March is Women’s History Month (though in fairness it should be called Women’s Herstory Month) and it’s a time to celebrate the impact that women have had throughout history in addition to the whole “giving birth to all humans who’ve ever lived” role that we just do naturally. But we believe the accomplishments of women should be celebrated every day of every month of every year.
The role of women has evolved enormously over the past hundred years but even more so in the last 20 years where leaps and bounds have been made toward gender equality- specifically in business, politics and culture.
This Women’s History Month, we give a perfectly manicured high-five to the women who have come before us. To the women who first recognized inequalities that women face and took a stand. To the women who have been unafraid to make their mark on our popular culture in a world driven by men. To the women who have harnessed their feminine power to create brands and businesses that make a difference.
And we’d also like to recognize the women out there who are about to make history.
So today, International Women’s Day, we celebrate the future of women. And the future is looking pretty darn good. 2016 has the potential to be a ground-breaking year for women, in business, in politics, and in culture.
“We are entering the golden age for female entrepreneurship- and it’ll be awesome” says Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a resource for female investors.
Every year, female-led business ventures are making up a larger and larger percentage of new start ups. Currently, more than 9 million small businesses in the U.S. are owned and operated by women, accounting for 29 percent of all private businesses.
The fastest growing segment of female entrepreneurs? Minority women.
Many argue that women make better entrepreneurs than men too, citing reasons like honesty, creativity, passion and problem-solving being at the forefront of women-owned businesses. And recently Forbes has reported that women-led companies perform three times better than the S&P 500.
With a multitude of peer-to-peer resources available online, such as Boss Babe Inc., Women On Topp and powerhouses like Marie Forleo, it’s the perfect storm for 2016 to be a huge year for female entrepreneurs.
2016 has already been a huge year for women in U.S. politics. We have a woman as a front-runner for the presidential election for the first time in history, with influential women like Madeleine Albright reminding us that “that there is a special place in hell for women that don’t help each other”.
Women have made up the largest segment of voters in the U.S. since the early 1980s. In fact, 86 percent of single women have said they are almost certain they will vote in 2016. Regardless of the outcome of this year’s election, we are seeing women’s issues and gender equality at the forefront of political focus. It’s impossible for candidates to ignore the female population, and what their run as president would do to support the growth of women in the next 4 years.
Not only are women showing up more prominently in business and politics; this is even holding true in popular culture. Last year saw more female protagonists in top-grossing films than any other year prior.
Television shows centering around female leads (like 2 Broke Girls, Orange Is The New Black, Broad City, etc) are becoming more common. Seeing strong female leads on screen is helping young women to feel a sense of belonging and a sense of drive to create the life they want to live, and to feel good about it.
Women are embracing their independence more than ever before. Not only are we at the forefront of a golden era for women in business, politics and media- we are also reaching a point where there are more single young women than married young women.
Women are waiting longer to accept a ring, if at all. We are living on our own, paying our own bills, and even having children on our own. For the first time in history- we are in mass defining ourselves completely independent of men.
These trends are working together to create the best, most powerful year for women yet. Start your business, embrace your independence, support other women.
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- Megan S.
- Jenny B.
- Andrea M.
- Melissa C.