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Beyond the Glass Ceiling

Women Making Their Way in the Business World

According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, 12.3 million businesses in the US are owned by women.  This accounts for 39% of the privately held companies in the US.  A minority, yes, but not a small one! This is not a trend unique to the United States, however.  According to a survey of 67 of the 188 countries recognized by the World Bank, there are about 224
million women-led companies contributing to the global economy.  Developing countries, in particular, are seeing a huge increase in the number of women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses.  Some believe that this growth is due, in part, to the elevated level of employee satisfaction found in companies where women are at the helm.


Why Did This Happen?

Savvy businesswomen saw opportunities in the market and took action.

In addition to the market, they also saw opportunities in the workforce. Women-led companies have tapped into the desire of both male and female employees to find workplaces that are more purpose-driven, provide better work-life balance, better communication, and overall job satisfaction.  Women-led businesses are meeting the needs of employees in a way that has never been done before.


How are they doing it differently?

Fifty percent of Americans (men and women) prefer working for women-led companies.  The following are just a few of the reasons why:

  • Women-led companies tend to be more mission focussed and driven, leading to greater employee buy in and engagement.
  • 71% of men and women are inspired to achieve more and strive for more senior positions when working under a female CEO.  
  • Collaborative company cultures allow employees to feel engaged and supported.
  • Female-led companies tend to provide employees with better family support including more robust parental leave, flexible schedules, and more!
  • Female entrepreneurs are providing support for each other through organizations and conferences like Women Tech Founders (WTF) and National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).
  • Contrary to the Queen Bee myth, female CEOs are 50% more likely to have female C-Level executives.


What is the result?

To begin with…they’re killing it!  According to Quantopian, a Boston based trading firm, Fortune 1000 companies led by women saw returns that were 226% higher than those with male CEOs. In a more entertaining example, Shark Tank shark, Kevin O’Leary indicated that 95% of the women-led companies he invested in met their financial targets.  That is a 30% lead over his male-led investments.

In a report entitled, “CS Gender 3000: Progress in the Boardroom,” Credit Suisse found, “…gender diversity or the greater representation of women in senior roles was not just ‘nice to have’ but linked to excess stock market returns and superior corporate profitability.”  

Women are no longer letting the glass ceiling define their future in business.  Through their ability to identify market needs, a sharp business acumen, and regard for employee engagement, women have smashed the ceiling and continue to climb.