A historic day with peaceful showing of women solidarity occurred on January 21 in 2017. According to USA Today, an estimated 2.5 million people showed up for the Women’s Marches worldwide. The 21st century is an incredible time when women are showing up, overcoming challenges, and demonstrating their abilities to build a strong, vigorous economy. This is a call to action for women and men to take a stand for dignified gender equality in business and in the world.
In 15 of the top developed countries, the number of people in the present workforce generation are greater than those people that are found in the younger and older age groups. People ages 25 to 64 years old comprise 53.74% of the population. Those representitives that are 65+ years old are only 15.86%. Those ages 0-14 years old are 17.74% and people 15 to 24 years old fit into 12.67% of the total numbers (8). There may be a significant gap with those leaving the workforce then the numbers of people needed to enter and replace the working population to support a strong economy. Providing opportunities for women to fit into and support the new founding business environment may be the key factor in supporting “significant macroeconomic gains” in the labor market (2).
We must face the reality that women still face barriers to enter into the unbalanced gender equality of the business world. The female presence in upper management and board positions are still low (1, 2). Women face added discrimination, lack of support, biased language style discrepancies, and increased risk of electronic bullying when completing for men in the work force. Ironically, companies with upper representation of women in executive committees perform significantly better than companies with no women at top. The numbers are surprising with an increase of a 47% average return on equity and greater than 55% average earnings before interest and taxes (1) when women are seated in powerful roles.
There is an incredible growth of women who have entered into the workforce. In 2014, the proportion of women reached 40.7 percent compared to 28.6 percent in 1979 (5). Women are creatively designing their own businesses. Recent numbers show where the number of women owned small businesses are growing up to 50% faster than the sum total of small businesses owned by both genders (4). This seems logical since it is easier to start a business and work from home when a women take-on a greater responsibility with housework and more time needed for day care of children, elderly, and sick (7).
Women are embracing their right to gender equality against the additional responsibilities needed for the support and wellbeing of family and community members with their shoes on. Women are responding by taking action to be inclusive in our working economy. It will take a financial investment in women to serve as a “driver for social and economic development’ (6).
We are all facing major challenges in the 21st century. Women and many men must be applauded for their determination to reinforce a healthy economy. Taking a stand to show their unified allegiance for gender equality is exactly what is needed to send a message out to the world. It is time for the Force of the Feminine to welcome their innate gifts. These nurturing gifts include love, compassion, and collaboration. Women are also known for their strong intuitive wisdom. Let’s us all move in gratitude and accept our feminine gifts and use these blessings to Co-Create a World Economy to be Proud of. It is time to “mobilize the world’s financial leaders to build systems that serve the majority of the population” (3).
About the Author:
Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong, the “Greenie Genie”, leads on a journey to tap into Your share of $72 trillion in Natural Products and Services and with building your online business. You learn how to balance Heart and Mind awareness in partnership with Nature. She is a speaker, author, and educator. Contact her at wwwdrelizabetharmstrong.com or drlizarmstrong.com.
1 Devillard, Sandrine, Sandra Sancier, Charlotte Werner, Ina Maller, and Cécile Kossoff. 2013. Gender diversity in top management: Moving corporate culture, moving boundaries. McKinsey&Company. Women Matter Report.
2 Elborgu-Woytek, Katrin, Monique Newiak, Kalpana Kochhar, Stefania Fabrizio, Kangni Kpodar, Philippe Windender, Benedict Clements, and Gerd Schwartz. 2013. Women, Work, and the Economy: Macroeconomic Gains from Gender Equity. International Monetary Fund. Washington, D.C.
3 Gatchalian, Gayle. 2016. Twenty Years of Woman’s Financial Inclusion. Huffingtonpost. Online: <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gayle-gatchalian/twenty-years-of-womens-fi_b_8134936.html>
4 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. 2011. Fast-Growing Small Businesses Led By Women. Online: <http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/T049-S001-fast-growing-small-businessesled-by-women/index.html>
5 Lowrey, Annie. 2014. How Working Women Help the Economy. New York Times. Online: <https://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/15/how-working-women-help-the-economy/?_r=0>
6 Tierney, Trish. 2013. Women in the Global Economy: Leading Social Change. Institute of International Education. Washington, D.C.
7 UN Women. 2015. Facts and Figures: Economic Empowerment. Online: <http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/economic-empowerment/facts-and-figures>
8 World Population Prospect: the 2012 revision. United Nations Population Division of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, June 13, 2013. Online: < http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/world-population-gender-age.php>