Women historically have been seen as homemakers and not serious business leaders. But that is rapidly changing. In recent years, women have made significant strides in business, shattering glass ceilings and breaking through stereotypes. Today, women are leaders in business, politics, and other areas of life. They are rising to the top of their professions by working hard and finding success in various industries. Here are five ways women are leading businesses and changing the landscape of the business world.
Women are no longer just starting their own businesses—they’re scaling them. In the past, women were more likely to start small businesses. But now, they’re scaling those businesses and taking them to all new heights. Thanks to technological advances, it’s now easier than ever for women to start and grow a business. And they’re doing just that. In fact, between 1997 and 2017, the number of women-owned businesses grew by 114%.
According to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express, women are starting businesses at 1.5 times the national average. Additionally, those businesses are achieving greater success faster than ever before. Women-owned businesses have continued to grow in 2021, with the number of new women-owned businesses increasing by an impressive 34.1% since 2018.
The total number of women-owned firms has grown from 8.6 million in 2017 to 12.3 million in 2021, accounting for 42% of all businesses across the US. Additionally, the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report found that women-owned businesses generate a combined 4.2 trillion in revenues and employ over 9 million people.
Making their mark
Women are making their mark in traditionally male-dominated industries. Industries like construction, manufacturing and automotive repair have long been considered “male-dominated.” But women are quickly making their mark in these industries. Today, women make up almost 10% of construction workers and nearly 30% of automotive technicians. And they’re not stopping there. As more women enter these industries, they’re bringing new perspectives and ideas to the table—ideas changing how these industries operate.
For example, Rachael Holt has broken through the male-dominated automotive repair industry. She is the founder and CEO of an all-women auto shop called Women Auto Know. Through her business, she provides top-notch repairs and maintenance services while empowering women to take control of their car care needs. Similarly, Louise King is making waves in the construction industry. She founded a company called Women Who Build, which helps connect women with job opportunities in the construction industry. Her work is helping to change the perception that only men can do specific jobs in traditionally male-dominated industries
Women are becoming more involved in the C-suite. The C-suite is the group of top executives in a company—think CEO, CFO, COO, etc. For many years, these positions were filled almost exclusively by men. But that’s changing. Today, nearly 20% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. And that number is only going to increase as more women enter the corporate world and rise through the ranks. While that 20% may seem low, its an incredible growth from the 5% of women CEOs in 1995.
As more women join the ranks of top executives, they are changing how companies operate. This includes developing strategies to close gender pay gaps, creating better policies for working mothers, and providing support for female employees. Additionally, with more women in leadership positions, greater diversity within organizations benefits both companies and their employees.
Addressing gender stereotypes
Women are helping to create equal opportunities and address gender stereotypes in the workplace. Many business leaders are finding innovative ways to close the gender pay gap, which is still an issue today. They’re doing this by ensuring that men and women receive equal pay for comparable jobs and that there are no discrepancies in salaries between genders. Additionally, more female executives are leading initiatives to ensure women have access to career advancement opportunities, such as mentorship programs or leadership training courses.
Business leaders are also taking steps to address gender biases at their workplaces. For instance, they are implementing policies promoting diversity and inclusion, such as creating leadership roles for underrepresented groups in their organization or providing additional resources for female employees. By addressing gender stereotypes in the workplace, business leaders are helping to create a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for everyone. Their work drives progress and inspires change in other organizations, ultimately helping shape a better future for all.
Women inspire more women
Finally, businesswomen inspire more women to pursue their dreams and strive for better opportunities. Through their success stories and accomplishments, female entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders show other women what is possible. Every day, more women are joining the ranks of the corporate world and taking on leadership roles—from launching startups to becoming CEOs or members of the C-suite.
The increased presence of female role models and mentors provides more significant support for aspiring female business leaders. Booking international Women’s Day speakers such as successful female entrepreneurs helps to empower and motivate women in the workplace. By setting examples, breaking down barriers, and paving paths for others to follow, women in business make a meaningful difference and influence other women to strive for success. This support can be invaluable for those who may feel discouraged or overwhelmed by entering a traditionally male-dominated industry. Having visible examples of successful women in various sectors serves as an inspiration and reminder that anything is achievable with enough hard work and dedication.
Times are changing—and so is the role of women in society. For years, women have been fighting for equality. And while progress is still made, women have come a long way. Today, more than ever before, women are leading businesses, breaking stereotypes, and inspiring other women.
Businesses benefit greatly from having more women in leadership positions. Women bring unique skills and positive perspectives to the table, which can help create more effective management strategies and improve outcomes. Additionally, greater diversity within an organization can help foster innovation and collaboration among employees.