The Rise of The Working Woman
Between 1997 and 2006, businesses fully women-owned, or majority-owned by women, grew at nearly twice the rate of all U.S. firms (42.3% vs. 23.3%). We estimate that by 2020, that number will be triple what it was 30 years ago.
“Women are working more, men are understanding their value as caregivers, women are primary breadwinners—I mean, we could go on and on and on. Things are different. So we can’t keep operating like everything is the same, and that’s what many of us have done. And I think it’s up to us to change the conversation.” (Michelle Obama, Former US First Lady)
It’s time to embrace the rise. For decades women have faced hardship, inequality & unfairness in the corporate workplace. But this is a reality that is changing, and we are all the way here for it! Trailblazers like Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, Serena Williams, Beyonce & Bozoma Saint John offer much motivation and inspiration to us all, but the truth is, there are many more individuals who are setting trends, breaking barriers and pushing the limits throughout corporate America.
Women in business is a thing now. And the rise is upon us! Here are some interesting numbers that will back up our claim:
In 2006, reports on women-owned (or majority owned by women) in the United States returned the following impressive statistics:
There were an estimated 10.4 million privately-held firms; This accounted for two in five (40.2%) of all businesses in the country; and
These firms generated $1.9 trillion in annual sales and employed 12.8 million people nationwide.
In a study of the Fortune 500, Catalyst reveals that companies in the highest percentile of women on their boards outperformed those in the lowest percentile by 53% higher return on equity, 42% higher return on sales, and 66% higher return on invested capital.
More than 9.4 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and generating $1.5 trillion in sales as of 2015.
Women-owned firms (51% or more) account for 31% of all privately held firms and contribute 14% of employment and 12% of revenues.
Over the past seven years, the overall increase of 8.3 million (net) new jobs is comprised of a 9.2 million increase in employment in large, publicly traded corporations, combined with a 893,000 decline in employment among smaller, privately held companies.
Truth is, as women, we have a lot to look forward to. We have tremendous upside and as bad as things may still look today, they are way better than how they used to be yesterday. Because of this, we must look towards the positive. We must focus on the potential advantage we will have in years to come, so that we can put our heads down, use our intellect and creativity to create positive change in our world.
Rise, woman, rise. You have all the power you need to be all you have been created to be. Use your resources, maximise your tools, work your network and build your network. There are very few excuses anymore. The sky is no longer the limit. What we do with what we have is completely up to us. Let’s act like it!