A long historical slog: Women finally get close to the 50% mark

by Aman Singh Das | September 03, 2009

  • My Vault
At long last, some good news on the gender divide--at least in the workforce. In a report published in USA Today, women are finally reaching the 50% mark in the workforce. Well put by economist Heidi Hartmann as "a long historical slog" to get to this point, women held 49.83% of the roughly 132 million jobs in June--and their share is still growing. When it came to losing jobs in the recession, women have lost 1.66 million jobs so far, compared 4.75 million lost jobs for men.

This increase is partly due to the fact that the three sectors that have been growing through the recession--education, health care and government--have traditionally been dominated by women. Some of the worst hit areas, meanwhile, have been in manufacturing professions (particularly the auto industry) and construction--jobs typically dominated by men.

While I have written often and at great lengths about women having suffered equally during the recession--especially when we talk about diverse women in the executive suite--it is telling that despite all the mass layoffs and crumbling companies, they have continued to get hired and kept pace with the statistical fight. It's not a win yet, but these numbers show promise.

For the complete USA Today report, click here.

On another note, Diane Sawyer will take over World News on ABC come 2010, meaning two out of three major prime time news networks will be anchored by women (the other being Katie Couric over at CBS). It's striking to see the timing of this announcement, and the side note that ABC honchos spent a week trying to convince Charles Gibson to rethink retirement. This is bittersweet news for those of us who have been following the media forays into female anchoring. Ms. Sawyer has been in news for many decades and this comes to her at the tailend of her career. Yes, good news. A little late, however? Remember at what age Barbara Walters got her own talk show?

Filed Under: CSR

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