The Facts

 

Women and income inequality

Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own one percent of the property. UNICEF: Gender Equality – The Big Picture, 2007

Women’s nominal wages are 17 percent lower than men’s. UNICEF: Gender Equality – The Big Picture, 2007

In some regions, women provide 70 percent of agricultural labor, produce more than 90 percent of the food, and yet are nowhere represented in budget deliberations. World Economic Forum, Women’s Empowerment: Measuring the Global Gender Gap, 2005

Women and economic potential

There is a direct link between increased female labor participation and growth: It is estimated that if women’s paid employment rates were raised to the same level as men’s, America’s GDP would be nine percent higher; the euro-zone’s would be 13 percent higher, and Japan’s would be boosted by 16 percent. UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Annual Report, 2007

The untapped potential of women-owned firms is equivalent to the discovery of an entirely new technology or the birth of an industry. [There is] the opportunity to create millions of new jobs and add trillions of dollars to America’s economy. Quantam Leaps: The Roadmap to 2020, June 2010

The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute projects that women small business owners will create 5 to 5.5 million new jobs across the U.S. by 2018, transforming the workplace of tomorrow into a far more inclusive, horizontally managed environment. The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute: Women Small Business Owners Will Create 5+ Million New Jobs by 2018, December 2009

Based on the institute’s projection, women-owned small businesses will generate more than half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs expected to be created, and roughly one-third of the 15.3 million total new jobs anticipated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics by 2018. The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute: Women Small Business Owners Will Create 5+ Million New Jobs by 2018, December 2009

Women and spending

Research on women in development indicates that the returns to the investment in women are much higher than for men. Women are more likely to share their gains in education, health, and resources with members of their families and their communities at large. Research on microfinance indicates that the same is true for economic investments. GEM GLOBAL 2007: Global Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, May 2008

Women are simply more likely to work for, buy for, and share their economic and noneconomic rewards with other people. GEM GLOBAL 2007: Global Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, May 2008

Women donate a higher percentage of their income to charity, give more money to their heirs and spend more money on the care and welfare of children. Some examples include:
-In Kenya and Malawi, the more income controlled by women the greater the household caloric intake, whatever the overall household earnings.
-In Jamaica, female-headed households consume foods of higher nutritional quality and spend a larger share of their income on children’s goods.
-One U.S. dollar in the hands of a Brazilian woman has the same effect on child survival as $18 in the hands of a man.
-In Guatemala, the higher the share of total household income earned by a child’s mother, the better nourished the child. -Extrapolating this data, $11.40 per month in a mother’s hands would achieve the same weight gain that $166 would if earned by the father.
-A study of 14 typical poor villages in South India found that the men retained up to a quarter of the earnings for their own personal use – five to six times the proportion of their own income than women spent on themselves.
Godwyn, Mary and Donna Stoddard, 2011, Minority Women Entrepreneurs: How Outsider Status Can Lead to Better Business Practices, Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press

Women and ownership

Between 1997 and 2006, majority women-owned firms in the U.S. grew at nearly twice the rate of all U.S. privately held firms. Quantam Leaps: The Roadmap to 2020, June 2010

The estimated eight million women-owned enterprises in the U.S. have an annual economic impact (in terms of direct employment, revenues and generated spending) of nearly $3 trillion dollars. They create or maintain more than 23 million jobs – 16% of all U.S. employment. Quantam Leaps: The Roadmap to 2020, June 2010

Women-owned businesses are growing at twice the rate of all businesses (1997-2002) and have done so for nearly three decades. Women Business Research Center: The Economic Impact of Women-owned businesses in the U.S., October 2009

In high-income countries there is no gender difference in the survival rate of women’s businesses versus those of men. GEM GLOBAL 2007: Global Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, May 16, 2008

Women and attitudes

Women who launch businesses have a higher fear of failure than men. It is likely this will impact how they manage their businesses – if they are managing in order to avoid failure rather than managing to succeed. Quantam Leaps: The Roadmap to 2020, June 2010

Women’s level of optimism and self-confidence with respect to starting a business is lower than that of their male counterparts. GEM GLOBAL 2007: Global Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, May 16, 2008

Women small business owners create their own businesses for a variety of reasons, but a common theme is their dissatisfaction with the corporate track, based on their desire to avoid worrying about office politics. The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute: Women Small Business Owners Will Create 5+ Million New Jobs by 2018, December 2009

As owners/managers, women are:
-More diligently engaged in strategic and tactical facets of their business
-More proactively customer-focused
-More likely to incorporate community and environment into their business plans
-More receptive to input and guidance from internal and external advisors
-More committed to creating opportunities for others.
The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute: Women Small Business Owners Will Create 5+ Million New Jobs by 2018, December 2009

Men are more likely to be involved in entrepreneurial activity than women (with the exception of Japan, Thailand, Peru, and Brazil, where the rates of early entrepreneurial activity are larger or almost identical in males and females). GEM GLOBAL 2007: Global Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, May 2008

Women and funding

Women start ventures with eight times less funding than their male counterparts. GEM GLOBAL 2007: Global Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, May 2008

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