Women Working

BY Meg Gilliland ON Tue, November 29, 2016

Up until the 1960s, contraceptives were hard to come by in the United States. With the advent of the birth control pill, that changed. So did women’s education and labor force participation rates.

The story of how the pill came to be is a fascinating one with a philanthropist heroine, Katherine McCormick, at its center. A staunch advocate of birth control and women’s education (and the second ever female MIT grad), McCormick contributed over $23 million in today’s dollars to the research and eventual F.D.A. approval of the pill.

Without her financial support, the U.S. labor force may have looked very different today. Check out the new Principles of Macroeconomics video for a deeper look into how the pill revolutionized female labor force participation.