The Future of Women in Business

The Future of Women in Business

By Doug Wintermute
OnlineMBA | Updated: October 24, 2022

In the early 20th century, men often held professional and managerial positions, while women typically held clerical and customer-facing service positions. While this makeup has greatly improved since then, disparities still remain in certain roles and industries.

For example, more than 8.8 million women worked in business and financial occupations in 2021, making up nearly 55% of the workforce. However, women filled 41% of management positions and only 29% of chief executive roles, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Research from McKinsey and Company showed more women acquiring management positions between 2015 and 2020 than before. They were also leaving organizations at lower rates than men. Unfortunately, the pandemic changed both of these advancements. In 2020, women felt significantly more pressure than men, reported more burnout, and considered leaving their jobs and the workforce at much higher rates.

Current Status of Women in Business

Women made up 50.5% of the population in 2021, reports the US Census BureauAccording to the BLS, however, women only make up 42.6% of the over 19 million workers in the professional and business services industry as of 2021. They even outnumber men in nine of the 22 subfields in this sector.

While we continue moving toward gender balance in business overall, gender-based occupational sexism still exists. Women of color encounter even greater disparities, which warrants further examination but falls beyond the scope of this piece.

Women tend to dominate support- and care-centered occupations in business. But, they lag in STEM-related fields, such as architectural and engineering services and computer systems design services. These trends can negatively impact women’s salaries and their ability to improve their socioeconomic standing since the two male-dominated subfields pay some of the highest wages in the industry.

Gender-based divides endure in business for various reasons. According to the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, gender discrimination in the workplace, stereotypes about women’s skills, and sexist social pressures may be partly responsible.



To read the entire article by Doug Wintermute at OnlineMBA , visit: The Future of Women in Business