Are Women Destined to Overtake Men in the Workforce?

Posted: Jun 03, 2013 12:01 AM

I think the “war on women” is highly suspect.  The left created it during the 2012 election and stamped it with indelible ink on the backs of the Republicans.  For some reason people believed it and bought into the whole charade.

There is no “war on women”.  In fact, it seems to me that women have never been more powerful.  Just look at the statistics.  According to a survey conducted by Prudential Financial, the majority of American women are now the breadwinners in their households.  More than 1400 women were surveyed; 40% of them were single or divorced, 53% of them were the breadwinners in their households and one quarter of the married women said that they earned more than their husbands.

It is a stated fact that colleges are now graduating more women than men and in the under 30 group, women are beginning to earn more than their male counterparts.  In the largest cities women total half of the workforce.  Younger women seem to earn closer to what their male contemporaries do as opposed to older women.  There is still a wage gap between the genders, but women are gaining ground every day.

Over the past week, there have been numerous reports by the Pew Research Centerciting statistics on the number of working mothers in the U.S.  Four out of ten mothers are the top earners in their households.  40% of mothers are the primary breadwinner in households with children. In 1960 that number was 11%. Most of these are single mothers but the survey also states that a growing number of married women are making more than their husbands.

This trend is occurring because more and more women are seeking higher education and obtaining degrees in fields that were formerly male-dominated.  Another factor is that many women have been conditioned to work due to the massive influence of the women’s movement in the 60’s.

With economic changes over the past decades and a lack of manufacturing, industrial and construction jobs that were mainly dominated by men; the balance has shifted in favor of women who are more prevalent in mid-level jobs such as nurses, teachers and administrators.  The lagging economy has also demanded that more mothers enter the workforce just to keep families afloat.

Unfortunately with marriage rates falling to new lows and out of wedlock children comprising 40% of births, we are seeing a struggling group of women (mainly lower-educated and minority), who are falling below the poverty line and seeking government assistance.

There is an ongoing debate on what the effect of more women and mothers in the workplace will be on children and families.  45% of women think that children are better off if their mother is at home, 38% say they are just as well of whether the mother works or not.   57% of men believe that mothers should be with their children at home while 29% say it doesn’t matter if they are in the workforce.

There is no doubt however that there are growing numbers of working women and they are becoming more prominent players whether they have children or not.  At the highest echelon take for example a few of the top CEO’sin this country.  Marissa Mayer – Yahoo, Meg Whitman-Hewlitt Packard, Rosalind Brewer-Sam’s Club, and Indra Nooyi-PepsiCo to name a few.  These women are powerhouses and there are many more just like them standing in the wings.

How this will affect future generations remains to be seen, but if both men and women can find the right balance and share responsibilities for their children perhaps we can look to a bright future.  My fear is that with the economic and social pressures that we face whether at the highest income levels or the lowest, unfortunately the children may be the losers.

Morgan Brittany

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