by Harrison Kratz and MBA@UNC Blog
Women today are making professional strides at an unprecedented level. Women are starting businesses at 1.5 times the national average, a 20 percent increase over the last decade. Women are also pursuing higher education in record numbers; women now hold more bachelors and graduate degrees than men.
There is still a disparity in earnings and leadership titles across genders, but there are more outspoken advocates of professional women than ever before. Notable leaders like Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Rachel Sklar, and Sarah Blakely help fuel this conversation in the media and champion for the advancement of women everywhere.
Some common themes in the conversation:
Confidence: Media pioneer Arianna Huffington cites lack of confidence as a killer to success for women. In order to advance their careers, women need to be comfortable seeing themselves as qualified leaders and risk takers.
Fact: 40 percent of large companies have no women on their boards and only 5 percent of startups are owned by women.
Inclusivity: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and “Change the Ratio” blogger Rachel Sklar are vocal about female inclusivity and encourage women to support each another at all levels. When organizations actively consider women as key stakeholders, the results often prove to be beneficial for all.
Fact: Companies with more equalized gender distribution have 30 percent better IPOs.
Knowledge: For innovators like Spanx founder Sara Blakeley, it’s not just about what you know, but what you don’t know that can set you apart. Women need to understand their strengths and how to leverage what they don’t know as their greatest assets.
Fact: Women pursuing MBAs are at an all-time high. Women now make up one-third of all MBA candidates.
If you’re interested in exploring the state of women at work, take a close look at this infographic that is full of statistics about this topic.