One hundred years ago, 5,000 women marched on Pennsylvania Avenue for the rights of women to vote. Fifty years ago, President Kennedy signed the “Equal Pay” Act giving women the right to the same wages as men.
Even today, March 8, marks over 100 years of International Women’s Day which started in 1911 and was seen as the birth mother of Women’s History Month. In honor of the women who have fought hard for the past 100 years, let’s assess how far women have come in the workplace.
- Women make up 47 percent of the total labor force now.
- Women are working in more management roles: “The largest percentage of employed Asian, white, and black women (46.1 percent , 40.6 percent, and 33.8 percent, respectively) worked in management, professional, and related occupations. Hispanic women showed their strongest attachment to service occupations at 33.2 percent.”
- Women made up over 51 percent of “all workers in the high-paying management, professional, and related occupations”
- Combat roles have even been opened up to women in the military in over a dozen nations, now including the U.S.
Women are moving to high profile positions, such as Sheryl Sandberg the CEO of Facebook and Marissa Mayer the CEO of Yahoo. These women are creating waves in business models and inspiring innovation.
With blatant discrimination against women long gone from the workplace, there is still work to be done. On March 5, the Huffington Post reported that, “One year after graduation, women are still only making 82% of what their male colleagues earn, according to a report by the American Association of University Women.”
The article also provides advice on ways that women can continue to decrease this gap. Women have come a long way in the public sector, the legislation is in place, now it needs to be practiced.