Women Entrepreneurs Optimistic About Coming Decades

The concept of “the glass ceiling” in business seems to be fading away – female entrepreneurs predict big changes in the next 20 years that will put them on par with, or ahead of, their male counterparts. These findings come from the 2017 Bank of America Women Small Business Owner Spotlight. For this year’s annual study, researchers gathered input from 1,022 small business owners – 375 of them, women – that employ two to 99 employees and have annual revenue of $100,000 to $4,999,999. Here are some highlights of this year’s survey:
  • 66 percent of women think that by 2037, female-owned businesses will outnumber men-owned businesses. A recent survey found 40 percent of new entrepreneurs are women, so it seems likely that female business owners could easily outnumber male business owners in the next 20 years. Similar to a lower representation of women in the business field are women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related positions . Proponents of more equal gender inclusion argue that a lack of more women hampers innovation in STEM professions. The same can be said for business. Less women in leadership roles can harm opportunities for a broader range of innovative business solutions.
  • 80 percent of women think that women will be equally represented or more represented than men in STEM professions (science, technology, engineering, and math). Many colleges and non-profit organizations offer scholarships that are specifically for women who want to enter STEM professions, which traditionally have been male-dominated fields.
  • 71 percent of women believe at least 25 states will enact laws that mandate paid maternity leave (currently, just five states and Washington, D.C., have a paid maternity leave law).
  • 61 percent of women believe women’s wages will be equal to or greater than men’s wages.
  • 68 percent of women foresee women surpassing men in the number of executive or C-suite roles.
Currently, more men (85 percent) than women (78 percent) say they have achieved work-life balance, and 60 percent of women say achieving work-life balance is their main goal. Women were slightly more likely than men to have experienced a higher stress level since starting their business, and 30 percent of women said they have had a nightmare about their business failing; 21 percent of men reported the same.

The Current Business Climate

Aspiring women entrepreneurs may feel optimistic, reading the results of the Bank of America survey. But a lot will need to change for those predictions to become reality within 20 years. According to PayScale, the oft-cited statistic that women earn 76 cents for every dollar a man earns is just one part of a larger story: Women earn less, because they are less likely to be promoted or to hold executive-level jobs. Men are 85 percent more likely to hold high-ranking leadership jobs by mid-career, and 171 percent are more likely to be in executive roles late in their career. Surprisingly, PayScale’s research showed that only 57 percent of employers say gender pay inequity is an issue within their company. Across all industries, men earn more than women. The greatest pay gaps, considering only median salaries, are found in:
  • Finance and insurance (men earn an average of 29.1 percent more than women)
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services (men earn an average of 25.2 percent more than women)
  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (men earn an average of 22.8 percent more than women).
Those wage gaps are smaller when comparing salaries for men and women with similar seniority in similar jobs. As a woman-owned business, Lusk Law, LLC, understands the challenges female entrepreneurs encounter. Whatever those challenges may be, we’re here to help. Our experienced attorneys have provided legal counsel and representation to business owners in Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Carroll County, Washington County, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County and other counties in Maryland. Please call us at 443-535-9715 or fill out our contact form you have any questions about this topic.