The Growing Influence of Women in the Workforce


small business week

By Megan Gatlin

Recent statistics signal an incredible triumph in workplace equality and diversity. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article discussing the rise of women participating in the workforce, since 2016, women in their late 20s and early 30s accounted for an increasingly significant portion of the recent U.S. labor pool rebound. Recent government statistics underscore this shift as well. According to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the current unemployment rate for women is around 3.9%, nearly its lowest in 65 years. U.S. Department of Labor data shows that the gap between the share of men and women in the workforce has narrowed from 42.8% to 6.4%.

Women have strengthened their positions in today’s workforce and are key drivers for business performance and growth. As the workforce continues to rapidly evolve, human capital management (HCM) professionals—those supporting HR functions such as time and attendance management, recruiting, training, payroll, benefits, and more—need to acknowledge this growing influence of women, examine the long-term impact on day-to-day talent management, and adapt accordingly.

HCM professionals need to incorporate new factors at the workplace in order to get ahead of the curve and keep the diverse workforce happy and engaged. Effective HCM strategies will need to prioritize and manage workforce scheduling that recognizes and understands women and their needs. At Humanity, where cloud-based, app-driven workforce shift scheduling is the sole focus, we believe that scheduling platforms need to integrate the following attributes to support women at the workplace:

  1. Mobile: According to data from Nielson, adult women drive content consumption on smartphones and tablets, spending more time using handheld platforms for application and web usage than adult men do. In addition, women are also more likely to use their mobile devices for social networking. However, women use their phones for far more than just communication – they are also actively planning and managing their day-to-day finances, meals, trips, and much more. Cloud-based scheduling gives women the ability to easily communicate vacation time requests and shift changes from the convenience of their mobile devices, enabling them to take more control of planning their own schedules.
  2. Flexibility: According to data from Pew Research, women are spending more time in the labor force than they did in the past, but they are also spending more time on childcare. In 2015, 70% of mothers with children younger than 18 years old were in the labor force—up from 47% in 1975. In fact, today, mothers are the primary breadwinners in four out of 10 U.S. families. Cloud-based scheduling gives mothers the freedom to control and adjust their schedules around urgent childcare needs such as going to doctor’s appointments, picking children up from school, or taking care of sick children at home. For all women, whether they have children or not, the flexibility to put in vacation requests, select specific times that best match their schedules, and choose additional hours—all in one easy, simple platform—allows them to enjoy flexible work-life balance and stay productive at the workplace.
  3. Minimize Stress – According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, workplace stress can be prominent in women, as they are more likely to report feeling tense during work. With advanced smart-scheduling features that have full access to schedules, cloud-based scheduling allows both managers and employees to quickly identify shift conflicts as well as understaffed days. With the reduction of potential shift conflicts, scheduling errors and overworked employees stemming from outdated Excel sheets or hand-written schedules, cloud-based scheduling gives businesses and their employees the peace of mind they need to perform their jobs accurately.

As women make up larger portions of the workforce, businesses need to adopt new processes and technology that better meet the needs of all talent within the organization. Cloud-based scheduling offers and delivers the most reliable, efficient and simple way for women to help define long-term success at every level of the job.

Megan Gatlin is the Director of Customer Success at Humanity.

Women stock photo by Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock