Where will tomorrow’s jobs come from? Everyone from Main Street to the White House is focused on that question. Well, according to new data projections from The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute, future job growth will be created primarily by women-owned small businesses.
Guardian’s research shows that by 2018 women entrepreneurs will be responsible for creating between 5 million and 5.5 million new jobs nationwide. That’s more than half of the 9.7 million new jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects small businesses to create, and about one-third of the total new jobs the BLS projects will be created nationwide in that time frame.
The Institute based its projections on an analysis of several factors, including the faster growth rate of women-owned businesses compared to those owned by men; the greater rate of college graduation among women compared to men; the projected growth of industry sectors that are dominated by women; and the fact that women-owned businesses are more likely to be self-funded and thus less dependent on increasingly scarce bank financing or other outside sources of capital.
As they grow, these women-owned businesses will also account for some important changes in the work environment. According to The Guardian Life Index, a survey of American small-business owners, women are most likely to start businesses because they’re unhappy with corporate life. When they become their own bosses, Guardian’s research shows, they are more likely than male managers or entrepreneurs to be:
- diligently engaged in strategic and tactical facets of their business
- proactively customer-focused
- likely to incorporate community and environment into their business plans
- receptive to input and guidance from internal and external advisers
- committed to creating opportunities for others
Underscoring these conclusions, Mark Wolf, director of The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute says,
“As a result of the increasing influence and business leadership of women small-business owners, the workplace of tomorrow will be far less hierarchical. [The approach of women business owners] strongly counteracts the top-down, command-and-control style of management long practiced by their male counterparts.”
John Krubski, futurist and research advisor to The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute agrees. He says,
“This women-led management approach will have a profound impact on the employees and customers connected to these businesses. Women small-business owners will ultimately create more opportunities for employees to grow in their jobs and inspire others to start their own small business – all while providing customers with superior service.”
As a long-time advocate for women-owned businesses, I have to say I am not surprised by the findings. While women business owners still face some obstacles, overall the absence of a glass ceiling makes entrepreneurship more appealing than climbing the ever-shrinking corporate ladder.