6 Alarming Equality Stats We Should All Be Talking About This Women's History Month

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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
April 12, 2024 at 9:13PM UTC
March marks Women’s History Month, a dedicated time to reflect on women’s achievements and progress across the globe. Yet while there have been promising strides made so far, there’s still significant work to be done. Here are six seriously disconcerting statistics we should be talking about this Women's History Month.

1. Less than 10% of CEOs at S&P 500 companies are women.

Women make up more than half of the US workforce and, yet, the number of women CEOs at S&P 500 companies is incredibly meager. As of 2022, women made up 6.2 percent of the companies on the list.

2. A quarter of members of Congress are women.

144 of 539 seats in Congress are held by women, which is just over a quarter at 27%. While this number is 50% higher than a decade ago, it’s still far below the share of women in the U.S. population.

3. Nearly 40% of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

38% of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, according to a study by non-profit Stop Street Harassment. Male-dominated industries or in environments with significant power differentials are associated with higher levels of harassment.
Remote work has increased levels of harassment at work, according to Project Include. After 2020, 26% of survey respondents said they’d experience an increase in harassment based on their gender.

4. Women of color face the largest workforce gaps.

Women of color represented 17% of entry-level positions last year, and few advanced to leadership positions. While white women held 32.6% of total management positions, Asian women held 2.7%; Black women held 4.4% and Hispanic women held 4.3%. Women of color face the largest workforce gaps, including wages and representation in leadership positions.  In S&P 500 companies, women of color only made up 12% of first- and mid-level officials and managers, 9% senior-level officials and mangers, and just 4% of C-suite positions. That’s perhaps why women of color face the largest wage gaps. Speaking of which...

5. Women earn about 20% less than men on average.

The gender pay gap has held steady over the last 15 years, according to Pew Research Center, with women earning 82% of what men earn full-time. The average is even lower for women of color. Black women, on average, made .63 cents to every non-Hispanic white man's dollar. Meanwhile, Native women are paid .60 cents; Latina women made just .57 cents. 
Women earn less than men in almost every occupation. While the gap has decreased since the 1970s as more women seek higher education and enter the workforce, the slow rate of change means that American women are still not expected to reach pay equity with men until 2059. Progress especially started slowing down in 2001 and has even somewhat stalled over the years — so, if it continues to lose momentum, women might not actually reach pay equity until 2119. That's almost a century away.

6. Over half of sexual harassment victims experience retaliation after reporting sexual harassment at work.

Why don't women always report sexual harassment at work? It’s because they often fear retaliation — as in, they could get fired for speaking up about their harassment.  The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that 55.8% of the complaints received during 2020 were “related to retaliation after reporting a sexual harassment incident.” 
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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.

How are you raising awareness and supporting women during Women’s History Month? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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