The third week in October is observed as National Business Women’s Week by Business and Professional Women of Washington and by many cooperating groups and news media. The National Business Women’s Week is a salute to the achievements of all working women. It is celebrated during the last full week in October every year. The President of the United States customarily opens the week with a message, and many governors and mayors issue similar messages. The goal of elevating the standards for business and professional women is particularly emphasized.
But while there are many areas of business where women are taking the lead, recent reports show that the last year-and-a-half has taken a bigger toll on women than men. One of the areas where women are doing more is supporting their teams and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. They’re also more likely to be allies to women of color. The bad news is that instead of being celebrated, these efforts are not always recognized.
Despite advances that have been made, women are not yet on equal footing across all levels in the workforce. The entry-level is where women are best represented. The numbers drop fast across the higher positions.
Not to mention that women face all kinds of challenges when it comes to the workplace. September marked the weakest hiring this year, and an alarming number of women had to stop working again to deal with unstable school and child-care situations. The less-than-impressive employment report, with only 194,000 jobs added, illustrates the extent to which the recovery stalled as coronavirus cases surged last month, but it also signals something deeper: America’s unemployed are still struggling with child-care and health issues, and they are reluctant to return to jobs they see as unsafe or under-compensated.
Outside of large corporations though, women are stronger than ever in terms of representation when it comes to small business. Glenn Werner, Vice President of Investments at David Lerner Associates notes that, “Women-owned companies are growing much faster than every other segment of new business in our economy.”
With a rising number of women attending business school, many are using their degrees not as a one-way ticket to Wall Street, but instead to blaze a path with their own companies. By using strong resolve and keen decision-making in the face of adversity, women have found tremendous business success.
In fact, there were nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. as of 2019 and women-owned businesses generated $1.9 trillion in revenue for the U.S. economy in 2019.
The Small Business Administration even has a website devoted to women-owned businesses at www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-businesses. If you are one of the millions who are looking at taking the road less traveled, you can find resources there to help you start and finance your business. And you don't have to go it alone. There are experts available to serve as mentors or counselors to help on the journey too.
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