The Current State of Women in the Workplace
The Under-representation of Women:
After more than 20 years of women breaking through the Glass Ceiling, there is still more to do. It might be surprising to find out just how underrepresented women still are in crucial leadership roles.
Lack of women at the top:
Although women recently reached a milestone in the U.S. of constituting half the workforce, the percentage of Fortune 500 board seats held by women stands at 16.9% and the percentage of female CEO’s is a mere 5%. And these numbers are rising incredibly slowly, with just 15.9% of seats held by women in 2009.
The pay gap persists:
Women make 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. For women of color the numbers are worse: African-American women earn approximately 64 cents on the dollar and Latina women only 54 cents.Why? Fields historically dominated by women are underpaid, women are often segregated into the lower paying sectors within their industry, and women are subject to systemic discrimination that places them at a disadvantage when it comes to starting salaries, promotions, and pay raises.
The wealth gap is growing:
Professional women stand to lose from $700,000 to $2 million dollars over the course of their lives because of pay discrimination.
In New York City alone, 40% of single mothers and their children live in poverty, and the poverty rate for women age 65 and over is one in five, almost double the national rate.
Perceived family responsibilities create disparities:
Employer assumptions about care-giving responsibilities (for children or the elderly) often negatively and unfairly impact salaries, pay increases, and promotion decisions, and women bear the brunt of this stereotyping. Up to 75% of caregivers are women, and 64% of mothers with children under the age of six are in the workforce.
The parent gap:
The labor force participation rate of parents with children under 18 and no other spouse present was 68.2% for mothers and 81.2% for fathers. Studies have shown that while fathers garner more respect in the workplace, mothers are viewed less favorably. This plays out in actual dollars: mothers earn about 2.5% less than women without children, while fathers enjoy an increase in earnings of 2.1%, compared to men without children.
Political power imbalance:
The U.S. ranks 69th in the world—behind Rwanda, Afghanistan and Iraq–for women’s political representation. Women currently constitute only 20% of the U.S. Senate and 19.4% of Congress as a whole.
Back to Economic Empowerment