In recent decades, millions of women have entered the workforce, and have become powerful players in shaping the economy.
In 1950, just one-third of women over age sixteen were employed. Today—even during this economic downturn—about six-in-ten work outside of the home.
In 1950, women accounted for 30 percent of the labor force. Today, 47 percent of all workers are women.
What’s more, women are filling jobs that require higher levels of education. In 2010 women with college degrees made up the largest percentage (33 percent) of women in the workplace. Today, women hold more than half of all managerial and professional positions.
Not surprisingly given all these changes, women are increasingly becoming the breadwinners for their families. In 1970, wives brought in an average of 27 percent of married couples’ income, compared to 37 percent today. Throughout this recession, women’s unemployment rate has consistently been lower than men’s.
Given women’s high levels of education, we can expect women to continue playing leading roles in the economy. America should celebrate the contributions of working women and continue to open doors so that women are better able to use their time and talents to contribute to our society.