The Small Business Administration has designated October as National Women’s Small Business Month, a time when we all can celebrate and share the numerous accomplishments women have made in the world of small business.
Despite their ever-growing successes, the National Women’s Business Council admits there are still some barriers preventing women from successfully starting and growing businesses—and let’s hope they’re addressed as quickly as possible. In the meantime, let’s take a look at three facts showing how women are becoming increasingly powerful in the professional sphere.
1. Men still dominate CEO roles at major corporations, but women are increasingly landing powerful positions.
The S&P 500 is dominated by companies that have male CEOs.
According to a list from earlier this year, only 22 of the 500 CEOs in the S&P 500 are women, representing a paltry 4.4%. Some on the list are people you have probably heard of, including Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and HP’s Meg Whitman. But perhaps you didn’t know that Indra Nooyi heads Pepsi, Marillyn Hewson holds the reins at Lockheed Martin, and Mary Barra is in charge over at General Motors.
While they are vastly underrepresented on that list, women are increasingly landing other top positions within major companies. For example, there were only 44 women serving as general counsel at Fortune 500 companies in 1999. By 2011, that number had shot up to 108, an increase of 245%.
Without a doubt, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to improve these figures. But major corporations appear to at least be heading in the right direction.
2. Women continue to own more and more small businesses.
A recent survey by American Express revealed a ton of encouraging statistics about women-owned businesses in the United States. Here are some of them:
- In 2014, there were 9.1 million businesses owned by women in the United States. Together, these companies generated upwards of $1.4 trillion in revenue and employed 7.9 million people.
- Women create nearly 1,300 businesses every day.
- While the number of businesses in the United States grew 47% between 1997 and 2014, the number of women-owned businesses grew 68% during that same time period.
- Between 2007 and 2014, employment at men-owned companies declined while women-owned businesses added 274,000 jobs.
- Altogether, women own 30% of all companies in the United States.
The Census Bureau reports that 90% of the companies owned by women are small businesses.
3. Minority women are becoming small business owners at a rapid clip.
According to the Atlantic, business ownership for minority women has shot up 265% since 1997. Now, 32% of all women-owned businesses are owned by minority women. Together, these estimated 2.9 million firms employ 1.4 million people and generate $226 billion in annual revenue.
Are you a minority woman who’s looking to start a business? The Small Business Administration offers a wealth of resources that can help you on your journey. There also a number of grants you may qualify for. Finally, if you’re looking to become a certified women-owned business, check out this handy resource from Inc.
Happy National Women’s Small Business Month!