An analysis of women in the workforce

Screenshot 2017-04-01 12.07.30.pngEarlier in this blog, I wrote about the complexities of the gender wage gap and how it’s not as simple as the 20-cents-on-the-dollar disparity that is widely cited. I mentioned the choice in career paths that women tend to make as one of the reasons why this issue is so complex, and this time, I’d like to go deeper about women in the workplace.

It’s common knowledge that the days of Mom staying home to take care of the house and kids are long gone. According to the United States Census Bureau, the percentage of women in the workforce has risen from about 15 percent in 1967 to 43 percent in 2009, and the percentage of single-parent households has gone from 9 percent in 1960 to 26 percent in 2014. When women have become a large part of the workforce, what jobs are we taking and how much money do we make?

Business Insider created a report of jobs dominated by women in 2015. They found that jobs that are mostly held by women include that of registered nurses, elementary and middle school teachers and social workers, with at least 80 percent of those workers being women. Closely behind that were meeting and convention planners, medical and health services managers, counselors, tax preparers, and social and community service managers. Here’s Business Insider’s graph:

Screenshot 2017-04-01 12.05.56.png

It’s great that so many women become registered nurses and human resource managers, but what about money in the bank?

Let’s take a look at the salary for some of these positions. The career field mostly dominated by women, nursing, has median annual wages from $60,000 to 70,000 per year, depending on employer, according to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015. According to the same statistics, 1 in 6 registered registered nurses worked part time. Another career field, public relations managing (which is dominated by females, at around 60 percent), has a median pay from $86,000 per year to $131,000, depending on employer.

Just from those numbers, it seems like women are doing pretty well for themselves in the workforce, both from the number of women in the workplace to their annual salaries. It’s a far cry from the days of Suzy Homemaker, isn’t it?

By Lindsey Allen

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