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In the fall ofwhen the New York Times and other media began reporting on widespread sexual harassment and assault by powerful male entertainment figures, many people were heartened. The conventional wisdom was that bringing the issue to light and punishing those responsible would have a deterrent effect.

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But the brutal demands of ambitious careers, the asymmetries of male-female relationships, and late-in-life child-bearing difficulties conspire against them. These realities take an obvious personal toll. But companies and the overall economy also pay a ificant price. Yet in —at the height of the U. How to avoid this waste of expensively educated talent? Business leaders and federal lawmakers can establish new policies that support working parents.

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Over the past half-century, women have strengthened their position in the labor force and boosted their economic standing by making gains in labor force participation, wages and access to more lucrative occupations.

But their progress on some fronts has stagnated in recent years, and large gender gaps persist at the top levels of leadership in government and business. The share of women in the labor force generally grew throughout the second half of the 20th century, but it has since leveled off.

Projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that in the coming decades women will continue to make up slightly less than half of the labor force.

One of the main drivers of increased labor force participation among women over the decades has been the sharp increase in the share of mothers in the workforce. That share has remained relatively stable since about For workers ages 25 to 34, the wage gap is smaller: Inwomen in this group earned 90 cents for every dollar a man in the same age group made. White and Asian women have narrowed the wage gap with white men to a much greater degree than black and Hispanic women.

For example, women today are just as likely as men to be working in managerial positions. Inmen were twice as likely as women to have these types of jobs.

Among adults ages 25 to 64, women are now more likely than men to have a four-year college degree. Women are also outpacing men in postgraduate education.

The challenge to business leaders

As of Marchthere are six female governors and five females in executive branch cabinet-level positions. Most Americans say women are equally as capable of leading as men are.

Similar shares say the electorate and corporate America are just not ready to put more women in top leadership positions. Men and women have different perspectives on how far the country has come in achieving gender equality, but this gender gap narrows when partisanship is taken into. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.

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Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Home U. Main More. Here are some key findings about gender gains and gaps in America.

Its strength lies in the fascinating visual detail that fleshes out a rather formulaic script

Share this link:. Geiger is a former associate digital producer and writer for Pew Research Center.

Kim Parker is director of social trends research at Pew Research Center. Popular on pew research. Are you a Core Conservative? A Solid Liberal?

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