Men, we’re catching up. From our 19th century suffragette sisters fighting for the basic right to vote, to the current groundswell of support for pro-women initiatives like the Women’s March, the Lean In movement, and #MeToo, there’s no question the future is female.
But for every shout of “Yasss Kween” as women’s progress inches forward, there remains significant work ahead, especially when it comes to the wage gap. Women earn just 82 cents on the dollar compared to men, according to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research 2018 study. If that gap were eliminated, it could add up to more than 13 additional months of child care, nearly seven more months of mortgage and utilities payments, or enough money to pay off student loan debt in just under three years.
Additionally, being a working woman and mother does not mean “having it all.” Women lose an average of 4% of their lifetime earnings with the birth of each child. And in the workplace, women often face a “broken rung,” where they’re less likely to be given opportunities to move up the corporate ladder than their male counterparts. According to LeanIn.org, for every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only 72 women are promoted and hired.
Mind the (narrowing) gender gap
That’s not to say women haven’t been gaining ground when it comes to parity. Although the gender pay gap still exists, it’s trending in a more positive direction. For example, the gap tends to be narrower in job sectors where wages are transparent, according to an analysis by the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
We’ve compiled some stats that shine a light on just how far we’ve come when it comes to gender parity. So read on, and prepare to be inspired.
- In Fall 2020, approximately 57% of female students are projected to go on to postsecondary school after high school for a total of about 11.3 million female students, compared with about 8.5 million male students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
- In 2019, 11 states enacted pay equity legislation. Among the highlights: Alabama began requiring equal pay for employees of different races or sexes who perform equal work and Colorado became the first state to require employers to include a compensation range in every job posting.
- In 2020 so far, 127 women hold seats in the United States Congress, comprising 23.7% of the 535 members; 26 women (26%) serve in the U.S. Senate, and 101 women (23.2%) serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- In Texas, it’s estimated that the state would lose over $1849.3 million if women took off work for just one day, as intended with the 2017 A Day Without a Woman strike. And if every paid working woman in the entire U.S. took that day off, it would cost an estimated $21 billion in gross domestic product (GDP).
- Today, 44% of companies have three or more women in their C-suite, up from 29% of companies in 2015.
- Twenty four percent of women say their organization offers more opportunities for women than it did three years ago (although 12% say there are fewer opportunities), and 35% say the organization’s workforce is more diverse, according to a new CNBC/SurveyMonkey “Women at Work” survey.
- In 2017, 41% of mothers were the sole or primary breadwinners for their families, earning at least half of their total household income. This figure includes single working mothers and married mothers who out-earn their husbands.
- According to a 2019 report by the American Society of News Editors’, women comprised 41.7% of the staff in newsrooms, up from 39.1% in 2016.
- For the past five years, women continue to leave their companies at the same rates as men. In fact, the vast majority of women and men who plan to leave their company intend to stay in the workforce — and less than 2% of employees are planning to leave to focus on family. Women are also asking for promotions and negotiating salaries at the same rates as men.
- The Fortune 500 has more female CEOs than ever before. As of June 2019, 33 of the companies on the ranking of highest-grossing firms were led by female CEOs for the first time ever.
- More than 11.6 million businesses are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating $1.7 trillion in sales, as of 2017.
- Women now hold more than 20% of the board seats in five of nine industrial sectors, up from two in 2018. And the percentage of women-held board seats has increased across all sectors.
- Female students continued to outnumber male students in journalism programs at colleges and universities, even as overall enrollment declined, according to an Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication-commissioned survey.
- Over 130 countries have made legal reforms to support gender equality and address discrimination and more than three-quarters of countries have laws against domestic violence in place.
More on HerMoney:
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- The Best Financial Advice I’d Give My 22-Year-Old Self
- Podcast: Girls Who Invest and How to Get More Women Managing Money
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