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How Many Women Are in the Workforce?

The number of women in the workforce varies significantly by country. In 2009, 62.6% of women in Canada had jobs, while only 38.2% of Italian women were employed. In the United States, 59.2% of women participated in the workforce, an increase of almost 16 percentage points since 1970.

More about women in the workforce:

  • In many Middle Eastern countries, women are more likely to graduate from universities than men, but they still lag behind men in holding jobs.

  • Despite increased numbers of women in the workforce, women are less likely than men to hold executive and upper-management jobs. The reasons for this so-called "glass ceiling" are varied. Some sociologists blame society's expectation that women will become the primary caregivers of children.

  • In 2010, the countries with the highest female employment rates were China, Sweden and Finland.

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