The Business of America's Women is Business
This week we celebrate National Women's Business Week and celebrate we should. Why? Women-owned businesses:
- Number 10.1 million
- Represent 30 percent of all U.S. businesses (and 40 percent of privately-held firms)
- Employ 23 million people (16 percent of the workforce)
- Generate 3 trillion in revenue
- Are more likely to offer supportive, family-friendly benefits like flex-time and profit sharing!
And millions of women work for small businesses. You don't always see these women and moms in the glamorous work places that are shown usually on television and discussed in books and articles, but we all know these gals: they are our sisters, friends, mothers ..... us!
The Kauffman Foundation reported last week that the entrepreneurs who are starting businesses have been the key drivers of economic recovery in past recessions: companies less than five years old accounted for virtually all net new-job creation since 1980.
This continues the trend of women, especially mothers, moving into the labor force that began in the 1960s. Women held 34.9 percent of all jobs 40 years ago; today we hold 49.8 -- any day now you will hear that we've passed the 50 percent mark. While most agree that this will occur because the recession is a "he-cession" (78 percent of the 7 million jobs lost since the start of this recession in December 2007 were held by men), it augurs more change at the nexus of work and family, where unbending gender roles at home might finally give way to equality.
So hats off to women starting, sustaining, and working in women-owned businesses.
A Peaceful Revolution is a weekly blog about innovative ideas to strengthen America's families through public policies, business practices, and cultural change. This column is published in collaboration with The Huffington Post.