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Women making gains in the workforce, but gender gap still exists

The federal government reports that the median earnings for women are 83% of the median earnings for men.
A figure of a woman and man on stacks of coins representing the gender wage gap.
Posted at 1:36 PM, Mar 01, 2024

Women have continued to make gains in the U.S. workforce, but the playing field is still not level with their male counterparts. 

According to the Pew Research Center, women made up 47% of the workforce in 2023, an increase from 30% in 1950. While more women have entered the workforce, they are still not paid as much as men. The federal government reports that the median earnings for women are 83 percent of the median earnings for men. 

Women, however, now account for 35% of workers in the country's 10 highest-paying jobs, up from 13% in 1980, according to Pew. Those careers, which typically pay more than $100,000 per year, include doctors, dentists and lawyers. 

How Women's History Month became an international celebration
A monument depicting suffragists titled

How Women's History Month became an international celebration

It started in New York City in 1909 as National Woman's Day. Now, Women's History Month is celebrated with events worldwide.


@scrippsnews 🎓 Did you know women outnumber men in the U.S. college-educated workforce? The Pew Research Center compiled stats showing some of the gender gains and gaps over the years. Are you surprised by the results? #WomensHistoryMonth ♬ original sound - Scripps News

Women are also now more prominent financial contributors to their households compared to 50 years ago. Pew Research shows that 45% of women who are in opposite-sex marriages are now the breadwinners. In the 1970s, about 15% of women were the breadwinners in their household, Pew noted. 

One area where women have largely not caught up to men is leadership positions in business and government. 

There are currently only 12 female governors in the U.S. and 25 women serving in the Senate. 

In the private sector, Pew reports that only 11% of Fortune 500 company CEOs are women. 

According to a February 2023 survey, women were more likely than men to say it's harder for a female to be successful in their workplace. 

More single women in US own homes compared to single men
Woman holds up house keys

More single women in US own homes compared to single men

The statistics are especially interesting when you consider that women have historically faced more home-buying hurdles than men.