According to the 2019 American Express State of Women-Owned Business report, between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned businesses climbed 21% to a total of nearly 13 million (12,943,400). Employment grew by 8% to 9.4 million. Revenue rose 21% to $1.9 trillion. And growth in the number of women sidepreneurs (aka “side hustle”) was nearly double overall growth in women entrepreneurs: 39% compared to 21% respectively. Growth in sidepreneurship is higher for women (39%) than for all adult sidepreneurs (32%).

Sidepreneuership (aka one’s “side hustle”) allows for employees, especially women, to increase their income while working towards total self-employment. Despite the Equal Pay Act being enacted over half a century ago, according to data from the US Census Bureau, a woman working full time earns 80.7 cents for every dollar a man working full time earns. Additionally, women’s median annual earnings are $9,909 less than men’s. These pay gaps are harmful to women’s future earning capacity and to advancement in the workplace, particularly to senior leadership roles. This often is a driving force for women to seek a pathway to entrepreneurship.

Corporate diversity and inclusion programs for women include leadership development, mentoring, sponsorship, amongst other things, in order to advance women to the C-Suite produce meager results at best. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Where Are All the Women CEOs?, it is reported that less than 6% of women lead the country’s top 3,000 companies. The data is even more daunting for women of color. The article’s author, Vanessa Fuhrmans, further postulates that limited access to bottom-line leadership roles hampers women’s opportunities to reach the CEO seat.

Senior leadership of companies should be evaluating their talent pipeline and tailoring their leadership training programs to include executive coaching coupled with real-time opportunities to take on high-level projects. This work will not happen by itself and requires leaders at the top to prioritize inclusion of women at top roles with bottom-line responsibilities.

As a woman in business, I support and amplify efforts in holding space for women business owners and women business leaders. Madeleine Albright said, “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” One way in which women can help other women includes sharing experiences and success stories with one another.

Netflix’s Director of Inclusion, Michelle Penelope King, who is also the podcast host of The Fix and author of new book, The Fix: Overcome the Invisible Barriers That Are Holding Women Back at Work, will have a book discussion at Gensler in DTLA on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at 8:15 a.m. Click here to register. Be sure to check out Michelle’s recent podcast interview on Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast on How Workplaces — Not Women — Need to Change to Improve Equality.

#payparity #womeninbusiness #diversityandinclusion #womensHERstorymonth

© Kristine Custodio Suero | (858) 376-7130 | kristine.custodio@gmail.com