News

Women Are Still Terribly Underrepresented in Business and Politics

March 23, 2017

Women make up just 19.4% of Congress

Although some gains have been made over the years, women remain woefully underrepresented in leadership roles across the United States.

The gap in representation is particularly obvious in the political sphere. Despite making up 51.4% of the U.S. adult population, women constitute only 19.4% of Congress, with 21 women serving in the Senate and 83 in the House of Representatives, according to new data from the Pew Research Center examining women’s representation in state and federal government and Fortune 500 companies.

This figure puts the U.S. near the middle of the pack compared to other countries. It ranks 100th out of 193 countries in terms of women’s representation in parliaments, according to data compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Only 27 women run Fortune 500 companies, up from last year by six. Though small, gains have certainly been made in this area; in 1995, not one Fortune 500 company had a female CEO. More significant improvement has been made across Fortune 500 company boards, where the share of women increased to 20.2% in 2016, up from 9.6% in 1995.