THE HARD FACTS ABOUT WOMEN
IN THE WORKPLACE
Here are the hard facts: 21% of C-suite executives
are women. This is a drastic improvement since the
1950’s, but still not very inspiring. Less inspiring still is
the fact that women are currently paid, on average, only
three-quarters of what their male colleagues make.
What doesn’t add up is that, according to the re-
search from the Russell Sage Foundation, young women
today are just as likely to hold bachelor degrees as men,
men. Also, 40% of women are the breadwinners in their
family. While female educational and financial responsi-
bilities quickly increase, moving into executive positions
and earning salaries equal to their male contemporaries
slowly lags behind.
This is not a new trend. In 2003, The Center for
Women’s Business Research estimated that, as of 2002,
the number of women owned businesses was 6.2 million.
These same women-owned businesses employed 9.2
million workers and generated $1.15 trillion in annual
revenue. Right now, we have 8.2 million women-owned
businesses, and that number is growing 50% faster than
new business growth overall. Women now control
almost $6 trillion in assets. That’s a lot of purchasing and
investment power in any industry, especially the finance
and mortgage industry.
As women leave the corporate world to follow their
entrepreneurial pursuits, they don’t just take their talent
with them. They also take their positive impact on organizations as a whole. Catalyst took a good look at Fortune
500 companies with women on their board of directors
and found that these companies had a higher return on
equity by at least 53%, they were superior in sales by
at least 42%, and had a higher ROI, to the tune of 66%.
Those are not small numbers.
TO RETAIN THE VALUE WOMEN
BRING TO ORGANIZATIONS, FIRST
EXAMINE WHAT MOTIVATES THEM
Research reported by The Guardian shows that the
top three career motivators for women are: 1) challeng-
ing, passion-driven work, 2) making a difference, and 3)
recognition. With that in mind, how does a corporation
attract and retain female talent? A decade of discussing
the pay gap and rampant gender bias just isn’t working.
We need to change the conversation.
It’s time to start conversations about creating
purpose-driven organizations as a way to retain female
talent. Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy and
founder of Imperative, explains that finding purpose at
work is to find meaning in what you do by prioritizing
relationships, impact and personal growth.