Women in the Workforce: How States Environments Affect Female Labor Force Participation

While more and more importance is being placed on providing effective services and conveniences for mothers in the workplace, not nearly enough emphasis or discussion is being placed on the more significant issue of the environment and culture surrounding women in the workforce. Though women’s groups and dedicated spaces for breastfeeding mothers are positive additions to places of employment, broader aspects of women’s environments are significant in affecting female participation in the labor force. 

Environmental factors faced by women in the workforce can influence their labor force participation by affecting their ability to participate, sentiment towards participation, or both. If female labor force participation rates increase, especially given the current low unemployment rate the nation is experiencing, productivity will also increase, benefiting our economy as a whole. 

Nonetheless, lack of gender diversity in the labor force, particularly in high-pay, high-skill jobs such as STEM occupations, has long been and continues to be a problem in the United States. This paper focuses on mapping potential causes of low female labor force participation by measuring prominent components that affect a woman’s environment in the workforce.

Updated/Published June 26, 2019