Being a huge fan of women in business, I got curious about the fast-paced growth of women business owners recently. And, the statistics tell an interesting story. According to Entrepreneur online:
- Women are founding companies at a historic rate, with more than 9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. today
- Over the past 15 years, women-owned firms have grown at a rate 1.5 times other small businesses and are estimated to provide more than 5 million jobs this year
- Businesses with a woman on the executive team have 64% higher valuations at the first round of fundraising
So, this begs the question, why are women leaving Corporate America to start their own gigs? Our client data suggests these key themes:
- The 8-5 just doesn’t cut it. Why do we need to be in the office 8-5? This is an outdated work standard that needs to change. This doesn’t mean women are not willing to work the necessary hours to get work done. In fact, women business owners report working much longer hours than they did in Corporate America. They integrate work and life. If only corporate America could provide work from home flexibility or flex time to accommodate men and women that are caretakers or have other life duties.
- Work must have meaning. Women, even more so than men, are looking for purposeful work. They want to know that time away from their family matters. Women want to be a part of building something bigger than just them that will impact the world positively. What better way to ensure that, than to create something of your own.
- Corporate America does not promote women (especially during the child bearing years). This is sad, yet true. The recent McKinsey Women in the Workplace report illustrates this trend is not improving. C-suites and corporate boards are still less than 20% women. While women believe this will change early in their careers, after years of hard work without advancement, they opt out. At least in their own businesses, they call the shots.
So, now that we know why women leave, where do they go? Many women become freelancers, contractors, or consultants for the industry they supported, some start a brand new gig based on their personal passions, and increasingly women are working for multi-level marketing organizations (R+F, Scentsy, Beachbody, just to name a few). The US Small Business Administration data indicates a strong tie to services industries, primarily in restaurants, personal care, and health services. They are finding work that has flexibility, meaning, and results that matter to them.
Now, what are some tools for women starting or scaling their businesses? In our research for ONE, and in our 2018 Women’s Leadership Survey for women business owners, we found these trends:
- The top challenges women face in their business are: 1) growing their businesses, 2) planning for the future, and 3) differentiating from competitors
- Women are hungry for professional development in these areas: 1) leadership, 2) sales, and 3) business planning
- Business owners want their teams to grow in these areas: 1) managing people, 2) negotiation, and 3) strategic thinking
Message Julie to receive the full report at firstname.lastname@example.org. At Pivot Point, we want to be a part of helping women business owners be successful. That is why we have a new line-up of professional development services to support women-owned businesses tailored to their unique needs, including:
- Bolster Your Authentic Confidence
- Build Your Winning Career Game Plan
- Lead With Influence
- Negotiate For What You Want
- Communicate with Your Natural DiSC Style
- Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence
- Resolve Conflict Proactively
- Coach Your Team to Success
- Channel Empathy
- Share Your Story
- Speak Up Together
- Integrate Work & Life
Interested in learning more? Follow our blog series, download your Male Ally Action Plan, and order your copy of ONE at NextPivotPoint.com.