While women continue to encounter workplace sexism, one consolation has been that at least that means more and more women areworking in the first place. But in a disheartening turn of events, a recent Bureau of Labor projection predicts that the proportion of women in the workforce will actually start declining around 2025 — and the possible reasons why are troubling.
According to a Pew Research analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the increase the United States has seen in working women has been slowing since the '90s. The percentage of working Americans who are women was at 46.8 percent in 2015, is expected to reach 47.1 percent in 2025, and will likely plummet to 46.3 percent by 2060. That may seem like a small decrease, but 186 million Americans are projected to be working in 2060. If women's participation remained at its 2025 rate, that'd be nearly 88 million women. At the projected 2060 rate, it's about 81 million — a difference of seven million women.
With women becoming increasingly educated and gender roles shifting, why would trends in workforce participation indicate the opposite? While the data themselves don't tell us the answer, the reasons why some women currently don't work say a lot. Here are several factors that could be contributing to this problem — because contrary to some people's opinions, sexism is still very real, and it's still setting us back left and right.