Exciting things are happening in the world of women entrepreneurs. Women are now the dominant force in small business ownership, and succeeding in industries that were once taboo for women.
There are well over 10 million majority-owned, privately-held, women-owned firms in the U.S., employing 19 million people and generating $2.32 trillion in sales. Women-owned businesses account for 28 percent of all businesses in the United States and represent about 775,000 new startups per year and account for 55 percent of new startups.
Between 1997 and 2002, women-owned firms grew by 19.8 percent while all U.S. firms grew by seven percent. Employment increased by 30 percent—one and a half times the U.S. rate—and sales grew by 40 percent—the same rate as all firms in the U.S.
In 1950 about one in three women participated in the labor force. By 1998, nearly three of every five women of working age were in the labor force. Among women age 16 and over, the labor force participation rate was 33.9 percent in 1950, compared with 59.8 percent in 1998.
Today there are nearly equal men and women in the workplace. In 2009, women made up 46.7 percent of the labor force and 51.4 percent of managerial, professional and related positions. With today’s challenging economy it’s likely that more women are working than men.
It’s obvious that women have come a long way as successful entrepreneurs. The workplace has become more diversified as an increased number of women have made their presence felt in numerous industries and professions. If you ask someone why women seem to excel at entrepreneurship you might get: women can multi-task better than men, they are willing to do even the most trivial job in order to get the work done and they often work longer hours for less pay. And, in addition, women business leaders, especially in today’s world, have no qualms at looking adversity in the face and marching straight ahead.
Women seem to have a reasonable expectation of where they are going and plug along, growing, growing, pursuing their education at night, fighting for better positions at their job, working an enormous amount of hours and looking toward the future with realistic eyes.
According to the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau, of the more than 70 million new jobs created in the United States between 1964 and 1999, 43 million went to women. Service industries accounted for 43 percent of all new jobs, retail trade for 20 percent, and government for 15 percent. Each of these sectors provided more new jobs for women than for men. Nonetheless, women earn less money than men, have fewer assets and are far more likely to live in poverty.
Despite the huge gain in employment and business ownership for women Fortune 500 executive officer positions held by women in 2009 were only 13.5 percent or 697 out of 5,161 positions. Fortune 500 corporate board seats held by women in 2009: 15.2 percent, the same as in 2008, up from 14.8 percent in 2007 and 14.6 percent in 2006.
Two Wall Street Journal reporters coined the phrase “glass ceiling” in 1986 to describe the invisible barrier that blocks women from advancing to senior positions in organizations, particularly businesses. In the years since 1986, the metaphor of the glass ceiling has also been applied to impediments to minority advancement. One might ask today if there is still a glass ceiling or are women choosing a path of less stress and personal ownership of their creativity?
In this issue of Cascade Business News we have highlighted numerous women business owners who are all doing it their way. Most have found a unique market niche, creating businesses that are a little out of the box, but have established a successful concept for the marketplace.
Women Award Honorees 2010
Each year Cascade Business News honors women in the workplace for their entrepreneurship, hard work, community service and commitment to quality, integrity and reliability. We left the nominations up to our readers and here are the women who are outstanding in their fields for 2010.
Principal/Creative Director: The Savy Agency
How many years in position: 3 years
Community involvement: Christina serves as a Board Member of Saving Grace and is an active sponsor of local community events, having recently sponsored the branding of The Environmental Center’s Sustainability Awards and Humane Society of Redmond’s Red Dog Classic at Aspen Lakes.
Key accomplishment: Christina is a versatile communications designer with 17 years experience in design and creative discipline. She has worked in large corporations at both client and vendor sides of the table.
Best advice: Be passionate; Pursue excellence in everything you do. See the potential in all things; Challenge the status quo.
Founder and President, Moementum, Inc.
How many years in this position: 10
Annual revenue: $600,000
Community Involvement: Previous Board Member of Seven Peaks School, reSource, American Red Cross, and others. Pro Bono planning work for Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding, DEFEAT cancer, Central Oregon Environmental Center, Housing Works, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Oregon, and others. Volunteer for local schools, Ronald McDonald House, and reading programs.
Key accomplishment: Three amazing children. Sailing across the Pacific. Adventures high and low on many continents. Love. Moementum, Inc.
Best advice: Help when you can. Notice your heart and reveal it. Keep moving. Find music. Sleep deeply. Get outside. Turn off the TV.
Regional president for U.S. Bank’s Central and Eastern Oregon region.
She leads U.S. Bank’s operations at 20 branches in the region including Bend, Redmond, Pendleton, LaGrande and Baker City. She leads approximately 200 employees in retail, commercial and private banking.
How many years in position: 3 years in this position, 26 years with U.S. Bank
Annual revenue: $37 million for her region
Community involvement: Dodson’s community involvement centers on supporting women, kids and families through KIDS Center, Challenge Day, Women in Transformation, Habitat for Humanity and United Way Days of Caring.
Key accomplishment: Dodson had a 167 percent increase in revenue contribution over last year, and deposit share moved fourth to second during her tenure. A new branch opens in Q4 2010.
Best advice: Believe in yourself and build a support system so that when the going gets tough, you know who will help you get back up and start running again.
Attorney/Partner Karnopp Petersen LLP
Ellen’s practice areas include land use, natural resources, Indian and energy facility siting law.
How many years in this position: 5 years
Community involvement: Ellen is an executive committee member and secretary for the Deschutes River Conservancy. She also serves as an executive committee member for The Oregon State Bar Sustainable Future section and the Environmental and Natural Resources section.
Key accomplishment: Ellen continually lends her expertise to assist the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation on renewable energy, hydroelectric, energy infrastructure and other complex development projects and compliance matters.
Best advice: Always understand the long-term view.
Attorney with Karnopp Petersen LLP
Jinnifer has experience working in the following areas: General and Commercial Litigation, Trust and Estate Disputes, and
How many years in this position: 4 years
Community involvement: Jinnifer serves as the second vice president for the United Way of Deschutes County Board of Directors. She also serves as an advisory board member for the Assistance League of Bend and was the Leadership Bend 2010 Class President.
Key accomplishment: Jinnifer was instrumental in creating and implementing the Warm Springs Joint Health Commission, a mechanism aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the Warm Springs community.
Best advice: The key to success is to never get tired. Then there is no excuse to get taken out of the game.
Community Outreach & Mrk. Director Sunlight Solar
How many years in this position: 3 ¾ (November 2006 to present)
Community involvement: co-chair & founding steering committee member High Desert Branch of Cascadia Region Green Building Council, mployer Advisory Board Member, Heart of Oregon Corps, Volunteer, Oregon Adaptive Sports
Key accomplishment: Collaborated on Bend Area Habitat for Humanity solar homes project- 18 Habitat homes built from 2009 through 2010 with approximately 2.0-kW solar electric systems, chaired the Building Green Council Committee January 2008 to May 2009 that compiled & published the first edition Central Oregon Recycle/Reuse Guide.
Best advice: To give… Whatever it is you do- in life, in work, in recreation- make it something you enjoy and can be proud of.
Received… Do not expect that you will make any lasting or very strong impression on the world through intellectual power without the use of an equal amount of conscience and heart. – William Jewett Tucker
How many years in this position: 18 years
Annual revenue: $85,000
Community involvement: Volunteer work includes: business (Network of Entrepreneurial Women); church (Unity and Spiritual Awareness Community);and children (Schools, Hospice, Mountain Star Family Relief Nursery, Vima Lupwa).
Key accomplishment: I am very proud of my leadership at Network of Entrepreneurial Womenwhere I feel I inspired a culture of welcoming, connection, support and participation.
Best advice: Your life purpose is an unfolding discovery and outpouring of you to this world. All that you need is within you.
Strength,Fitness & Motivational Trainer, Inspiration and Perspiration behind Real-WomenHaveMuscles
How many years in this position: 5 years 8 months
Community involvement: I have participated in several local races around the community. I love running every chance I get. I love Bend and the fact that I can call this place home. What a magnificent place to live.
Key accomplishment: My key accomplishment is getting Real Women Have Muscles up and running in a slow moving economy. There are a lot of people who might say this is the worst time to start something new, but I say if you have the passion and determination, why not.
Best advice: Shoot for the stars, and worry about the details later. There is never going to be a better time than now. Your life is NOW! Live the beauty of being strong right now.