In the United States, women only got the right to vote in the year 1920. That may seem like ancient history, evoking flappers and black-and-white jazz-age ambiance. The truth is, there are Americans alive today who lived before women’s suffrage was the norm, so it wasn’t so long ago!
In some ways, we’ve come a long way. Women-owned businesses are popping up in our communities in great rapidity. But, unless Utah residents make supporting female-owned businesses a priority, we’re unlikely to see the incredible social change possible when women entrepreneurs hold enough agency to make a change.
Why should a female-owned company be any different from any other? Read on to learn about the importance of these female leaders in the business world and why supporting them can improve life for individuals of all genders.
The Parity Problem
Although our constitution boasts about equality, any woman who has compared her paycheck with a male coworker’s knows we still have a long way to go. According to the Pew Research Center, women continue to earn 84% of what their male colleagues make, a statistic that has held steady for the past fifteen years. Women with equal or greater education or experience to their male colleagues deserve parity in pay.
When a woman owns a business, she can correct this inequity for both her employees and herself. This may not seem like a big deal. After all, is one women-owned company going to make enough difference to help achieve parity for all?
Yes! Women-owned businesses in the United States are outpacing businesses owned and operated by any other demographic group! Our female business leaders can help close the wage gap by providing economic opportunities for other women and supporting the next generation of female entrepreneurs!
That’s because each of these female-owned businesses is a job creator, providing opportunities for community members. The number of new employees hired by women-owned businesses is higher than the national average.
Investing in Community
By supporting women-owned and operated businesses, you could also be helping your community here at home. According to data from McKinsey, women reinvest 90% of their income into their families and the local community. This contribution can affect local markets, and women are not the only ones to reap these benefits!
That reinvestment can improve all aspects of the local community, but it has broader global implications, too. For example, economists predict that women alone can contribute $12 trillion to global growth in the next four years alone!
This can mean supporting initiatives that can make it easier for women to get to work – or get back to work after pregnancy, which is one of the major challenges women face in the workforce. Everyone benefits when a community can offer high-quality childcare, subsidized recreational programming, and clean and safe public spaces.
In essence, supporting companies owned by women means supporting the most vulnerable members of your local community by proxy. Investing in women is also investing in food banks, libraries, and other social supports that can lead to more productivity in the local economy. That’s an investment worth making!
How You Can Show Support
The easiest way to show support for women-owned businesses is to make it a priority to patronize them! Your dollar is power, and every cent makes it easier for a female entrepreneur to keep the lights on, keep community members employed, and continue to contribute locally and globally. Many businesses make most of their profit for the year around the holiday season, so keep this in mind as you choose where to spend your money on Black Friday and beyond!
Not all of your support has to be financial, however. There are ways to support women-owned businesses with your words and deeds that can not only make it easier for the current cohort of woman business owners in Utah but the next generation.
Start With Access
For example, let your government leaders know that access to capital is the first step toward opening these new businesses in the state! Likewise, inequity begins when women attempt to secure a business loan. By encouraging legislatures to remove these barriers, you are helping women get to work!
Whether you’re a business owner yourself or work for a larger employer, seek out opportunities to provide grants for female business owners in your community. Can you be a force for good that helps women get their businesses off the ground?
Who Supplies Your Business?
If you are a business owner yourself, take note of your suppliers? Are any of your own suppliers women-owned? If not, can you make a change in order to support women-owned businesses?
How Do You Give?
Consider your investments in the local community, including charitable donations. You can invest that money in charities that do a lot of the groundwork to support women entrepreneurs. How can you use your annual contribution to support and empower the women in your community?
Women-Owned Businesses Are the Future
There are so many ways to support the women-owned businesses in your community – and even more reasons to do it! The number of women-owned businesses in Utah continues to grow, and as a result, all residents can benefit from their investments and contributions. So how will you make it a point to support female entrepreneurs this year?
One way is to stay in the loop. Consider a membership with the Women’s Business Center of Utah. Sign up today to access the free Utah women-owned business directory and become an agent for positive change in Utah.