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Women are now a third of all small business

April 8, 2012

By Free Enterprise
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The White House released a report, Keeping America’s Women Moving Forward, which affirms the vital role that women play in the U.S. economy.

Women now make up nearly 50% of the American workforce. They are also increasingly the breadwinners in their families. They are majority of students in our colleges and graduate schools. They also own 30% of small businesses.

The report focuses on programs and policies that promote equality and economic security for women at all ages and stages in their lives. Some of the report highlights include the following:

– More than 16,000 Small Business Administration Loans totaling more than $4.5 billion were granted to women-owned small businesses
– Women and girls across America are benefiting from efforts to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, (STEM) degrees and careers because women who hold STEM degrees and jobs earn 30% more, on average, than women in non-STEM jobs.
– The Payroll tax cut provided an average of $1,000 of tax relief for nearly 75 million women.

Yet we know that women are still not getting the recognition and reward they deserve.

According to Catalyst, women suffer a pay gap that begins with their very first job. On average women make $4,600 less than men and that disparity increase over time. Catalyst also found that women hold just 3.4% of CEO positions and roughly 16% of board seats at Fortune 500 companies. A Center for Women in Business (CWB) and Georgetown University study discovered that barely 6% of executive positions at the mid-size business level are held by women.

We have a long way to go to get more women in the driver’s seat but CWB will create opportunities for women to advance in the business world and to find professional fulfillment through education and mentorship.

To learn more about CWB, visit http://cwb.uschamber.com/

  
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