Where is She?

Women currently make up 46.9% of the labor force in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, Household Data, annual averagesEmployment status of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and over by sex, 1972 to date. In fact, 57.7% of all women 16 years and over are in the labor force.

Where can we find out where women are working, what are their occupations, and how much they earn?   A number of resources provide this information.  Below are a selection of resources.

Labor Force Statistics: U.S.

For the United States, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to begin.  Statistics are available nationally and by state.  Not only do they provide monthly and quarterly population surveys which include employment by gender, but they also publish the annual survey: Women in the Labor Force: A Databook. This survey provides data on women workers including age, ethnicity, occupation, marital status and children.

A complete listing of U.S. government data can be found here: women and work.

Labor Force Statistics:  International

UNSTATS (United Nations). The section on Gender Info provides statistics for developed and developing nations.  Participation in the Labor Force is available from 1985-2010.

The International Labour Organization, part of the United Nations, provides historical data (1969- ) on employment by sex and economic activity for over 200 countries.  The data is available from LABORSTA (1969-2008) and, more recently, ILOSTAT, (2009- ).

OECD iLibrary provides detailed statistics by gender on employment, occupation and other indicators for developed nations.  Under Key Tables, click on Employment and Labour Markets: Key Tables from OECD.

Professional Women


OECD iLibrary also provides statistics for women entrepreneurs in the annual publication Entrepreneurship at a Glance. Click on this title in the Book section.

American Express OPEN prepares an annual report on the state of women entrepreneurs in the U.S.: State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

Compustat, available via WRDS, includes Execucomp a database of compensation of executives in U.S. publicly traded companies and can be used to find compensation for female executives by using the variable Gender = FEMALE.

Corporate Library

Corporate Library, also available in WRDS, tracks the number of female directors in 3,000 U.S. companies.  It includes annual corporate governance data sets with 300 unique variables from 2001-2010. In Step 2 select DirGender to identify female directors.

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