The American Lung Association Celebrates Women’s History Month

Join the American Lung Association in celebrating the contributions and impact of women during Women’s History Month (WHM), March 1st through March 31st! Women’s History Month began in 1981 and continues to celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements of women over the course of American history in a variety of fields.1 During the month of celebration, International Women’s Day (IWD #InspireInclusion) is recognized on March 8th, bringing awareness to the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the globe. This day marks a call to action for women’s equality.2

This year, the American Lung Association’s focus for WHM is on women in the workplace and how representation of women in media has influenced perceptions of working women. 

Throughout history, women’s representation in the media has been primarily portrayed as subservient to men. While the feminist movement has supported the equitable treatment of women, in many areas of media, they are still vastly underrepresented.3 

Below you will find some statistics for women in different fields of work and life, as well as our spotlight series with women of different backgrounds answering the question; “Share with us your thoughts on: How do you believe your job title or position is portrayed in the media and how does that differ from the reality of that role?”

Women’s History Month Information and Statistics

  • Census data in 2021 showed that 42% of managers were women, but overall women make up 47% of the workforce.1
  • Census data in 2021 showed that female managers were more likely to be younger and more educated, and less likely to have a child in the household than male managers.1
  • Full-time female managers earned 71 cents for every dollar earned by full-time male managers; this pay gap varied considerably across industries and racial and ethnic groups.4 
  • Women held 150 seats in the 117th Congress, which spanned January 3, 2021, to January 3, 2023, making up about 25% of Congress.5 
  • Despite Congress passing the Equal Pay Act in 1963, a wage gap remains. In 2020, women earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. 5 
  • Compared to White male managers, the pay gap for female managers ranged from 51 cents on the dollar for Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander women to 14 cents on the dollar for Asian women in 2021.6 
  • Between January 2000 and November 2022, women accounted for 85% of all childcare absences reported by parents. 7 
  • The Nobel Prize, bestowed annually to recognize intellectual achievement and academic, cultural and scientific advances, has been awarded to more than 900 individuals in the course of its history from 1901 to 2019. Only 53 of the winners have been women, 19 in the categories of physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine. 8  
  • Regarding acclaimed film awards, in the 92-year history of the Oscars, only five women have ever been nominated for the Best Director Award category. 8 
  • According to a study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, women made up only 29% of protagonists in the top-grossing films of 2019. 9

Page last updated: March 13, 2024

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