official secrets act

A Tribute to the Women of Radar (today, and every day)

We can't tell the radar story without talking about the pivotal roles played by women, so in a sense, every day at the Museum is a Women's Day.  Women participated in radar research, made up what is very likely a majority of radar operations work, and built the equipment.  Their roles spanned science, technology, mechanics, communications, and operations.  In many cases, if not most, there was a high degree of precision and skill required to do the radar work they did, and like so often is the case, history has been pretty quiet telling their stories. 

Women working in RCAF/RAF radar during the Second World War were held to the Official Secrets Act just like the men, but unlike many of the men who returned and were encouraged to continue education in the fields of physics, engineering, radio, and electronics, women were expected to relinquish their places and return to the limited careers permitted to women, or more likely, to get married and make a home.  We don't mean to say that being a homemaker or mother isn't hard work, we know it is!  We are simply drawing attention to the fact that these women, who played such a vital role in the rapid development of radar, and more broadly speaking, the outcome of the war, were not given opportunities remotely equal to those of the returning men, but were still held to the same level of discretion and secrecy. 

So to those women, and those that followed in their footsteps, thank you for your service, your commitment, your dedication, and trailblazing.  We thank you, we are grateful, and we wouldn't be here without you.