Vistage Research Center

Get actionable, data-driven insights and expert perspectives from our global community of CEOs and thought leaders. Led by Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer

International Women’s Day: Press for progress

Women in Business: "Forget About the Glass Ceiling"

International Women’s Day (March 8, 2018) is upon us and we have another opportunity to be a part the progress. It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women’s Day commemorates the movement for women’s rights, which was first observed in 1910.  (FYI: International Men’s Day is held each November 19.)

Women-owned businesses lead the way

We have seen promising growth of women-owned and -led businesses, particularly in the United States.  Women-owned companies are the fastest growing U.S. business segment, accounting for a projected 39% or 12.5 million of all U.S. businesses in 2017 (up from 36% or 9.9 million in 2012), according to The Business Journal’s 2016 study on the subject. In other areas, women business owners and leaders still lag far behind their male counterparts. For example, as of 2016, there are an estimated 11,313,900 women-owned companies in the United States.  A mere 1.72% of women-owned companies (195,100 companies) are projected to exceed $1,000,000.00 in gross revenues, in 2016. Business financing opportunities are comparatively scarce for women businesses. Women account for only 16% of conventional small business loans and these loans account for only 4.4% of the total dollar value of loans according to a U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce Policy Brief, February 2017.

The parity problem

The official 2018 International Women’s Day theme is “Press for Progress.”  There is a strong and growing demand, both domestically and globally, to make better, faster and more impactful progress toward gender parity. Women business owners have a lot to manage, oftentimes not only running enterprises and providing for a team of employees, but serving as the primary family caregiver.  With those competing priorities, how can we possibly also lead the charge for this kind of change? Occasions such as International Women’s Day are a strong call to action. It’s days like this that remind us of the many ways that we can continue to create and support progress.

The business owners’ call to action

As business owners, we have incredible opportunities to help achieve gender parity.  In fact, we are prime candidates to lead this charge. A Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) study found that women make up nearly half of all social entrepreneurs, compared to women who account for approximately 4 of 10 traditional entrepreneurs. Research-based evidence suggests that women business owners and leaders more often pursue social entrepreneurship. Women have made the connection between social entrepreneurship being an economic driver.  Reinvestment in local and global communities drives financial and economic success.

On International Women’s Day, take a bit of time, reflect on how each of us has helped to close the gender gap.  Take a bit more time and identify what each of us can do in the coming weeks, months and year as a business leader, an influencer and a mentor to have an impact.


Read more: Working with integrity


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Predefined Skins

Primary Color

Background Color

Example Patterns

demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo

Privacy Policy Settings

  • Required Cookies
  • Performance Cookies
  • Functional Cookies
  • Advertising Cookies
These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the Sites and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the Sites and using Vistage’s Services. Since these cookies are essential to operate Vistage’s Sites and Services, there is no option to opt out of these cookies.
These cookies collect information about how visitors our Sites, for instance which pages visitors go to most often. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Cookies used

Visual Web Optimizer
These cookies remember information you have entered or choices you make (e.g. as your username, language, or your region), and provide enhanced, more personal features. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.

Cookies used

Google Analytics
Gravity Forms
These cookies are used to make advertising more relevant to you and your interests. The cookies are usually placed by third party advertising networks. They remember the websites you visit and that information is shared with other parties such as advertisers. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.