11 Ways Women Are Growing the Economy


We talk a lot about wage disparity, workplace boys’ clubs, and the confidence gap that hinders female investors. All important issues. But here are equally important facts: Women are starting companies at an unprecedented rate, increasingly becoming family breadwinners, and accumulating massive wealth.

Today we want to focus on all the ways women are growing the nation’s economy. Here are 11 reasons to celebrate.

1. Women are accumulating money fast.

It’s estimated that women will earn $14 trillion nationwide in 2014, a 50 percent bump over 2011’s numbers. That number is projected to climb over the next 15 years: Women are slated to control two-thirds of the United States’ wealth by 2030.

2. Women are investing in growing numbers.

Angel investing might still be a predominantly male game (only 22 percent of angel investors are women). But the critical figure here is the 50 percent jump in angel investments from women between 2011 and 2012. And here’s where things get exciting: There’s a definitive trend of female investors backing women-run ventures. Furthermore, women control more than half of investment wealth — 51 percent, in fact — in the U.S.

3. Women will inherit 70 percent of future wealth over the course of the next two generations.

This figure doesn’t even include wealth earned by women. It simply deals with the money women are set to inherit over the next two generations. This means women (who, as we mentioned, already control more than half of investable wealth) are poised to take on an even greater amount of investable wealth and power.

4. When it comes to spending, women are calling the shots.

Worldwide, women make a staggering 80 percent of all buying decisions (and some estimates put that figure closer to 90 percent). This is a huge trump card. To break it down, women in the U.S. make 80 percent of health care decisions, 65 percent of new-car purchase decisions, and 91 percent of home-buying decisions.

5. More women at the top means significantly higher profits.

In a 2007 study of 520 Fortune 500 companies, Catalyst divided the companies into four sections depending on the number of female board directors. So how did the group with the highest percentage of female board directors fare compared to the group with the lowest?

On average, the companies with the highest percentage of female board directors posted 53 percent higher return on equity than companies with the lowest percentage of female board directors. That same comparison showed a 42 percent higher return on sales and 66 percent higher return on invested capital. It sends a pretty clear message: Companies that promote women are doing better than their male-dominated counterparts.

But wait, there’s more.

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