Women's Workplace Gains Likely to Outlast Recession

Long-term employment stats bound to reflect better academic performance
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2009 5:54 PM CDT
Girls form an impromptu spelling bee study session at their hotel in Washington, on Tuesday, May 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – The recession has been kinder to women than to men, and the reason is well documented: the most affected industries are those with lots of male employees, like manufacturing and construction. But another factor is driving a more permanent change, writes Greg Burns: Overall, women earn more college degrees. By 2018, women will be earning more college degrees in every category, the Education Department estimates.

"The biggest difference isn't so much who starts college, but who finishes. Men drop out at much higher rates," Burns writes for the Chicago Tribune. But it’s not just a college issue—women perform better academically at every age. The wage gap persists, driven mainly by the concentration of men in top-level executive positions. But the education disparity will inevitably shatter the glass ceiling. Burns wonders: Could what started as a “man-cession” turn into a “Great He-pression?”