It probably comes as no surprise to know that…
But did you also know?
Although women represent more than half of the total workforce, their share of employment varies considerably across occupational groups.
The female wage gap still presents lots of opportunity for improvement, but a key factor contributing to the gap is GENDER DIFFERENCES ACROSS OCCUPATIONS.
Today, more Black women are participating in the labor force and have seen their earnings increase over time. Black women are nearly twice as likely to be the sole breadwinner for their families.
However, Black women still face a stark wage gap and are more likely to work in lower paid occupations.
Raising the minimum wage, ensuring equal pay, and creating access to high-growth occupations with higher earnings will greatly impact the lives of Black women and their families.
There were about 7.8 million Asian American (AA) women and 442 thousand Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (PI) women 16 years of age and over in the U.S. in 2013. Of those, 4.6 million AA women and 283 thousand PI women were in the civilian labor force.
As a group, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women workers have had more favorable outcomes than female workers in other racial groups.
However, there is a great deal of variation and disparity between AA women and PI women, as well as among women in detailed Asian communities.
Of the 4.3 million AA women who were employed, nearly one half worked in management, business, science, and the arts occupations. Meanwhile, of the over 250 thousand PI women who were employed, a majority worked in sales and office occupations, and less than 1 in 3 worked in management, business, science, and the arts occupations.
There were about 10.7 million Hispanic women in the civilian labor force in 2014, representing 1 in 7 women in the labor force. Of those, 9.8 million were employed.+
By 2022, Hispanic women are projected to account for 17.3% of the female labor force and 8.1% of the total labor force.
Hispanic women are more likely to work in occupations that pay less, with one in three employed in service occupations, compared with less than one in five among White non-Hispanic women. Median weekly earnings in service occupations represent less than half of the earnings of workers in management, professional and related occupations.
Opportunities clearly exist for women and the only way we will resolve the disparities is to proactively work to implement strategies that will improve and eventually eliminate barriers to gender and race equality.
Here are but a few ways that can make sustainable differences:
- Strengthen Women’s Equal Pay Rights by Ensuring Women Receive the Minimum Wage and Overtime.
- Advance Opportunities for Women in Non-Traditional Occupations and Male Dominated Fields.
- Identify Challenges and Solutions for Targeted Groups: In September 2013, the Women’s Bureau initiated its Economic Security for Older Women Workers initiative, including convening a research conference on older workers that explored retirement patterns and barriers to employment and reemployment such as age and sex discrimination. Since its onset, the Bureau has published its first fact sheet, Older Women and Work, and has begun to convene listening sessions and roundtables across the country to collect information from communities on challenges and best practices in hiring, recruitment and job training.
- Keep Women Workers Safe at the Worksite: In response to the persistently high rates of injuries among the largely female healthcare workforce, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a new emphasis program to increase inspections at nursing homes and residential care facilities.
- Support the Creation of State Paid Leave Programs and Research Paid Leave Programs.
- Increase Women’s Health and Retirement Security: The Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) educates women about retirement and health benefits to help them increase their financial fitness, maintain health coverage, and exercise their rights under the law.
- Tailor Training to Women’s Needs and Use Social Networks to Spread Knowledge.
- Enhance Programs on Training and Employment for Female Veterans: Women are the fastest growing population of veterans and are more likely than their male counterparts to be in the workforce. While approximately 10 percent of all veterans are women, 13 percent of all veterans in the labor force and 20 percent of Gulf War II veterans are women. Efforts to create and expand opportunities for working women must include female veterans, who may experience an overlap of challenges faced by both other working women and their male veteran counterparts. The new VETS Women Veteran Program, implemented in collaboration with the Women’s Bureau, is designed to empower women veterans to achieve economic stability and equality in the workplace.
- Help More Women Access and Participate in International Markets: The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) continues to work with ministries of labor and employment from other governments on developing programs and policies combating discrimination in the workplace and ensuring equal opportunities for all workers.
- Help to Sustainably Improve the Education Levels of All Women.
By Mi’Shon Landry, CDP
Certified Diversity Professional and Society for Diversity member
Champion for Diversity, Culture Consultant
Contact Mi’Shon at (817) 602-1444
Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mishonlandry
+U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program
United States Department of Labor
Fact Sheet, June 2014
United States Department of Labor