Women and Work – Rutgers study statistics


Why so many working poor women/mothers? Biggest reason is lack of access to appropriate training to increase skill levels.

A recent Rutgers study suggests online learning, conducted in easy-to-reach locations at off-hours times, is the answer. In a pilot program conducted in New Jersey, the results were dramatic. Average wages increased by 14% and many women in the program went on to enter college or community college programs.

ALL the women felt this online program was the only way they would have been able to access training like this.

  • Flexibility in time and location–Work around their schedules–Laptop computers
  • Helps alleviate childcare demands–Age of children is important–Family literacy effects
  • Helps alleviate transportation demands–Access to courses not available in local area
  • Participation in the program increases women’s confidence and self-esteem[italics mine]

This is becoming a recurring theme in my networking, reading and interviewing lately. That sometimes all a woman needs is someone to show her, give her the facts, support her curiosity, and help her fulfill her obligations while learning.

It’s a catch-22 for women. They want to be good mothers, good friends, good daughters, and–in the case of married women–good spouses. These are huge self-imposed–and society-approved–assignments that don’t leave much time for a woman’s own growth. But not taking time to nurture yourself can increase any woman’s sense of being less important than others.

Here are some of the study’s stats:

  • 2/3 of married women work
  • 60.7% of mothers with children under the age of 3 work.
  • 47% of women are on their own. 27% are single and 20% are divorced, separated or widowed.
  • Single women head 18% of all families.
  • Women’s labor force participation is expected to grow from 1.5 million to over 2.3 million in 2015.

In the nearly 40 years since the Equal Pay Act passed, the pay gap between men and women has only narrowed by less than a half. Overall, women earn about 74% of men’s wages. Compared to men of the same race

  • White women earn 70% of men’s wages
  • Black women earn 83% of men’s wages
  • Hispanic women earn 87% of men’s wages
  • 2 out of 3 working women earn less than $30,000 per year
  • 9 out of 10 working women earn less than $50,000

Many thanks to Dr. Mary Gatta for her work. View the complete Rutgers Center for Women and Work slide show here.

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