For career woman in 1930, “home’s still home”

Omaha Daily Bee, Sept. 14, 1930


“I honestly believe there is no sound reason why women should not be in business,” Miss Loretta Larsen told the Omaha Bee-News in 1930. Larsen appeared in this series of photos when she won a contest sponsored by the newspaper. The reporter was fascinated that Larsen was a career woman, “executive secretary of a large railroad contracting firm.”

But not to worry, folks. “The lure of home loses none of its luster because she spends eight hours in an office,” reads a caption below a photo of Larsen working in her garden. A photo of Larsen holding a broom is labeled, “And here she shows again that the business woman can always find time for her domestic duties if she plans efficiently.”

Larsen clearly saw herself as a modern, progressive woman, and she made a point of arguing for an expanded role for women. But she did so by reassuring potential critics that gender roles would not fundamentally change. As Larsen told the reporter:

“‘Surrender the home for business?’ she echoes. ‘Not so long as woman lives will that ever happen. If the woman in the business world is the right kind, the home need not suffer from any lack of attention. Lots of times the combination results in much better home conditions. It might add a touch of efficiency to domestic things.’”

Over the years similar arguments were made on behalf of women’s suffrage, participation in sports, or in campaigns for political office. To gain admittance into traditionally male domains, women accepted a double burden of responsibility.


–By David L. Bristow, Editor, 3/29/2023

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

State Song Sing-Along

State Song Sing-Along

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.