17+ Striking Little-Known Women in the Workforce Stats
By Raj Vardhman | October 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

17+ Striking Little-Known Women in the Workforce Stats

Although there has been a noticeable improvement in the labor force participation of women in the past 20 years, there are still gaps between men and women when it comes to the workforce in general. Whether it is the wages they earn, the employment rates, the types of jobs they get, or the economic security, there seems to be some level of inequality.

Still, there is much to be done to increase the participation of women in the workforce; at the current rate of progression, if there is no change, the economic gender gap will be closed in roughly 217 years. Meaning, it won’t be well until 2234 that women get the same leadership and earning potential as men do now. 

Therefore, to create and spread awareness of the present state of things (and what lies ahead), we have combined these most essential women in the workforce statistics; you only need take a look down below.

Essential Women in the Workplace Facts and Statistics:

  • The participation rate in the labor force currently sits at 61.8% with women’s participation rate declining slower than that of men over the years (narrowing the gender gap).
  • Women-owned businesses in America increased by 68% over the past 17 years.
  • In many countries, women account for 40% or more of the total labor force.
  • In 2016, 4.9 million women worked in childcare.
  • Women represent 82% of all social workers.
  • 50% of women are engaged in their jobs compared to just 28% of men.

Women in the Workforce Statistics

1) 1 out of 4 women believe gender was a factor in missing out on advancements in work 


Women are less optimistic about their chances to move forward in the workplace. This is why 1 in 4 women think their gender has played a role in missing out on getting a raise or a promotion.

2) Women represent 82% of all social workers

(Department of Labor)

Statistics of women in the workforce show there are some occupations where women have a higher representation rate. Women represent the majority of social workers in America (82%), according to the Labor Department. Honorary mentions also include speech-language pathologists (98%), dental assistants (93%), physical therapists (69%), and pharmacists (60%).

3) Women aged 65 years and older are twice as likely to live in poverty than their male counterparts


According to facts about working women, they earn less but have longer life expectancies than men, making their economic security a problem as they age. In reality, women over the age of 65 are twice as likely to live in poverty as men of the same age. But some specific factors can contribute to this (the death of a spouse or the onset of a disability), which later in life makes women particularly vulnerable to economic insecurity.

4) The participation rate in the labor force currently sits at 61.8% with women’s participation rate declining slower than that of men over the years

(International Labor Organization)

Globally, workforce participation rates for people 15 years and older have been on the decline. However, the participation rate of women in the workforce declined slower than that of men, narrowing the gender gap in the process. 

Overall, the current rate sits at 61.8% — a reduction of 1.4% over the past decade. 

In general, these trends reflect different patterns of the ever-changing life cycle both due to youth participation in education and the retirement choices of older workers. 

5) 60% of working women would earn more than men if they were paid based on the same working hours and education level

(Hamilton Project)

Statistics on women in the workforce show that much of the labor market disadvantage experienced by women would be resolved through well-designed work-family policies such as equal scheduling and paid family leave. 

Wage discrimination, however, still plays a significant role in driving the gender wage gap and is likely to continue to do so even after work-family challenges have been met. This means that women often face wage inequalities compared to men when adjusting for apparent differences between female and male workers. However, almost 60% of women would earn more if they were paid the same as men with similar levels of education and working hours.

7) Zimbabwe has the highest percentage of females in the workforce with 52.8%

(Quartz Africa)

The countries that have the highest percentages of women in the workplace are located in sub-Saharan Africa. The top five countries on this list, which are all located in sub-Saharan Africa include Zimbabwe (52.8%), Malawi (52.2%), The Gambia (50.8%), Liberia (50.6%), and Tanzania (50.5%). A possible explanation for this is that they are more likely to be a part of the informal economy.

8) The percentage of women leaders in every industry is lower than 50%


Data from LinkedIn was used to study gender pay in 12 different industries and a report was published from the data. From these women in the workforce statistics, we can conclude that while some industries were more diverse than others, no one showed a truly equal gender distribution. 

In all 12 of the analyzed industries, less than 50%  of leaders were women. The industries with the lowest representation are manufacturing and energy with women holding less than 20% of leadership positions.

Moreover, black women and women of color have it worse, as black women represent only 1.73% of all legal representatives in America.

10) 33% of women never had substantial interaction with a senior leader about work

(The Muse) 

These eye-opening statistics about women in the workforce today reveal a lower percentage of women engaging in tangible interactions with senior leaders concerning their work. This is important as these interactions may well affect whom the company retains, as well as increase the likelihood of negotiating a promotion. 

What’s more, it can also make the difference when the time comes to fill a new leadership position as well; meaning, fewer interactions with senior leaders spell fewer opportunities overall. 

Working Mothers Statistics

11) Northeast America has the highest concentration of female breadwinners (44.5%)

(American Progress)

Quite a huge percentage of mothers are breadwinners in their households. 

Data collected from women with children below the age of 18 show that the number of women that are breadwinners or co-breadwinners is not spread evenly across the different states in the US. Generally, the area with the highest concentration of women breadwinners is in the Northeast with 44.5% and the area with the lowest concentration is in the west (36.7%).

12) In 2016, 4.9 million women worked in childcare


Working mothers statistics show that the number of working mothers in England has risen dramatically over the past two decades. The National Statistics Office (ONS) states 4.9 million women worked in childcare last year; an increase of 1.2 million since 1996. 

The employment rate among mothers with children aged three or four has been particularly high, increasing from 56% to 65%. Reasons for this include: more flexible work practices, shared parental leave, and changes in government policies on childcare availability.

Men vs Women in the Workforce Statistics

13) 34% of women got a bachelor’s degree by the age of 29 compared to just 26% of men

(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Statistics show that 34% of women born between 1980–1984, had received a bachelor’s degree by age 29, compared to 26% of men. Likewise, 38% of both women and men born in 1980–1984 had attended some college or earned a degree of association by age 29. 

These working women statistics also show that 24% of women received a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Moreover, women were more likely to get a bachelor’s degree within each racial and ethnic group studied. 39% percent of non-Hispanic white women earned a bachelor’s degree at 29 years of age, compared to 31% of non-Hispanic white men.

14) Women-owned businesses in America increased by 68% over the past 17 years

(Harvard Business Review)

According to an American Express review of Census Bureau statistics, new data shows women are starting new businesses at an incredibly fast pace. Working women statistics also show that the number of businesses owned by women in the US rose by 68% between 1997 and 2014. 

It is estimated that every day about 1,288 women-owned companies are launched, an increase of 602 from the period 2011–2012; meaning, women start businesses twice as fast as men. Businesswomen are also to more eager to start entrepreneurial communities

15) 33% of women are engaged in their jobs compared to 28% of men


Job engagement levels can be used to measure job satisfaction. If so, then women have higher job satisfaction rates than men.

Working women in America statistics show that 50% of women were not engaged, 33% were engaged, and 17% were passively disengaged in their work, whereas the results for men showed the following: 53% not engaged, 28% engaged, 19% actively disengaged.

16) The global unemployment rate in women is 6%

(International Labor Organization)

Not only are women less likely to be involved in the labor force than men, but those who do are less likely to find employment. As of 2018, women employment statistics show that women’s global unemployment rate (6%) is around 0.8% higher than that of men. 

This translates into a 1.2 ratio of female-to-male unemployment rates. By 2021, this ratio will remain stable for most developed countries, and as for developing and emerging countries, there will be an increase, reflecting the ever-deteriorating position of women over the past decade in terms of global unemployment.

17) 74% of women are more likely to be employed in informal and lower-paying jobs in sub-Saharan Africa compared to 61% of men

(Quartz Africa)

Men vs women in the workforce statistics in Africa generally show that women are more involved in the informal economy than men. This leaves women exposed to a lot of difficulties such as exploitation, extreme poverty, and almost no job security. Another difficulty is that most policy support programs on the continent that are supposed to help and assist people tend to exclude women.

18) Manager positions are held by 62% of men and just 38% of women


The biggest factors that increase representation in the workplace are promotions and hiring. In these areas, women in the workforce are already at a disadvantage, which leads to reduced representation. Statistics show that for decades now — even though women have held more bachelor’s degrees than men — men are still more likely to be hired for entry-level jobs. These statistics also show that men are more likely to be hired into manager-level jobs or be promoted to the same; for every 100 men that are promoted to a managerial position only 79 women follow suit.


What percentage of U.S. women are working for income today?

(Status of Women Data)

The increased inclusion of women in the labor force has seen a significant change in the US economy since 1950. By 2014, almost 6 out of 10 women aged 16 and older (57%) were working outside the home, compared to just 33.9% back in 1950 and 43.3% back in 1970. Females now make up almost half (46.8%) of the US labor force. Nevertheless, in each state, women are still less likely than men to be in the workforce.

What percentage of the workforce is female?


In a lot of countries, women now account for at least 40% of the total workforce. The share of women in the labor force in countries like Canada, Japan, and the US is above 40% with percentages of 47.4%, 43.7%, and 46.9%, respectively. 

In India, the percentage of women in the workplace is still low with about 24.5%. Additionally, in the EU, the employment rate for women was 46% back in 2018.


There is still a lot that can be done to increase the participation of women in the workforce

For starters, people need to be more educated and self-aware if we are to lower the prevalence of discrimination around the world. Also, additional steps have to be taken in the workplace to encourage more women to take up leadership positions with adequate support in place. This will not only encourage other women to join the workforce but also increase female representation as well. 

Overall, we hope that these women in the workforce statistics have helped shed some more light on the state of the gender gap in the workforce. 


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