Women have made great strides in various industries over the last several decades. Despite those strides, women still face many obstacles in the professional arena, including the gender pay gap. Business Insider reports that the median full-time, year-round female worker made just 81.6 cents for every dollar her male counterpart made in 2018. Furthermore, the salary resource PayScale indicates research shows that the uncontrolled gender pay gap has decreased by just $0.07 since 2015.
Though the pay gap must be addressed, women have made strides unrelated to compensation. For example, a report from the U.S. Department of Labor released in January 2020 indicated that 95 percent of the net jobs added in December 2019 went to women. At the same time, women held just over half of all payroll jobs in America for only the second time in the country’s history. The first period was during the Great Recession, when layoffs predominantly affected male workers.
According to NPR, the growing number of women on payroll could reflect a long-running evolution away from male-dominated industries toward the service side of employment, where women seemingly have an advantage. However, this may not be the only reason why women had been slowly edging out men prior to COVID-19.
The popular social media network and career resource LinkedIn analyzed more than 20,000 job applications on the job-hunting site Movemeon back in 2016. Some trends emerged during that analysis. Women were more likely to be invited for an interview after applying to a job, but they were also performing better at those interviews. Data indicated each application made by a woman was 35 percent more likely to result in a female hire compared to a man. Furthermore, women viewed 20 percent fewer jobs than men and were still finding success getting hired. The research indicated men were competing more for jobs but being hired less often.
An area where men still excel regards getting recruiters to open their social media/job-hunting profiles. In 2019, LinkedIn indicated recruiters were 13 percent less likely to click on a woman’s profile on the site when she showed up in a search, and three percent less likely to send a woman an InMail after viewing her profile. To combat this bias, more companies in the future may implement hiring that removes key identifiers like names and photos from candidates’ applications to judge applicants solely on their merits.
Despite the advances women have made in the professional arena, the United States Department of Labor indicates that females accounted for the overwhelming majority of all job losses in December 2020 due to the pandemic’s ongoing effect on the economy. The National Women’s Law Center says that, since February 2020, women have lost a net 5.4 million jobs due to the economic fallout from the pandemic.
Further analysis of women’s mark on the employment sector may be skewed until the economy recovers from the pandemic. But while the pay gap needs to be addressed, women have made great strides in other areas.