By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0) & Harrison Kratz (Community Manager, MBA@UNC)
Women today are making professional strides at an unprecedented level. We are seeing women start businesses at 1.5 times the national average, a 20 percent increase over the last decade. We're also seeing educated women at record numbers; women now hold more bachelor's and graduate degrees than men.
There is still a disparity in earnings and leadership titles across genders, but there are more outspoken advocates of professional women than ever before.
Some common themes in the conversation:
- Confidence: Media pioneer Arianna Huffington cites lack of confidence as killer to women's success. In order to advance their careers, women need to be comfortable seeing themselves as qualified leaders and risk-takers.
Fact: 40 percent of large companies have no women on their boards and 5 percent of startups are owned by women.
- Inclusivity: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and "Change the Ratio" blogger Rachel Sklar are vocal about female inclusivity and encourage women to support one another at all levels. When organizations actively consider women as key stakeholders, the results often prove to be beneficial for all.
Fact: Companies with more equalized gender distribution have 30 percent better IPOs.
- Knowledge: For innovators like Spanx founder Sara Blakely, it's not just about what you know, but what you don't know that can set you apart. Women need to understand their strengths and how to compensate for their weaknesses.
Fact: Women pursuing MBAs are at an all-time high: A third of all MBA candidates.
If you're interested in exploring the state of women at work, take a close look at this infographic that is full of statistics about this topic.
What do you think of women in the workplace today? Leave your comments below!
Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the "+1" for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.
Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, a new initiative which allows students to receive their MBA online from the University of North Carolina from anywhere around the world. He also sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive. Follow him on Twitter at @KratzPR.