3 Harsh Facts About Women in the American Workforce

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Women in the workforce are a highly politicized topic as of late, partly a product of how they’ve been tied into the minimum wage debate. Without getting too embroiled in partisanship views, let’s take a look at the role women play in the U.S. workforce.

1. Education: More for Less

According to the White House, women have progressed far more in educational areas than men in the last forty years. Women are more likely to graduate from college, they’re more likely to get a graduate degree, and men are more likely than women to obtain at least a high school education. However, looked at more closely, women are underrepresented in science and technology fields, according to the White House data, fields that ultimately tend to pay better once graduates hit the job market. The highest percent of women workers are found in education and health services, at 36 percent, or 24,087 workers in 2012, according to the according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report for May of 2014. The lowest percentage?

According to the report, 38 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 64 had obtained a college degree in 2012. Two of the highest paying jobs for women — lawyers at $1,636 a week and pharmacists at $1,871 — require graduate educations, as likely does the third job, chief executive, which pays about $1,730 each week. Women 25 and older with only high school diplomas made averages of $561 a week, while women with associate’s made approximately $697, and women with bachelor’s or higher made about $1,001.