Women @ Work

Sound bites and statistics from women who lead

Women make up 46.9% of the U.S. workforce.

Women are founding businesses at 1.5x the national average!

Types of Businesses Women Own

"Women still have an uneasy relationship with power and the traits necessary to be a leader. There is this internalized fear that if we are really powerful, we are going to be considered ruthless or pushy or strident- all those epithets that strike right at our femininity. We are still working at trying to overcome the fear that power and womanliness are mutually exclusive."
- Arianna Huffington, Founder of The Huffington Post (In 2009, Arianna Huffington was named as No. 12 in Forbes first-ever list of the Most Influential Women in Media.)

187 million women worldwide are currently starting or running a business enterprise.

Women owned 7.8 million businesses in 2007 -- up 20.1% from 2002.

That's 28.7% of non-farm businesses.

"We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women's voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored."
- Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook (Prior to Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg was the chief of staff for the U.S. Secretary of Treasury during the Clinton administration and Google's VP of Global Online Sales and Operation.)

But in Larger Corporations Where Are the Leading Ladies?

40% of large public companies worldwide have no women on their board of directors.

However, the S&P 500 companies ranked the top 10 by Governance Metrics International (GMI) have about 22% women on their boards.

Only between 3% and 5% of women-owned businesses receive their venture capital.

Just 10% of venture-funded startups are women-owned and only 10% of venture capitalists are women.

Percentage of Companies with Women Board Members

"There's a benefit to including women, there's a benefit to considering women, there's a benefit to writing about women, and there's a benefit to having women included in everything. And i think it's ridiculous that this is a situation i have to be defensive about."
- Rachel Sklar, Blogger and Founder of Change the Ratio (Rachel Sklar was recently listed in the 2011 Silicon Alley (NYC) 100 List by Business Insider for Change the Ratio.

Especially in Technology, There is a need to "Change the Ratio"

"Embrace what you don't know, especially in the beginning because what you don't know can become your greatest assets. It ensures that you will be doing things absolutely differently from everybody else."
- Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, Blakely is the youngest self-made woman to join the Forbes Billionaire Club.

Female Patent Holders

Just 5.5% of commercial patents are held by women.

However, numbers for all patents are increasing:

% Of All Patents Granted That Were Received By Women

Well-Known Patents

How Can Women Lead?

Having the discussion about why women need to have more influence in the workplace is progressive, but the question of how is just as important. For many women, the foundation of growing as a leader in business starts at the university level.

Women now earn 68% more bachelor's degrees than men.

They're excelling in master's programs, too.

of MBA recipients in the U.S. are women--the highest proportion ever.

106,000 women took the GMAT in 2010 -- also the most ever.


Kenan-Flagler Business School

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