Chamber Business News: Educated women comprise half of workforce for first time

Chamber Business News, September 10, 2019: Educated women comprise half of workforce for first time 

For decades, women have commanded the majority of the enrolled undergraduate population. At the turn of the century, roughly 57% of enrolled undergraduates were women; as of 2017, this proportion is almost exactly the same.

However, until recently, this educational majority hasn’t translated into a workforce majority. Since 2013, the portion of college-educated women in the workforce has hovered around 49%.

Last month, that changed; for the first time in history, women comprise more than half of the college-educated workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, the bureau counted 29.234 million educated women, compared to 29.069 million men; and although the difference may seem marginal, this is a crucial milestone for the female workforce.

“To the extent that women’s earning power would be on par with men, it’s going to lift a lot of women – in particular, single parent households or single mothers – lift them out of poverty,” said Karrin Taylor Robson, secretary of the Arizona Board of Regents. “There’s billions of dollars in pay disparity, and more often than not, in single parent households, they’re led by women. So, when women have a pay disadvantage, that necessarily translates into their household income, given their additional responsibilities for raising kids, which has disproportionately been borne by women in single-parent households.”

According to the Census Bureau, women-led households comprised roughly 26% of all households in 1980; 38 years later, this figure has jumped to 30.5%. Yet even with the added responsibilities that come with leading a household, women have noticeably less earning power than men.


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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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