2020 Women in Business & Leadership

Women in the Workforce

The women Prescott LIVING is featuring in this year’s Women in Business section have much in common — talent, leadership skills, pride in the community we all call home, plus grit and determination.

They are CEOs and CFOs, health-care practitioners, entrepreneurial shop owners, service providers, financial professionals, social service providers, government leaders and more. They built their careers from the ground up, either by moving up within their employers’ companies or starting a business/company of their own. You might recognize some of these women, but many are likely new to you.

View 2020 Women in Business & Leadership Profiles…


The role of women in the workforce and of work in women’s lives has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. By 1970, 50% of single women and 40% of married women were in the workforce. It was during that decade that younger women began to anticipate they would spend much of their lives in the labor force in pursuit of a career rather than becoming a homemaker or taking jobs when the family needed additional cash.

This led more women to attend college and earn advanced degrees in preparation. Regulations became more favorable with the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978. 

In December 2019, women made up just over 50% of the workforce, a level they had been hovering around for the past few years. The majority are college graduates and hold 29% of senior managerial positions. They make up 75% of human resources managers, the highest of any sector. Thirty-two Fortune 500 companies now have a female CEO. 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2017


Top Occupations for Women

Occupations with highest median annual earnings for women

Physicians and surgeons – $171,880

Nurse anesthetists – $160,297

Dentists – $126,690

Pharmacists – $120,173

Architectural and engineering managers – $119,843

Chief executives – $111,236

Lawyers – $106,837

Optometrists – $102,375

Actuaries – $101,188

Nurse practitioners – $100,914