The Unfortunate Inequality Within Corporate America

It has been said time and time again: women are the backbone of the American economy. Just look at these stats!

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women make up 52% of the US professional workforce.
  • The median pay for female CEOs was $13.1 million in 2016, a 9% increase from 2015, higher than men CEOs of $11.4 million.
  • 9.4 million firms are owned by women; 2.9 million owned specifically by women of color.
  • Women generate billions of dollars in revenue annually and employ millions of workers.

Needless to say, women do a ton for the economy and corporate America: from holding positions that make millions to creating a tremendous amount of jobs for citizens. Nothing can stand in our way.

Well, almost.

Even though they have higher paid positions, high numbers of employment in or for major corporations, and make up a little over half of the professional and managerial workforce, women in business face many challenges.

Only 26 (5.2% of) women hold CEO positions at Standard & Poor’s 500 companies. Currently, just one of the CEOs is a woman of color: Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo), as Ursula Burns (former CEO of Xerox) left the role in early January. Women, especially women of color, are scarce in CEO and other higher positions.

According to Janice Ellig, the co-CEO of Chadick Ellig, Inc., “unconscious bias in the workplace is keeping women from getting opportunities that will put them on track to top roles.” However, women face the challenge of limited access to funding for their businesses. Less than 3% of venture capital-funded companies had female CEOs and 48% of female founders report that a lack of available advisers, mentors, and supporters limited their professional growth.

Overall, although corporate America includes them in the grand scheme of things, women have to fight through the obstacles of gender inequality in the workforce that sometimes hinders them from making it further.

But we should never let this hold us back. And no one should ever doubt our ability to succeed and lead even more successful businesses.

Remember, we are the backbone of this economy.