Women’s Business Fact Sheet

By Kathy Korman Frey

Updated May 2, 2016

Below is a list of facts I find most interesting for women in business. Enjoy, and subscribe to this blog for frequent updates.

As of April 15, 2015 there are 23 female CEOs in the Fortune 500, 46 in the 1000, for a total of 4.6% in both the 500 and 1000.

This is static from 2014,  from 2013, and up from 18 (3.6%) of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 in 2012, and 12 in 2011. 

+ Sources: Fortune and Catalyst

75% of Americans reject the idea that women should return to traditional roles in society

+Source: Pew Charitable Trusts

Women who are balanced believe they are more successful, and are more likely to believe they are compensated fairly (86%) vs working women in general (65%).

+Source: The Hot Mommas Project and the George Washington University School of Business, Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence

Women with five or more mentors rank 20 percent higher on perceptions of success and feelings of confidence than their peers with five or fewer mentors.

+Source: The Hot Mommas Project and the George Washington University School of Business, Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence

The most balanced and successful women report support at home and work as the top two factors as helpful in enabling their success.

+Source: The Hot Mommas Project and the George Washington University School of Business, Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Financial Times.

One in five firmswith revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned. This number grew 2000% between 1977 and 2002.

+Source: National Women’s Business Council

37% of working women prefer full time work, while 79% of working men prefer full time.

+Source: Pew Charitable Trusts

88.3% of the approximately 8 million women-owned firms in the US are non-employer, meaning “solopreneur.” 

+Source: National Women’s Business Center

69% of adults think women and men make equally good leaders.

+Source: Pew Charitable Trust

89% of Americans are comfortable with women in leadership, yet only 18% of women are in leadership positions.

+Source: White House Project study Benchmarking Women in Leadership

Work-life balance is a future key concern in almost every region globally.

+Source: World’s largest HR Study by SHRM, BCG, and WFPMA

Three in 10 women who are not employed say family duties keep them from working.

Source: Pew Charitable Trusts

Entrepreneurial self-efficacy increases when women & girls are exposed to role models

+Source:  Cox, L., Mueller, S., & Moss, S. (2002). The impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial self-efficacy. International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 1, 2. Cited here and Cited here

Companies with a record of promoting women are more profitable. Of the Fortune 500 companies, the top 25 companies for women demonstrated 69% higher profitability than the industry median (profit as a percentage of equity)

+Source: Pepperdine Professor Ray Adler’s, “Women in the Executive Suite Correlates to High Profits.” Summary, Boston Globe Article

Women are more likely than men to share their knowledge and financial gains with their family and communities, especially in developing countries/emerging markets. “Investment in women’s entrepreneurship is an important way for countries to exponentially increase the impact of new venture creation.”

+Source: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor-2007 Study. http://www.gemconsortium.org/

Women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. The gap is larger for single mothers and women of color. This gap was 59 cents in 1963 when President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay for Equal Work Bill. 

“If women in the US were paid equal to their male counterparts, the US economy would produce $447.6 in additional income.”

+Sources: Shriver Report, Beyonce

Women are poised to become the majority of the US workforce for the first time in history.

+Sources: The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation – v.1 Summary: By Maria Shriver in Huffington Post, Census “Women in the Workforce” presentation.

Women with a bachelors degree (i.e. directly out of college) earn a median starting salary 17% less than a male with a bachelor degree.

+Source: The National Association of Colleges and Employers Journal

Men negotiate starting salaries four times more often than women.

+Source: Women Don’t Ask, Babcock and Laschever 

Women who negotiate on behalf of another (vs themselves) negotiate higher salaries.

+ Source: Hannah Riley Bowles, Harvard Kennedy School

Female angel investors contact companies more often, leads to higher returns. 

+Source: Women 2.0 and Kauffman Foundation

Three or more women on board experience higher financial performance.

+Source: Catalyst 

Of the top 100 venture firms, women comprise 7% of the partners.

+Source: TechCrunch Women in Venture Report

When Women Look At Hillary Clinton And Female Role Models They Become More Confident…Female role models “eliminated the gender gap.”

“A lack of female powerful role models leads to a vicious circle, because if women fail to take leadership positions, they also fail to provide role models for junior women to follow.”

+Sources: In The Capital and Popular Science




  • Although men also provide assistance, female caregivers may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than male caregivers – Family Caregiver Alliance http://ow.ly/B3NiN
  • Even Today, Women Still Do Most Of The Housework And Childcare | ThinkProgress http://ow.ly/B3OQ4
  • Future =re-shaping of the entrepreneurial model, to include “life” and “high value” in a hedge-fund like model. http://ow.ly/t4yJB
  • 1970s:< 5% working wives out earned husbands, today nearly 40% do. Book: The Richer Sex:  http://t.co/iurWoLD6 
  • Women Call the Shots at Home; Public Mixed on Gender Roles in Jobs http://ad.vu/dmi9 Pew research
  • Women-Owned Companies Lead Sector Sector Growth in 7 of 13 most critical industries.  New @AmexOPEN Research http://ow.ly/aCL8d 
  • Silicon Valley has 9% of female board members compared w/ 19% of public companies http://ow.ly/28YQwz 


What new cool stuff or great info have you heard about or do you find fascinating? Let us know in comments.


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