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The Willis Report

Why U.S. Women Are 'Winning'

"Winning" seems to be the hottest catchphrase these days - and it turns out women are in fact winning.

We're closing the ever-present gender gap; however, there are still major hurdles to overcome. But make no mistake— the world is changing and women are playing a bigger role than ever.
Both men and women are getting married later in life - and for many of those that are married - nowadays it's the men that are marrying up, at least in terms of salary.

A Pew Research Center survey found about a quarter of men made less than their wives in 2007, compared with just 4% four decades ago.

That may have something to do with education—and in that category women are actually outpacing men. As of 2009, nearly nine out of ten women had a high school diploma by the age of 19, that number is higher than men of the same age with degrees.

And more than a quarter of women had a college degree, compared with only 8% in 1970.

In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, women between the ages of 25 and 34 are now more likely to have a college degree than men of the same age. That statistic reverses a 40-year trend.

More women than men go to graduate school now, and that is translating into the boardroom, as women's' role in business is also rapidly increasing.

In the past 50 years the labor-force participation rate - the percentage of all adult women who are working or looking for work -has doubled to 61%.

And women are not just teachers, nurses or secretaries anymore.

In 2010, 15 of us were running Fortune 500 companies. Compare that to ten years prior, when only two of these companies had female CEOs.

The lofty trajectory is huge and will only get better in time. Not to mention, unemployment is higher among men as well.

So we're making huge strides in the economy, and huge strides in education.

But as I said earlier, we still have a ways to go before we're on an even playing field. The Journal points out that single- mother households are more common than single-father - which leads to more women living in poverty.

And here's the kicker— men still get paid more to do the same job. As of last month, women still make only 75 % of their male counterparts.

It's amazing how far we've come - and amazing how far we still have to go.

But until then... maybe I should ask for a raise.

Be sure to catch the Willis Report on the FOX Business Network every weekday from 5-6pm ET.

Gerri Willis joined Fox Business Network (FBN) in March of 2010. Willis is an anchor and personal finance reporter for the network.

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