13th March 1934:  A worker finishing off a woollen suit at the Windsor factory at Blackpool. The Duchess of York ordered the clothing worn by the woolly Windsor doll for Princess Margaret Rose

IN PICTURES: On International Women's Day, we look back at women and the workplace

It’s International Women’s Day on Friday, and to mark the occasion, we looking back at the vital role women have played in the workplace, taking on what were traditionally male jobs, particularly in times of crisis.

During the two world wars, women took the place of the men who had gone off to fight, becoming mechanics, ambulance drivers and factory workers. Following the Second World War, more and more women went to work. By 1965, more than half of women of working age were in employment, although women’s wages were still lower than their male counterparts, and a marriage bar prohibited married women from working. In the Civil Service, for example, the marriage bar was enforced until as late as 1973 for the foreign service.

A woman ambulance driver in training at Blackpool, delving into a car engine
A woman ambulance driver in training at Blackpool, delving into a car engine
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Women ambulance drivers at Blackburn doing their daily physical training exercises in November 1939
Women ambulance drivers at Blackburn doing their daily physical training exercises in November 1939
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A woman operator in the Atlas Glass Works in Lancashire, taken around 1950
A woman operator in the Atlas Glass Works in Lancashire, taken around 1950
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A member of the Womens Auxiliary Air Force working in the motor transport section greases the giant wheels of a lorry in Lancashire in October 1939
A member of the Womens Auxiliary Air Force working in the motor transport section greases the giant wheels of a lorry in Lancashire in October 1939
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