Last week’s Department of Labor study on Women’s Employment During the Recovery provides a framework for understanding how the female workforce is recovering from the recession. The good news: the unemployment rate among women is lower than that of men. Part of that disparity results from the fact that women are more likely to be employed in the public sector. In addition, more women have college educations than do men, though more college educated men are working full time.
Women are underrepresented in some sectors, such as engineering, computer science, and architecture. Some of the areas expected to have the highest growth rates over the next few years, other than health care, still have a distinctly male focus.
The report collects and analyzes a large amount of data, including a dispiriting analysis of the cumulative effects of the wage gap. It then discusses the initiatives designed to give women more opportunities in male-oriented jobs, enforce equal pay laws, and increase workplace flexibility.
Almost two thirds of mothers are in the workforce.
The hurdles that face a truly equal workplace can look too tall to leap over. But we mothers can change the mindsets of the children who will join the companies and institutions, so that they do not expect pay or assignments to be based on gender, family responsibilities, or race.