Women in business

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The phrase women in business covers the history of women participating in leadership roles in commerce.

Women in corporate leadership[edit]

According to the National Association of Corporate Directors, companies that have women on their boards generate value to their corporations by broadening market vision, enhancing board dynamics, inspiring female stockholders and improving corporate reputation.[1]

According to the 2005 Catalyst Census of Women Board of Directors, 14.7% of all board seats in the Fortune 500 list are occupied by women.[2] While the number of women on Fortune 500 corporate boards continues to rise, the average rate of increase is only one-half of one percent per year.[3] One in nine in the Fortune 500 list still doesn't have any women on their board. Women oversee 83 percent of direct consumer spending, own half of all public stock, and make up more than fifty percent of the talent pool.[4]

Given the projected talent deficit that will follow the retirement of millions of so-called 'Baby Boomer' managers and executives over the next 20 years,[5] women leaders may be seen by an increasing number of employers as an untapped source of talent, experience and senior-management leadership.[5]

Women as entrepreneurs[edit]

Female entrepreneurship ranges from just over 1.5 percent to 45.4 percent of the adult female population in the 59 economies included in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor research project.[6] Although entrepreneurial activity among women is highest in emerging economies (45.5 percent), the proportion of all entrepreneurs who are women varies considerably among the economies: from 16 percent in the Republic of Korea to 55 percent in Ghana–the only economy with more women than men entrepreneurs. A multi-year analysis shows that this gender gap has persisted across most economies for the past nine years (2002-2010). And in many emerging economies women are now starting business at a faster rate than men, making significant contributions to job creation and economy growth.

Developing Countries A disproportionate share of women-owned business in developing countries today are micro, small or medium enterprises. Often they do not mature. This has negative for growth and poverty reduction. Understanding the specific barriers women's businesses face and providing solutions to address them are necessary for countries to further leverage the economic power of women for growth and the attainment of development goals.

In some emerging countries like Kazakhstan the governments support the development of women-led SME's. For example, Kazakhstan in cooperation with EBRD executes Women in Business program.[7] The budget of the program is $50 million.[7]

Developed Countries The number of women-owned businesses in the United States is growing at twice the rate of all firms. Currently around 30% of US firms are majority-owned by women. Affirmative action has been credited with "bringing a generation of women into business ownership" in the United States, following the 1988 Women's Business Ownership Act and subsequent measures. Progress has been much slower in most other developed countries. In the UK, for example, it is estimated that just 15% of firms are majority-owned by women.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.nydic.org/nassembly/documents/UWDIBusinessCase--Final.PDF[dead link]
  2. ^ Catalyst (March 29, 2006). "2005 Catalyst Census of Women Board Directors of the Fortune 500 Shows 10-Year Trend of Slow Progress and Persistent Challenges". Catalyst. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ Michael Connor (March 19, 2010). "Women Lack Numbers and Influence on Corporate Boards". Business Ethics. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ Benjamin L. Cardin (March 5, 2008). "OPINION: Celebrating The Accomplishments Of Women". Southern Maryland Online. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Transearch International. "Scratching The Surface: Women In The Boardroom". Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (January 6, 2012). "GEM 2010 Womens Report". Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "EBRD launches Women in Business programme for Kazakhstan at Eurasian Women's Summit in Astana". www.ebrd.com. Retrieved 2015-11-30. 
  8. ^ Prowess 2.0. "Facts". Prowess 2.0. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 

Further research[edit]

  • Roger E. Axtell, Tami Briggs, Margaret Corcoran, and Mary Beth Lamb, Do's and Taboos Around the World for Women in Business
  • Douglas Branson, No Seat at the Table: How Corporate Governance and Law Keep Women Out of the Boardroom
  • Lin Coughlin, Ellen Wingard, and Keith Hollihan, Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership
  • Harvard Business School Press, editors, Harvard Business Review on Women in Business
  • National Women’s Business Council, African American Women-owned Businesses (2012)
  • National Women’s Business Council, Women in Business: 2007-2010 (2012)
  • Deborah Rhode, The Difference ""Difference"" Makes: Women and Leadership (2002)
  • Judy B. Rosener, America's Competitive Secret: Women Managers
  • Robert E. Seiler, Women in the Accounting Profession (1986)
  • See also Category:Women in business

External links[edit]