I Knew I Could Do This Work: Seven Strategies That Promote Women’s Activism and Leadership in Unions

Amy Caiazza

December 1, 2007
  • ID: I917

Women are an increasing proportion of union membership, thanks to their higher labor force participation and growing unionization in the jobs they dominate, such as nursing, teaching, and clerical jobs. As of 2004, 11 percent of female and 14 percent of male workers were unionized; in all, 44 percent of union members are women. Although women are still a minority of the unionized workforce, the majority of new workers organized over the past two decades has been women, and soon women will be the majority of union members. In some unions, women already are the majority. For example, as of 2000, women are 60 percent of the American Federation of Teachers. They are 52 percent of members of the America Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), 50 percent of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and 51 percent of Communications Workers of America.