WWII tradeswomen uphold the 'We Can Do It!' spirit to inspire youth STEAM education

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Thursday, March 31, 2022
Meet the 'Rosies' advancing the 'We Can Do It!' spirit
The "Rosies" recall how they surprised the world by joining the workforce during World War II.

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Rosie the Riveter's "We Can Do It!" spirit is alive and well, not only during Women's History Month but every day.

The "Rosie the Riveter Trust" and "Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front" in Richmond uphold the iconic image and phrase, expanding its reach to inspire generations of young women across America.

Currently 500 members strong and counting, the trust honors the legacy of everyday Americans working in home front factories and shipyards during World War II.

Through the trust, women who worked during this era (known as "The Rosies") share stories of sacrifice while celebrating the profound social change that ripples through today's job opportunities.

"I came to California in 1944. Here I am 18 years old, and I'm sitting here welding pipes for a ship," explained "Rosie" Marian Wynn. "It was a miracle."

During WWII, many women entered trade jobs to replace workers who had joined the military.

"The women held their own," explained Marian Sousa, a "Rosie" who worked in the engineering department of a shipyard during the war.

"We grew a stronger backbone," she added. "Things could be accomplished that we never knew we could do-it surprised the world."

These experiences reflect the "We Can Do It!" mentality, which the Rosie the Riveter Trust continues to cultivate by providing opportunities for young women to access STEAM curriculum and advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

"You'll have some of the Rosies today, these ladies who are 100 years old, that will tell you that they were a better welder than the men they worked with," said Michelle Fadelli of the Rosie the Riveter Trust.

"And that sets a really great standard and example for all of us today. There are so many women working in the trades. We're trying to get more. We want to support the women in training and let girls know that you can do this job," she added.

The trust offers various programs to connect youth with history, STEAM education, trade skills, and more to encourage confidence and a daring vision of women's careers.

For more information about the Rosie the Riveter Trust, please visit here.

To explore the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front, go here.

To see more ABC7 Allies in Action, visit here.