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By the Numbers: Women in the Workforce



In honor of Women’s History Month, the U.S. Department of Labor posted some thought-provoking statistics about working women.  While employers already know women play an important role in the U.S. job market, these figures demonstrate just how significant female workers are in our economy.  Below are some of the fascinating numbers about working women:


  • Nearly half of the U.S. workforce is comprised of women, with more than 74.6 million women employed in civilian jobs
  • Almost 10 million women are business owners and account for nearly $1.4 trillion in revenue
  • Seventy percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the workforce
  • Working moms are the sole or primary earners for 40 percent of households with children under the age of 18
  • Women in management positions continue to grow and 27 percent of Chief Executives are female
  • Females are more likely than men to have earned a bachelor’s degree by the age of 29
  • In 1974, one in ten lawyers was a woman. In 2016, one in three lawyers was a woman
  • 26 percent of individuals in computer and mathematical jobs are women
  • The unemployment rate for women is less than five percent


While the trends are positive for women in the workforce, there still is a gap in wage earnings.  According to the DOL, there is a 21.4 percent wage gap between what a woman earns versus what a male earns.  The wage gap varies based on the different age groups of women and men and occupations.  So how do we keep moving in the right direction? Women’s History Month is a great time for employers to examine their respective positions and consider ways in which they can help narrow this gap.


BT Currents

BT Currents is managed by the attorneys in Barnes & Thornburg’s Labor & Employment Law Department. It’s designed to be your resource on employment law developments across the country. BT Currents will help employers across all industries stay aware of and respond to these developments.

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