Women and Iowa's 21st Century Jobs

Women are 51% of Iowa's population and make up 61% of Iowa's current college and university enrollment. Yet we earn, on average, $0.78 for each dollar earned by men for the same job, and even less when you compare women's average earnings to men's within most industries. At the same time, Iowa expects to have a surplus of 150,000 jobs in the next few years, with a shortage of qualified workers to fill them.

Never before have women in Iowa had so many opportunities to increase their education and income potential, and never before has Iowa's need for skilled workers been so great. As Iowa's business and economic climate changes, it's important for women to be aware of the most current information about which career fields offer the greatest prospects for advancement, flexibility, and compensation.

The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women believes that one way to close the wage gap between women and men is to encourage more women to enter Iowa's emerging high-tech, high-growth careers. We also believe in raising the public profile and compensation for traditionally female-dominated fields.

A gender segregated workforce, or one in which the contributions of one group of people go under-recognized, benefits no one. Specific strategies are needed to encourage women to enter non-traditional fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math or Building Trades Apprenticeships.

A report published by the National Women's Law Center details the ways in which women are underpaid in low-wage jobs. Click here to read the full report.