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Frances Perkins
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. The Inspiring Accomplishments of Frances Perkins: The Woman Behind Many Milestones of the American Workplace

The Inspiring Accomplishments of Frances Perkins: The Woman Behind Many Milestones of the American Workplace

When it comes to celebrating influential women, we cannot overlook the name Frances Perkins. Not only is she one of the most prominent female figures during the Great Depression era, but her contribution to the American workplace has left a long-lasting impact. Perkins was the first woman appointed to the Cabinet of a U.S president, as she served as Secretary of Labor during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. With her leadership and remarkable achievements, she advocated for workers’ rights and social reforms that still resonate today. Let’s dive into the inspiring accomplishments of Frances Perkins, the woman behind many milestones of the American workplace.

Frances Perkins’ Contributions

One of Perkins’ major contributions was to reform child labor laws. During her time as the New York State Industrial Commissioner, she implemented changes that banned child labor and made sure that children received proper education. She correctly believed that children should not have to sacrifice their education for low-paying jobs and advocated that minimum wage laws be established.

Aside from advocating for child labor reform, Frances Perkins was also instrumental in establishing the Social Security program. She worked to create a safety net for workers by providing retirement benefits, disability insurance, and survivors’ benefits. The establishment of this program led to helping millions of American workers enjoy their retirement years without worrying about the lack of financial support.

Pushing for the 8-Hour Work Day

Perkins also fought for a standard eight-hour workday, guaranteeing workers fair treatment and a better work-life balance. This was a radical notion at the time, but she persisted in her efforts to ensure that workers had more time with their family and adequate hours of rest. Her efforts culminated in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which set the standard of an eight-hour day and a 40-hour workweek.

Advocating for Workplace Safety

Workplace safety was also a great concern for Frances Perkins, as she recognized the need for workers to be protected from hazardous working conditions. She pushed for the creation of a federal occupational safety and health agency to address poor working conditions, protect the health of employees and prevent accidents.

The First Woman to Serve in a Presidential Cabinet

Among Perkins’ impressive accomplishments, her appointment as the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet is perhaps the most outstanding. By doing so, she became an inspiration to millions of women, encouraging them to break free from gender-based discrimination and pursue their dreams. Her leadership and achievements paved the way for many women and proved to be a significant milestone in the history of American politics.

Frances Perkins’ Legacy

Frances Perkins demonstrated tremendous leadership and made remarkable contributions that positively impacted the American workplace. Her accomplishments have helped safeguard the welfare of millions of workers, and her advocacy for fair and safe workplaces still resonates to this day. Being the first woman to hold the cabinet position, she paved the way for many other women to break the glass ceiling and pursue leadership roles. Frances Perkins’ critical role in American history is a testament to the power of resilience and determination in the face of all odds.

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Founder, Smart Girl, Survivor, Champion of womens rights and kids rights


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