Women in the Workforce Statistics


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Report Highlights

  • In 2020, 38.8% of all persons in the labor force were women.
  • In January this year, the rate of women participation in the workforce was 57%, the lowest figure in the last three decades.
  • On average 55% of people receiving their pension are women.
  • The female gender makes up approximately half of the global population and about 46% of the workforce. For instance, in Australia, women make up 47.7% of employed persons. 26.1% work full-time whereas 21.3% are part-timers.
  • Women experience unprecedented loss of employment across the world. They are more likely to lose their jobs as compared to men.
Women in the Workforce
Women in the Workforce

Related statistics: Diversity Statistics in the Workplace.

The Female Experience in the Workforce

  • At the beginning of 2020, women held 38% of manager-level positions.
  • The overall number of women who dropped out of work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic was four times that of men.
  • 30% of company boards do not have women in them, as compared to a negligible percentage of 0.4% in the case of men.
  • 4% of Fortune 500 companies have female chief executives, compared to 92.6% that have men at the helm.
  • On average, women spend over 4 hours daily in unpaid labor compared to the 2 hours average for men.
  • In addition, 21% of women globally provide full-time care on an unpaid basis which prevents them from being part of the workforce.
  • As of 2019, teaching and nursing were the lead professions that employed women in America. These two professions also led in employing the largest number of mothers.

Women of Color in the Workforce

  • People of color constituted 40% of the entire population as of 2019. However, they face bias in employment or promotion in the workplace, with women suffering this fate the hardest.
  • For every 1000 men promoted to the manager position at the workplace, only 580 black women were promoted.
  • As of 2020, women of color collectively accounted for less than 5% of board seats in Fortune 500 companies. In the top 200 companies, only 6% of board seats were held by minorities’ i.e., Blacks, Latinas, and Asians.
  • 49% of black women feel that their ethnic background has made it harder for them to receive a raise or promotion at the workplace as compared to only 3% of white women who feel so.
  • 64% of white females in the US were in the workforce as of 2013. This is significant compared to persons of color; Hispanics – 14.7%, Blacks – 13.2% and Asians – 5.5%. People of color are mostly represented in menial jobs such as the provision of services and office & administrative support.
  • The unemployment rates among persons of color were higher than those in whites in 2014. 8.2% of Hispanics and 10.5% Blacks were unemployed, as compared to 5.2% of Whites. Only Asians ranked lower with 4.6%.
  • 7% of Hispanic women, 32.9% of Black women and 47 % of Asian women are employed in professional occupations as compared to a 44% proportion among White women.
  • On average, White women earn $12,000 more than Hispanic women and $6,000 more than Black women. They are only out-earned by Asian women who earn an average of about $6,000 more than them.
  • Only 18% of women of color make it to entry-level positions to be considered for promotion, as compared to 30% for White women.
  • Post-COVID, the number of employed Black women fell, with the employment rate being 10% lower than it was in 2020. The numbers are down 8.6% among Hispanic women and 5.4% among white women.
  • 64% of newly coming up businesses are owned by women of color.

Women in the Military

  • The United States has an army of about 476,000. Out of this, 74,000 are women, translating to a 16% proportion.
  • As of 2020, about 35,000 of Russian Armed Defence forces were women, representing about 10% of the total.
  • In 2019, The Republic of South Korea army had 12,602 women serving which represented a 6.8% percentage of the soldiers in active service.
  • As of 2014, there were 4,000 women in the Pakistani army out of 560,000 troops. The women are, however, banned from active military work. They are instead consigned to desk jobs and medical work.
  • Similarly, in India, women serve in non-combat roles such as logistics and medical work. They constitute 3% of the armed forces out of 1.2 million personnel serving in the military.
  • As of 2015, the number of women in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army was just approximately 5%, not showing any significant change from the 4.5% in 1994.
  • In 2020, there were 21 female defence ministers, 13%, across all the 159 countries having militaries.

Women in Technology

  • Women make up for 34.4% of employees in the biggest tech companies. They consist 14% of the total workforce in software engineering and 25% in computer science-related jobs.
  • The hiring of female software engineers has increased only a meagre 2% in the last two decades.
  • 3% of Black women occupy technology-related jobs, as compared to the 2% of Hispanic women and 6% of Asian women.
  • 50% of women in technology-related jobs say they have experienced gender discrimination at work, with incidents being rampant in the case of women of color.
  • Private tech companies that are headed by women gain a 35% higher return of investment as compared to those led by men.
  • In 2019, just 2.8% of all venture capital funding went to women-led startups, a figure which declined to 2.3% in 2020.
  • The percentage of leadership positions in IT firms occupied by women rose by 3 points from 21% to 24% between 2018 and 2019.
  • The retention rate in computer science jobs among women is 38% as compared to 53% in men.
  • Women earn 18% of computer science degrees in the US. They also occupied only 25% of all computing jobs as of 2020.
  • 24% of women who train as engineers remain in the field after completion as compared to 30% in men.
  • 38% of women reported being unsatisfied with their compensation at work in relation to men. On average, women in tech earn an average of $93,500 annually as compared to the $108,700 earned by their male counterparts in tech.
  • Only 37% of tech start-ups have at least a single woman on their board.
  • According to data from the World Bank, less than five countries had a workforce with more than 50% of women.
  • About 50% of women quit their jobs in the technology sector before getting to age 35 to take care of their children and transition to other forms of labor.

Women in the Healthcare Sector

  • In most countries, women consist approximately 75% of the healthcare workforce. However, only about 4 in 10 make it into leadership positions at their workplaces.
  • More than 8 out of 10 workers in nursing, and psychiatry are women.
  • The proportion of women in dentistry is expected to reach 28% by 2030.
  • Only 46% of the women in the healthcare workforce are doctors.
  • Women accounted for 30% of all paramedics and emergency personnel as of 2017.


  1. Fact over Time: Women in the Labor Force
  2. Women in the Workforce: USA
  3. Women in the labor force: a databook
  4. Labor force, female (% of total labor force)
  5. Women in Technology Statistics: What’s New in 2021?
  6. Feminisation of the health workforce and wage conditions of health professions: an exploratory analysis
  7. Women Hold 76% of All Health Care Jobs, Gaining in Higher-Paying Occupations
  8. No Room at the Top: 80 Percent of Healthcare Workers Are Women, but Few Make It to Leadership Roles
  9. Women make up 80% of health care workers—but just 40% of executives
  10. Time.com – Women Workforce
  11. Women Are Leaving the Labor Force in Record Numbers
  12. Women’s labor force participation rate hit a 33-year low in January, according to new analysis
  13. Gender workplace statistics at a glance 2021
  14. 19 Facts About Women’s Retirement Outlook
  15. Female soldiers account for 6.8 percent of S. Korea’s armed forces
  16. Global VC Funding To Female Founders Dropped Dramatically This Year
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