my job. In those days married women weren’t allowed to work, you were responsible for taking care of the home. It wasn’t something we ever questioned, that’s just how it was. People’s attitudes to women working changed after the Second World War, with the men returning home it was expected that women would return to women’s work in the home. It was almost a matter of pride for men, if their wife worked it implied he couldn’t provide for his family, which he saw as his primary role. People’s opinions of women in the workforce would last well into the 1960s. In the last forty years I’ve seen more changes for women than I ever thought I’d see.
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Originally published in Lila Jean Vintage Magazine Issue One | December 2014