Last week, Sept. 22 marked American Business Women’s Day, a day for women to get together, help themselves and learn from each other’s experiences. Women’s involvement in business is even more significant in today’s world. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the latest statistics claim that “more than 9.1 million firms are owned by women,” generating about $1.5 trillion in sales.
“In the past 50 years, there has been a dramatic increase of mothers in American families being the sole or primary provider for the family. Therefore, it is important for women to have their share of high-paying jobs in the business world.” -Anne Fiedler
Created in 1975, NAWBO started as an organization with only 12 members who decided to come together to strengthen their business projects. In 2000, NAWBO moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C., and by 2002, NAWBO launched projects supported by the White House and now boasts over 5,000 members. Although entrepreneurship is one of the core interests of the association, inspiring women’s involvement in economics and politics is also part of NAWBO’s mission.
Diversity also plays a role in the association. According to their website, “NAWBO’s goal is to effectively represent the full diversity of the women business owner community.”
Anne Fiedler, who has a doctorate in management and master’s degree in business administration, believes that since women represent 50 percent of today’s workforce, they should not be afraid of being part of the business sphere. She explained that women’s involvement in the business world is also important for the economy.
“In the past 50 years, there has been a dramatic increase of mothers in American families being the sole or primary provider for the family. Therefore, it is important for women to have their share of high-paying jobs in the business world,” Fiedler said.
Randi L. Sims, professor of management in the Huizenga Business College with a doctorate in business administration, shared her thoughts on businesswomen and the positions they hold.
“While a greater number of women are employed, women continue to be underrepresented in the executive suite,” Sims said. She explained that this is known as the glass ceiling, which means that when women acquire a better position in their jobs, they realize that “promotions to the highest levels in the organization are rare.”
“While a greater number of women are employed, women continue to be underrepresented in the executive suite.” -Randi L. Sims
Regardless of the significant number of employed women, equal pay has yet to be universally achieved, according to American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). This is not only an issue in the business sphere, but in almost every occupation in America. The National Women’s Law Center’s (NWLC) statistics show that women “are only paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men.” At the end of every year, the payment inequality is substantial.
“It is disappointing to learn that the wage gap continues to exist. At the current rate of progress, women will not achieve equal pay until 2119,” Sims said. One of the NWLC’s suggestions toward removing the pay gap is to improve and perfect the Equal Pay Act, which disparages wage gap between sexes, that has been lawful since 1963.
Although the number of businesswomen has increased significantly throughout the past 20 years, there is still room for more women to take initiative and join the business world. By empowering each other, women could put an end to pay inequality.
“Equal pay is not only the moral thing to do, but it is the law,” said Fiedler. September 22 goes beyond a regular celebratory day, it is a reminder for businesswomen to get together and empower other women to aim high and work to make their goals happen all throughout the year.