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Report on Women, 50 Years Later Comments

  • By MP Dunleavey
  • March 08, 2011


Lady Liberty

It has been almost half a century since President John F. Kennedy established the Commission on the Status of Women, which issued the first comprehensive look at our gender back in 1962.

Now, a mere 49 years later, the government has issued a second survey of women’s progress: “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.”

Since we’re not going to get another survey until about 2060, let’s grab this one while we can—and give a nod to Women’s History Month while we’re at it.

When it comes to education and earning power, women have made major progress. Three times more women age 25–34 have college degrees now than in 1968; and 57% of undergrad degrees go to women.

We’ve narrowed the wage gap by 18% since 1979, and women account for 51% of workers in management and professional positions.

But despite our amazing progress in education, women still tend to work in lower-paying fields.

Men far outpace women in the high-paying “STEM” fields—science, technology, engineering and math. Only 7% of female professionals vs. 38% of males work in computer science or engineering.

Women are also three times as likely as men to work in administrative support jobs. And women make up just 14% of people in business and finance jobs.

This economy has been a wake-up call for many people, especially women, who lag behind on most economic indicators. And while we’re not suggesting you dash off an application to M.I.T. or Wharton, at least not this minute, ask yourself whether you could earn more by making different choices.

Even just slightly different.

Make the call. No one chooses a career because it pays less. But you could choose to earn more. How?

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