Tracking the long, hard path that's led women to outpace men in the US workforce — and the challenges they'll still face in the 2020s
Women now make up over half of the payroll labor force, and the industries where they are concentrated are growing better than the rest of the economy. Women-owned businesses employ more than 6.2 million workers and generate $1.2 trillion in revenues, but that only accounts for 8% of the total private sector workforce and 4.3% of total revenues. There are around 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the US, and business ownership is a relatively new right for women in some states. Just 40% of businesses are owned by women. "Despite the incredible growth, we are still far from reaching gender parity," a women's business organization has said, "and those numbers are not increasing as quickly as the number of new firms." Visit BI Prime for more stories.
More than half of US employees are now women, but just 40% of businesses are women-owned. Female workers now make up over half of the non-farm payroll labor force, according to the latest employment numbers that show women just edging out men, 76.2 million to 76.1 million. Within the education and health sectors, women hold over 77% of jobs, economist Betsey Stevenson noted in a post on Twitter, adding "perhaps the most important issue is that women are working where jobs are growing." "Health care added more jobs in 2019 than 2018, while jobs grow[th] slowed substantially in mining, construction, transportation & warehousing, and construction," she wrote. But these gains in workforce representation aren't exactly translating into roles at the top of the nation's businesses, according to the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). In a blog post, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses put the numbers into a larger context: "Despite the incredible growth, we are still far from reaching gender parity." "Women-owned businesses account for just 8% of the total private sector workforce and 4.3% of total revenues, those numbers are not increasing as quickly as the number of new firms," the post continued. New laws and new opportunities Part of the discrepancy is due to the fact that business ownership is a relatively new right for women. As recently as 1988, women in some states were legally prohibited from obtaining business loans without the co-signature of a male relative. That year, Congress passed the Women's Business Ownership Act, which banned that form of state-sanctioned sex discrimination and authorized a new set of programs to foster the development of women entrepreneurs. Today, there are more than 12.3 million women-owned businesses, and women have grown to represent roughly 40% of all business owners. Their cumulative economic impact of these entrepreneurs is significant. An American Express analysis of the US Census Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs found that women-owned firms with annual revenues of more than $1 million, employed more than 6.2 million workers, and generated $1.2 trillion in revenues. But those top-performers represented less than 2% of all women-owned businesses, as 9 in 10 of women's businesses earn less than $100,000 per year. In addition, the study found that most women are working solo, and said that most businesses wait to hire their first employee until after they cross the $100,000 revenue threshold. Entrepreneurs of necessity The study describes many of these self-employed women as "necessity entrepreneurs," or individuals who cannot find full-time employment elsewhere. Necessity entrepreneurs do not tend to hire additional employees, and typically return to wage-based employment when economic conditions improve, the report explains. According to another organization, the National Women's Business Council, there are more than a million millennial women entrepreneurs, but millennials are starting businesses at lower rates than their parents did. One reason the Council survey found is that millennials are more educated, diverse and indebted than prior generations. Survey respondents said factors like the Great Recession, student debt, and "side hustles" significantly shaped their attitudes about entrepreneurship. Lastly, the American Express analysis credits women of color with being the "driving force behind the growth of women-owned businesses" in the last 11 years. The American Express report called the past half century "uneven" and called for greater investment in and support of minority women business owners as a way to maximize broad economic gains and local community improvements. As a new decade begins, there's no question that there's still a long way to go.SEE ALSO: Women entrepreneurs share their top tips and strategies for running their companies, and how to be a successful leader Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Taylor Swift is the world's highest-paid celebrity. Here's how she makes and spends her $360 million.
More like this (3)
Female founders may not receive as much venture funding as their male counterparts, but they're more...Female founders may not receive as much venture funding as their male counterparts, but they're more likely to start businesses, according to a recent report by Visa. In honor of women who are shaping business and leadership, we've rounded up 18 female founders who started their companies by themselves and drove them to success. These women worked, pitched, applied, and saved their way to the funding they needed to grow. Today, they maintain full ownership of their businesses, or otherwise share ownership with their cofounders. They bootstrapped their companies without outside investment (though some may take equity soon). Subscribe to Business Insider to read how these female founders funded and grew their businesses. SEE ALSO: The 10 US states where women have the best chances of growing a business and getting the funding they need, ranked DON'T MISS: 3 funding factors women entrepreneurs looking to pass $100,000 in income need to know before applying for a loan or credit Lulu Cordero, founder of Bomba Curls Lulu Cordero created a natural remedy for thinning hair out of her kitchen. Now she runs the brand full-time and is building a network of influencers. She reveals how she used her side hustle to save up $5,000 and launch a direct-to-consumer beauty brand with a waitlist of 2,000 customers » Maghan Morin and Jeanine Suah, cofounders of Thynk Global Maghan Morin and Jeanine Suah started their coworking, event, and retail space Thynk Global to be a hub that would inspire people to produce their best work. They especially wanted to provide more career and business opportunities for women and people of color, for whom they'd seen a huge economic gap in accessing work space. They explained the action steps they're taking to recession-proof their business » Plus, here's the spreadsheet they used to help 80 entrepreneurs in Miami set business goals, manage expectations, and meet deadlines with a 95% success rate » Venita Cooper, founder of Silhoutte Last year, Venita Cooper launched an art gallery inside a sneaker store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Though the pandemic forced her brick-and-mortar store to temporarily close, she moved her sneaker and art experience online. Here's how she leveraged local business resources and classes in her city to start her store » Onikah Asamoa-Caesar, founder of Fulton Street Books Onikah Asamoa-Caesar owns Fulton Street Books, a bookstore and cafe in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that provides a safe space for marginalized communities. She raised a total of $250,000 for her business through a mix of loans, personal funds, and a crowdfunding campaign. Here are the two steps she recommends entrepreneurs consider when funding a new business » Jaclyn Johnson, founder and CEO of Create & Cultivate CEO Jaclyn Johnson has self-funded two multimillion-dollar companies and landed on Forbes' "30 Under 30" list in 2015. She shares 5 secrets to successful bootstrapping all entrepreneurs should know » Lisa Qu, founder of Lisa Qu women's clothing line Lisa Qu is a Gen Z entrepreneur and fashion designer who was featured on Forbes' "30 Under 30." She bootstrapped her $250,000 women's clothing line from her own savings and her parents' retirement savings. Read the exact pitch she used to convince her parents to loan her their savings just years before they planned to retire » Deidre Mathis, founder and CEO of Wanderstay hostel Deidre Mathis has won $75,000 in 12 pitch competitions since starting her hostel business, Wanderstay. The hostel is in Houston, Texas, and it offers shared dorms and private rooms for $35 to $60 per night. She explained how entrepreneurs can nail their business pitches » Stephanie Nadi Olson, founder of We Are Rosie Palestinian-American Stephanie Nadi Olson bootstrapped a $5 million platform matching freelancers with brands and agencies. Here's how she's taking on Accenture, McKinsey, and the biggest marketing companies in the world with independent talent » Cate Luzio, founder and CEO of Luminary NYC Former bank executive Cate Luzio says her business plan was instrumental in growing her bootstrapped collaboration space business, Luminary NYC, to more than 600 individual and over 20 corporate members in one year. She explains how she transformed her women-focused collaboration space into a viable idea by writing her business plan in one week » Kristie Nystedt, cofounder and CEO of Raleigh Brewing Co. Kristie Nystedt quit her job in healthcare to start a brewery with her husband with $100,000 of their own savings, $150,000 in a small-business loan, and a loan from a friend. Now she is making over $200,000 a year as CEO of Raleigh Brewing Co. Read how Nystedt created a three-pronged business that paid for itself » Patrice Banks, founder of Girls Auto Clinic Patrice Banks was was making a six-figure salary as an engineer at DuPont when she left the corporate world to launch Girls Auto Clinic, an auto shop where women can feel comfortable taking their cars. She gives 6 principles women entrepreneurs can use to disrupt 'boys' club' industries » Ana Gavia, founder of Pinkcolada Ana Gavia started Pinkcolada, which sells stylish and affordable swimsuits, when she was just 25 and a medical student in Australia. Here's how she took $200 and launched a $1.7 million swimwear business in a single year and out of her home » Michelle Penczak, founder of Squared Away Founder and military spouse Michelle Penczak exclusively hires women and men whose spouses are in the armed forces to become virtual assistants on Squared Away. Here's how she grew her 6-figure virtual assistant business to over 80 employees and 100 clients in just 2 years » Jamie Fairman, founder of Forage Jamie Fairman worked in HR for a bourbon company before launching her plant shop, Forage. She opened her first store with $20,000 from her personal savings, and the business is still self-funded today. Here's how she tapped into the the millennial craze of buying house plants » Katy Flannery and Gwen Burlingame, cofounders of Beckon ice cream Katy Flannery and Gwen Burlingame went from selling their lactose-free ice cream in farmers markets to nationwide availability in 1,000 stores, including Whole Foods. They shared how their past career experiences in pediatric nursing and marketing help them tackle the challenges of bootstrapping their business » Carleigh Bodrug, founder of Plant You Carleigh Bodrug used $1,000 of her savings to set up a website and begin offering memberships to paid subscribers to receive weekly meal-prep plans and recipes via email. Here's how she grew a social media following of nearly 50,000 on Instagram by offering recipe and lifestyle tips for a plant-based diet »
The US economy depends on immigrants who fill necessary positions that help boost many industries. Trump's extended halt on immigration could have negative consequences for Americans.
On Monday, President Donald Trump extended a freeze on immigration visas. Trump cited the economic impact...On Monday, President Donald Trump extended a freeze on immigration visas. Trump cited the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic for the move, saying that jobs should be reserved for Americans. The decision is in line with the Trump administration's broader efforts to limit immigration and plays on rhetoric that immigrants steal jobs. Data has shown, however, that immigrants help create jobs and normally work in positions that complement the work of Americans. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. On Monday, President Donald Trump extended a freeze on immigration visas through the end of the year, arguing that it would help protect as many as 525,000 jobs for Americans in an economy shaken by the coronavirus pandemic. Trump signed a proclamation meant to extend the 60-day freeze on work visas, put in place in April, until the end of 2020. It affects H-1B, H-2B, H-4, J-1, and L-1 visas. "American workers compete against foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of our economy, including against millions of aliens who enter the United States to perform temporary work," the proclamation says. "Under ordinary circumstances, properly administered temporary worker programs can provide benefits to the economy. But under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers." The measure is in line with a history of efforts by the Trump administration to limit immigration under the assumption that immigrants steal jobs from Americans. This proclamation would affect jobs in the tech industry, jobs at universities, as well as au pairs. According to PBS, immigrants tend to hold jobs that usually complement American workers or make it easier for Americans to do their jobs. They tend to work odd hours and in more dangerous conditions. Au pairs or other childcare providers, for instance, help allow Americans, especially women, to enter the workforce. Immigrants are also taking up jobs to take care of the US elderly population, PBS reported. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17% of the labor force last year were immigrants; however, they're mostly filling jobs Americans don't want or that need to be done to allow more Americans to work. "Most economists agree that in spite of being a very big part of the labor force, immigrants have not come at the cost either of American jobs nor of American wages," Giovanni Peri, an economics professor at the University of California at Davis, told PBS. Pew Research Center in 2017 described how immigrants were projected to help combat a shrinking workforce. As baby boomers retire, and the US birth rate drops, Pew estimated that without immigration the US workforce would shrink to 165.6 million in 2035 from 173.2 million in 2015. Funding for programs like Social Security that rely on workers would be threatened, and economic growth would most likely shrink or become stagnant. Immigrants also create jobs by starting businesses. According to Harvard Business Review, immigrants in the US tend to contribute about twice as much to entrepreneurship as native-born citizens do and also tend to create more successful businesses. A study from Harvard Business School found that immigrant-founded businesses performed better in terms of employment growth over three and six years than businesses founded by native citizens. A 2017 study by the Center for American Entrepreneurship found that more than 40% of companies in the Fortune 500 were founded by first- or second-generation immigrants. But even on a small-business scale, many local communities benefit from immigrant-owned businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores. "It sends a very powerful negative signal to the rest of the world: 'Don't come to the United States. We don't want you,'" John Dearie, the president of the Center for American Entrepreneurship, a nonpartisan group that supports immigration, previously told the Associated Press on the Trump administration's immigration policy. "That's terribly damaging." While the proclamation claims that jobs are being lost to immigrants, many companies have said the move would limit them from hiring necessary talent. Many technology companies like Apple and Google rely on H-1B visas to employ foreign professionals and H-4 visas to allow their spouses to come, so this move could hinder their innovation capabilities — and they responded with frustration to the latest Trump proclamation. "America's continued success depends on companies having access to the best talent from around the world," said a Google spokesman, Jose Castaneda, in a statement. "Particularly now, we need that talent to help contribute to America's economic recovery." TechNet's president, Linda Moore, told The Washington Post that the new policy would "slow innovation and undermine the work the technology industry is doing to help our country recover from unprecedented events."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
Energy access remains as important as ever for households and businesses, as pointed out by the...Energy access remains as important as ever for households and businesses, as pointed out by the World Bank and the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, with health infrastructure and women’s role in care stressed. Further, traditional cooking smoke may pose an additional risk for women if infected.