The Undeniable Force of Women Influencing the Economy, Shaping Culture and Making History

by Carrie Bobb

Audrey Gleman | inc.com

Walking to my gate through San Diego International Airport, I did a double take passing by a newsstand. Is that a pregnant woman on the cover of Inc.? Audrey Gelman, the co-founder of the women’s co-working space, the Wing, was standing in all her 8-month-third-trimester glory on the cover of Inc. magazine.[1]

As I stand there holding the glossy magazine, something in me sparks with fierce joy for Audrey, Inc. Magazine and women everywhere. We’re doing it.

Just to be clear, this is not women versus men. Quite the contrary. Men, as well as women, see gender diversity impacting the bottom line, making their companies more dynamic, and are paving the way for their sons and daughters. Both men and women are recognizing the undeniable force of women in our businesses and economy. It’s too big to ignore.

Today, women control more than 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S.[2] Women will control two-thirds of all consumer wealth over the course of the next decade. And over that same period, women are expected to be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our nation’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion.[3]

That is a lot of money.

The letter from the editor was titled, “It’s No Longer Lonely at the Top.” | San Diego Magazine

On my flight, I read through this months issues of Inc., Fast Company, Entrepreneur, San Diego Magazine and Fortune. Over and over, page after page, I am reading about remarkable, never-been-done-before, inspirational women who are going for it and changing the world.

The Collection of Women

Repeatedly, women who are speaking about their personal success often address the collective successes of women in business, or they challenge social issues, leveraging their platform to push for intrinsic change. It struck me that women in business are approaching their individual success and accomplishments as a team sport.

femalefoundercollective.com

Rebecca Minkoff, founded the Female Founder Collective after learning that 82% of women are more likely to support female-founded companies if they only knew how, and just like that, it was born. “It proved to me that a symbol or a seal for consumers to recognize would be key for us to find ways to support and give our money to female founders,” says Minkoff.

She created a symbol so women could find each other and support each other even more.

Sara Blakely posted this pic captioned with “Big mood.” on Instagram. Sara Blakely | Instagram & LinkedIn

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, is all about championing women in business. In 2006, she launched the Sara Blakely Foundation, which focuses on charities that empower underserved women and girls. Her website boasts, “While many of the world’s resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed: Women.”

Blakely writes, “Since I was a little girl I have always known I would help women. In my wildest dreams I never thought I would have started with their butts. As it turns out, that was a great place to start! Before starting Spanx, I wrote in my journal that I wanted to invent a product that would make millions of women feel good. Spanx became my way to deliver comfort, support and confidence to women all over the world. At the same time, it became my platform to give back. From the beginning, I set aside a portion of proceeds to give away. As the company grew, so did my opportunity to empower women.”

Paying It Forward

Something magical happens when women rally together. It starts out like champagne bubbles humming below the surface. It doesn’t take long for ideas to float to the top where they fizzle and pop, creating even more together.

Abby Wombach is a U.S. soccer Olympic gold medalist, New York Times best selling author and holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players. In her book Wolfpack, she writes, “We will take action on behalf of all of us. We will help each other. We will point to each other. We will claim infinite joy, success, and power-together. We will celebrate the success of one woman as a collective success for all women.”

Over 92% of women said they pass along information about deals or recommendations to others, and it makes sense. [4]

It’s no wonder the force behind women entrepreneurs feels like the strong pull of a tide gaining more and more momentum. It is the individual women who are crushing it and covering new territories passing along their information and recommendations at a resounding rate. The results are exponential. And it’s only getting stronger.


[1] Gelman is the first pregnant CEO to grace the cover of a national business magazine.

[2] Source: Federal Reserve, MassMutual Financial Group, BusinessWeek, Gallup

[3] Source: Mediapost, April 19, 2013; She-conomy

[4] Source: Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather