June 2016 Issue - Labor Issues
June 28, 2016

Women @ Work

Source: NYSUT United

Women's role in the labor force and leadership positions has grown dramatically, according to the Pew Research Center.

The labor force participation rate for American women has risen steadily since the 1960s. In fact, mothers were the sole or primary breadwinner in a record 40 percent of all households with children in 2011.

The share of female workers who are labor union members or are covered by a union contract nationally is 11.9 percent, and ranges from a low of 3.8 percent in North Carolina to a high of more than 1 in 4 female workers (25.7 percent) in New York State.

The gender pay gap has narrowed over the last five decades, especially for young women just entering the labor force, but it still persists. As more women have entered the workforce, the share of women in top leadership jobs has risen, but they still make up a small share of the nation's political and business leaders relative to men.

Why the continued disparity? While Americans say women are every bit as capable of being good leaders as men, 4 in 10 believe they are held to higher standards than men and that the U.S. is just not ready to put more women in top leadership positions.

— NYSUT Women's Steering Committee