Through the ages most women have been employed in some kind of economic production. However, in many societies such production was carried out entirely or mostly within the home, so that the mother could supervise young children and engage in housekeeping duties.
The Industrial Revolution drew single women to the factories, but married women did not become a major part of the American workforce, until after World War I. The employment of women with minor children increased during and following World War II. Today the percentage of women, married and unmarried, in the American workforce is at an all time high, and married women who enter the workforce do so at an earlier age than ever before.
Role conflict and at least the possibility of conflictling personality needs generated many questions concerning the effects of mothers’ working on the stability of marriage and the family, on the children, and on the health and well-being of the mother. This research failed to provide support to the alarmists and some attention shifted to more theoretically oriented issues, such as maternal employments effects on the parent as a model or the development of personality characteristics in female children relevant to success in professional and executive positions. (Burr 1979: pg.203)
Today females are competing with males in business, academics, and even non-contact sports. Sociologists disagree about the effects of these changing roles on the family, but one thing is certain, it is happening and our society must adjust to this change.