Women’s Impact On The Economy, By the Numbers

Today is International Women’s Day, which this year is coinciding with a lot of debate on the subject of women’s rights, specifically regarding abortion, contraception and reproductive health. But it’s worth pausing for a moment to also consider the enormous contributions women are making vis-a-vis the global economy.

The World Bank predicts that the earning power of women will hover around $18 trillion by 2014, which is $5 trillion increase in current income, and more than double the estimated GDP for growing economic forces like India and China combined. So, in celebration of International Women’s Day, let’s take a look at the contribution that women are making, while bearing in mind all of the work there’s still left to do:

66 million: Number of American women currently in the workforce.

64: The percentage of mothers with children under the age of 6 that are in the labor force. 78 percent of mothers with children ages 6-17 were in the labor force.

60: The percentage of American women who are now the primary or co-breadwinner for their families.

87: Percentage of women who possess at least four years of high school or more education, as compared to 86 percent of men.

58: The percentage of all undergraduate degrees in the U.S. that were awarded to women in 2010.

50: The percentage of the total college educated population women accounted for in the U.S.

12: Number of Fortune 500 companies that have female CEOs.

1.9 million: Number of firms that are majority-owned (51% or more) by women of color in the U.S.

26: The percentage of vice presidents and senior executives that are female.

7: The percentage of directors on the world’s coporate boards who are female.

15.6: Percentage of elected parliamentary seats globally that are held by women.

18: Average percentage by which women worldwide are paid less than their male counterparts at work.

0.77: The female-to-male earnings ratio in the U.S., meaning female workers earned 77 cents on every dollar earned by a male worker. Progress on the pay gap in the last 10 years remains statiscally unchanged.

Although women have been making significant strides towards gender equality in the workforce, a survey carried out by Yale Law Women highlights a major discrepancy in the growing numbers of female attorneys (25-35 percent) in comparison to the small number of who are actually partners in firms (5-15 percent).

Fatima Najiy