Jennifer Koza
Social worker and writer in NYC

With 2018 being declared the "Year of the Woman", there are many movements to be excited about and to look to as signs of progress.   

Issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and consent — once considered too taboo and uncomfortable to discuss — are being pushed to the center of conversations.  More women than ever a planning to run for political office in 2018. 

Yet there is still work to be done. Here are six alarming statistics we should all be talking about this Women's History Month.  

1. Less than 6% of CEOs at S&P 500 Companies are Women 

Women make up almost half (47%) of the US workforce yet remain woefully underrepresented in senior leadership positions. Only 26 women (5.2%) currently hold the title of CEO at S&P 500 companies.  

Women are making more progress in low/mid-level management roles; currently 51.5% of management positions are held by women.  

2. 20.6% of Members of Congress are Women 

According to the most recent census, women comprise of just over half of the US population. Yet only 19.3% of members of the US House of Representatives and 22% of members in the US Senate are women. 

3. At Least 1 in 4 Women Experience Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 

At least 25% of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace.  And a study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision found that in some reports that number is as high as 85%.    

4. Women of Color Represent Almost 50% of the Low Wage Workforce 

Black women make up 17.6% of the low wage workforce, while Hispanic women make up 22.8% and Asian, Hawaiian, and/or Pacific Islander make up 6.7%.  Low wage jobs include food service, home health care, housekeeping, and retail and often offer little to no access to job and/or skills training and advancement.  

Beyond this, women of color face the largest workforce gaps including wages and representation in leadership positions.  

In S&P 500 companies, women of color only make up 9.8% of first/mid-level officials and managers, 5% of executive/senior-level officials and mangers, and just 3.8% of board positions.   

Of the 106 women currently members of Congress, only 4 in the Senate and 34 in the House of Representatives are women of color.  

5. Women Earn 20% Less Than Men On Average 

Women earn less than men in almost every occupation.  The amount varies depending on which variables you consider.  For example, wage parity is low among men and women aged 25- 35 and high when you look at jobs that are traditionally held by men.  There are also differences when you look at full time and part time work.  

But overall, the message is clear: women still earn less than men.  

6. 75% of Harassment Victims Experienced Retaliation When They Report Sexual Harassment at Work 

People often wonder why sexual harassment is not reported at work; the reason is because a victim is not only worried that they won't be believed, but that they’ll also be fired.   

That’s exactly what one study in 2003 found, “75% of employees who spoke out against workplace mistreatment faced some form of retaliation”.   Other studies showed organizations respond to sexual harassment reports specifically by inaction or minimizing.  

These numbers make it clear that workplaces aren’t doing enough to protect employees, particularly women, from reporting harassment.