Women in Business: Gaining Ground but Further to Go

March 26, 2012

The topic of women in the workplace is certainly not a new subject for discussion, but how we look at their role and impact is most certainly changing.  History has accurately recorded the foundation that women bring to our families and communities, but what about in business? 

There are two recent analyses that tell us a lot.  Liza Mundy’s book The Richer Sex describes an evolution of sorts in the relationship of the family bread winner.  Long seen as a traditional male role, Mundy explains that women are now assuming this role in higher and higher numbers.  Coupled with the increase in pay that women are receiving, they are also graduating with a greater number of bachelor and doctorate degrees than ever before.  All of this certainly bodes well for the professional equality of the sexes, but in new research sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s think tank, the National Chamber Foundation, and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, it is obvious that we have more work ahead of us. 

In an examination of S&P’s MidCap 400 Index from 2000 to 2010, Georgetown and NCF found that women are making increasing advancements in the top leadership positions of these essential firms.  Mid-cap companies are those U.S. based, mid-sized enterprises with a capitalization ranging from $1 billion to $7 billion.  They are companies such as JetBlue, Ann Taylor, Vertek Pharmaceuticals, Green Mountain Coffee, and more.   

We see the hard work of women every day in large and small ways, but there is still a need to strengthen their leadership position in the core middle of our market if we America is going to be as strong and diverse economically as it needs to be.