March is Women in History Month. Emergent Safety is a proud woman-owned organization that supports women in the workforce. The last 100 years have been a time of tremendous change for women, particularly their participation in the labor force. We hope to be a part of even more change in the coming years!
Early in the 20th Century, just 20% of women in the United States worked for pay, and just 5% of those were married. Between the 1930s and the 1970s, women’s participation in the labor force rose, especially among married women. By 1970, half of single women and 40 percent of married women were working for pay.
Women of prime working age continued to enter the workforce in growing numbers, and the percentage peaked in the late 1990s at 76%, where it remained until the COVID-19 pandemic. As of January 2021, women’s labor force participation had dropped to 57%, the lowest number since 1988. School and daycare closures related to the pandemic forced most of these women to leave the workplace. However, as the country completely reopens, we are hopeful women are able to return to their occupations, as companies desperately need labor.
Full time employed women still earn about 17 percent less than men, on average. A woman’s average weekly earnings vary based on her level of education. When compared within the same industry, and similar education and experience levels, women still earn about 10% less than their male counterparts. At Emergent Safety, we have women in top administration and are proud to support equal pay.
Women in the labor force will continue to be an important issue in the coming years, as there is a significant relationship between a country’s per capita Gross Domestic Product and women’s labor force participation rate according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We look forward to seeing women continue to succeed in the workforce.