The war bestowed two valuable legacies on women.
First, it opened up a wider range of occupations to female workers and hastened the collapse of traditional women's employment, particularly domestic service. From the 19th century to 1911, between 11 and 13 per cent of the female population in England and Wales were domestic servants.
Trade unionism proved to be the second legacy of the war. Female workers had been less unionised than their male counterparts. The increase in female trade union membership from only 357,000 in 1914 to over a million by 1918 represented an increase in the number of unionised women of 160 per cent.