Written by Alexander Crawford

Recent data indicates that since the last recession, which saw a re-entry of women into the workforce as husbands were laid off, well-educated women are starting to exit the workforce again in a larger trend seen over the past 20 years. The reason may have to do with the faster-growing salaries of men versus women.
Reuters recently wrote about Susanna Mancini, now 50, who began a career as a lawyer at Citibank and was promoted over the years while giving birth to two children. However, in 2005, she halted her career when her husband's seven-figure salary started to eclipse hers.

"At that point, it was clear that my wage had become family pocket money. There was a real opportunity to do other things that did not require being chained to a desk," said Mancini. (via Reuters)

Economic Trends
Stefania Albanesi, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is the author of a new study soon to be published, which finds that between 1976 and 1992, there was 2.4% growth of college-educated women in the labor force.

The rise of all women in the work force is estimated to have increased GDP by 42% during 1920 to 1990, says Albanesi.

But from 1993 to 2006, there was a decline of 0.1% per year in college-educated women in the workforce. The result: "the labor force in 2008 had 1.64 million fewer such women than if the growth rate had kept up its earlier trend."

In 1975, male and female college graduates were making 43% more than non-college graduates. By 2008, men were making 92% more while women were making 70% more.

Albanesi gave one of the potential reasons as that described by Susanna Mancini, "In the last 20 years, wages for highly educated males increased so much that they dwarfed the family's second income, usually the one of their wives," said Albanesi.

Although more women returned to the workforce during the 207-2009 recession when their husbands lost their jobs or took pay cuts, Albanesi says to trend appears to be continuing. "Of all working-age women, 58.6% were either working or looking for a job in 2010, down from 59.2% in 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expected the rate to fall further by 2020." (via Reuters)

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in market cap over the last two years for the stocks mentioned below.

Business Section: Investing Ideas
This trend appears to be serving as a big headwind for U.S. GDP.

For a look at U.S.-traded companies with female CEOs, which at least symbolically encourage women to work, we compiled a list from Equities.com's top five female CEOs. Use Kapitall tools to dig deeper into these companies' stocks. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ): Offers various products, technologies, software, solutions and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. President and CEO is Meg Whitman.

2. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM): Provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. President and CEO is Virginia "Ginni" Rometty.

3. Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM): Procures, transports, stores, processes and merchandises agricultural commodities and products in the United States and internationally. Chairwoman and CEO is Patricia A. Woertz.

4. Pepsico, Inc. (NYSE:PEP): Engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. Chairwoman and CEO is Indra K. Nooyi.

5. Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE:KFT): Manufactures and markets packaged food products worldwide. Chairwoman and CEO is Irene Rosenfeld.

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Disclosure: Kapitall's Alexander Crawford does not own any of the shares mentioned above.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    A Day in the Life of an Equity Research Analyst

    What does an equity research analyst do on an everyday basis?
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged

    Find out about the PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged ETF, and learn detailed information about characteristics, suitability and recommendations of it.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares Large Cap Core Plus

    Learn information about the ProShares Large Cap Core Plus ETF, and explore detailed analysis of its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Core Growth Allocation

    Find out about the iShares Core Growth Allocation Fund, and learn detailed information about its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility

    Learn about the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility exchange-traded fund, which invests in low-volatility equities traded on the U.S. stock market.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Should You Follow Millionaires into This Sector?

    Millionaire investors—and those who follow them—should take another look at the current economic situation before making any more investment decisions.
  7. Professionals

    What to do During a Market Correction

    The market has corrected...now what? Here's what you should consider rather than panicking.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard Mid-Cap Value

    Take an in-depth look at the Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF, one of the largest and most popular mid-cap funds in the U.S. equity space.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Schwab US Broad Market

    Take an in-depth look at the Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF, an incredibly low-cost fund based on a wide selection of the U.S. equity market.
  10. Professionals

    Tips for Helping Clients Though Market Corrections

    When the stock market sees a steep drop, clients are bound to get anxious. Here are some tips for talking them off the ledge.
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Hard-To-Sell Asset

    An asset that is extremely difficult to dispose of either due ...
  3. Sucker Yield

    When an investor has essentially risked all of his capital for ...
  4. PT (Perseroan Terbatas)

    An acronym for Perseroan Terbatas, which is Limited Liability ...
  5. Ltd. (Limited)

    An abbreviation of "limited," Ltd. is a suffix that ...
  6. BHD (Berhad)

    The suffix Bhd. is an abbreviation of a Malay word "berhad," ...
  1. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What happens to the shares of stock purchased in a tender offer?

    The shares of stock purchased in a tender offer become the property of the purchaser. From that point forward, the purchaser, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!