PowHer The Vote: Better Jobs and Fair Wages

Historic stereotyping has limited employment options and opportunities for women resulting in women being funneled into low paying “pink-collar” jobs and excluded from networks, power and access to capital, all critical to advancement.

In female dominated jobs wages are not only low, working conditions are challenging and often dangerous. Service industry workers additionally are dependent on tips, making them more vulnerable to sexual harassment.

American women are missing out on opportunities to build lifelong careers that can support their families at the same time that companies need more skilled workers, especially in the STEM and trade industries. To bridge these gaps, more training programs are needed, and women with low-wage jobs can repurpose and polish their skill-sets to higher paying jobs with similar requirements. Not only will it allow women and their families to escape the poverty that often results from low-wage jobs, it will strengthen the economy.

Join us for our #PowHerTheVote for Better Jobs + Fair Wages Take Action Hour Thursday, October 6th from 1-2PM!


This factsheet is a part of PowHer the Vote, a campaign to ignite and equip New Yorkers to advance women’s issues in the 2016 election.

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Poverty rates for tipped workers
are about twice as high as rates
for workers overall


Of women in America are in the higher
paying careers in construction.

The percent that women represent of those
working in STEM fields in
New York State

What’s Happening In New York?

  • 39.2% of NY female-headed families live in poverty.
  • In total, women represent 30.8% of those working in STEM fields in New York State, and 28.8% of those working in STEM nationwide.
  • Despite New York’s recent minimum wage raise, tipped workers were completely left out.
  • Poverty rates for tipped workers are about twice as high as rates for workers overall.

What’s Happening Nationally?

  • Women represent two-thirds of minimum wage workers in America.
  • Minority women comprise fewer than one tenth of employed scientists and engineers.
  • Only 2.6% of construction workers in America are women, the same number as 30 years ago.
  • If just 10% of women workers moved into similar but higher paying jobs,their median earnings would increase by more than 50%.
  • The construction industry will need another 1.6 million new construction workers by 2022.

Key Terms

  • STEM:  An acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Non-Trad Jobs: Refers to jobs available for women in construction, utilities, maintenance, green, and transportation industries.


One Fair Wage (ROC United)

Pathways to Equity (Institute for Women’s Policy Research)

Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing (AAUW)