Tag Archives: inequality in the workplace

Where Do Women Stand Today? A Look at Equality in the Workplace

3 Feb

Let’s face it, women have come a long way in bridging the gap to inequality in the workforce. In the previous century women found it hard to get an education and land a job traditionally occupied by men. According to a compilation of women in the United States released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there have been positive movements towards equality in the workplace. But, as you might have guessed, inequalities are still running ramped.  

As can be expected, the compilation noted that women were more likely to work in the education, financial, or health service sectors, and were less likely to work in construction, transportation, and manufacturing. Women were also less likely to be self-employed in non-agricultural fields than men (women at 5.2% versus men at 7.6%). If you are catching yourself yawning right anout now don’t worry, it gets worse. The compilation suggests that while women work at more than half of all U.S. jobs, women are more likely than men to live in poverty (maybe because they are taking care of the men’s children?). Poverty rates for women are highest among workers aged 18-24, with 17% of young women living in poverty as compared to 12% of young men.

The study also indicates that women are more likely than men to stay home with their children. 54.5% of women with a child under 3 are employed while 86.9% of men with a child under 3 are employed. What happened to all of the Mr. Mom’s out there? Sure, the number of women working with a young child has increased from 49.5% in 1985, but it hasn’t increased enough in my opinion. I am wondering if this is a preference by the women or if employers are unwilling to work with a mother’s schedule.

The worst part of the study has to be the statistics on the wage gap. In 2010, the average weekly income of a white woman was $684, with Black and Hispanic women earning less ($592 & $508 respectively) and Asian women earning more at $773 per week. In 2010, white men earned an average weekly salary of $850, Black men earned $$633, Asian men earned $936, and Hispanic men earned $560. Tell me that those numbers don’t make you mad! What are white men doing differently that they should deserve more money? Women are just as educated than men now-a-days, so I see now reason to have such a large wage gap.

 While there certainly is more equality in the workplace than in previous years, there are still changes that need to be made. I think that it is time for Washington policymakers to enact some legislation that increases the positive changes in the workforce at a faster rate than it is currently occurring. Why settle for good enough when we want great?

I challenge each of you to write to your senators and stress that you want to see a workplace equality bill in place!