Women In The Workforce


by Brandi Savitt – April 1, 2011

Why We Get Paid Less

It may be 2011, but all of us multi-tasking women out there are still struggling to find the balance between our careers and our home life.  And while women have made great strides in workplace equality, we still DO NOT have equality when it comes to pay!  Now, before you let this news totally fill you with rage, let’s look at the facts…

The White House Report

Last month the White House released the first report since 1963 that talks stats and facts about working women and their pay scale compared to men.  The good news, ladies, is that the number of women in the workforce rose dramatically through the mid 1990′s and has been fairly constant since.  Younger women have surpassed younger men in the likelihood of having a college or post grad degree, and we have almost equaled men in terms of numbers in the labor force.  However, the research also shows that in 2009, women only earned 75% of their male counterparts take home pay!

Although I was quite intrigued to read all this, two questions rang in my head…

  1. What is happening with our young men (but this is another topic of conversation…)
  2. Why are women paid less?  Is there still such overt discrimination, or is it something else?!

The Wage Gap Results

According to the study, part of the reason women still earn less than men is because men and women work in different occupations, and women still tend to gravitate to lower paying and traditionally ‘female’ occupations.  Of course, women also remain responsible for more household duties, caring for other family members, and we are more likely to only work part time.  Not surprisingly, our generous gender additionally does more volunteer and unpaid work than men…

Single Women vs Married Couples

Contributing greatly to the persisting wage gap, households headed by women make far less than married couples where the man is the family bread winner. Unmarried and divorced women are more likely to be responsible for raising children than men, and, disturbingly – women are more likely to live in poverty.  This disparity holds particularly true for women of color.

4th Quarter 2010 Weekly Wage Male/Female Breakdown

  • White Women earned only 81.1% of what their male counterparts earned
  • Black Women earned 96.2%
  • Hispanic Women earned 89.9%
  • Asian Women women earned 75.9%!

Q & A

I don’t know about you, but for me this report raised more questions than answers.  As a 30-something woman living and working in New York City, I don’t often feel the ‘gender gap’ in my day to day life.  But when I look at these statistics, well – as they say – the numbers don’t lie.  But how can my friends and I proactively try to close the pay inequity?  We would love to hear from YOU, as to what you experience regarding pay in your industry, and what solutions you have in mind –  so the next time they do this study (and hopefully in less than 50 years) there is NO gap at ALL!

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One Response to “Women In The Workforce”

  1. laura says:

    Women need to value themselves more and demand equal pay. Although this has been in the works for a long time, we need to continuously push. Tradtionally, the male is the main breadwinner and the women’s pay is secondary. This is changing and should be reflected in our salaries. Keep on demanding women…eventually, it will change as long as we do not give up.

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