Fun Fact: Do you know who the first director of the WAAC/WAC was?
After authorizing establishment of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt swore in Oveta Culp Hobby as its first director.
Hobby was an experienced business executive, former editor of the Houston Post, mother of two and wife of William Hobby, a former Texas governor. An active participant in national and local political scenes, she was a feminine and charismatic woman with an ability to inspire other women to join the Army.
As WAAC director, Hobby was granted the rank of colonel. In this role, she guided the WAAC, which converted into the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in 1943, through the tumult and growth brought by World War II.
After the war, Col. Hobby returned to high-level civilian positions in the burgeoning communications industry while remaining active in politics and government. She died in 1995 at 90 years of age.
Hobby was a female pioneer who succeeded despite the assumption in past years that women’s career options were limited to secretarial work, teaching and nursing. When a woman did work in a “man’s job,” she was often paid far less than a man would be paid for doing the same job and she felt undervalued in the work force.
This year’s Women’s History month theme is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” The theme honors women who have successfully challenged the role of women in both business and the paid labor force by demanding equal treatment in the eyes of the law and seeking to expand economic and educational opportunities for all women.
Women like Hobby have made several contributions that relate to this year’s theme to include creating and running successful businesses; making the workplace less hostile for women; paving the way for better working conditions and wages for themselves and other women; and expanding women’s participation in commerce. Today, women are seen as business leaders and innovators, demonstrating an ability to create organizations and establish businesses.
Hill AFB will host a Women’s History Month breakfast from 9-11 a.m. at The Landing. The guest speaker for this year’s breakfast will be Mrs. Meagan Bowman, a local entrepreneur. Cost is $13 for Club members and $15 for non-members. Following the breakfast will be a bazaar featuring local entrepreneurs and items handcrafted by local vendors. The bazaar will be located in The Landing Ballroom and begin at 11 a.m.