National Geographic Society.
THEN: A group of crafters in the Warren County town of Asbury practice their domestic skills in this scene from 1940. The ensuing decade marked the first great exodus of women from the home to the workplace as they replaced men who had gone off to war. At the war’s peak, 23 percent of the U.S. labor force consisted of married women. By the second half of the decade, the soldiers came home and many women returned to their domestic chores. Others resorted to low-paying jobs.
NOW: Teresa Giudice didn’t need a war—just a hit TV series—to carve out her place in the workforce. Pictured at the Jersey Shore with niece Antonia Gorga, left, and daughter Audriana, Giudice made a name for herself on Bravo’s reality series The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Her outlandish escapades include constant feuding with cast mates, including sister-in-law Melissa Gorga. Giudice has turned her notoriety into a lucrative career, with three New York Times best-selling books, an at-home teeth-whitening kit and a cocktail line, Fabellini.