The number of women in executive leadership roles, STEM fields, and small business ownership roles could match or exceed that of men within the next 20 years, according to the the 2017 Bank of America Women Business Owner Spotlight survey.
The report, which surveyed 1,022 small business owners (375 women) on the aspirations and concerns of women business owners, found that a majority of the respondents believed women would at least match men in the number of these roles filled. A majority of the respondents also believed that women would reach pay equity with men within that time frame as well.
Of the women surveyed, 80% believed there will be equal or greater representation in STEM fields, 68% believed there will be equal or greater representation in the C-suite, 61% believe women's wages will be equal to or greater than men's, and 66% believe there will be more women-owned small businesses than those owned by men.
One of the trends that could help contribute to this closing of the gap is paid maternity leave, which the US currently does not guarantee. As noted in the report, 71% of the respondents believe that at least half of the US states will enact a paid maternity leave policy by 2037.
For the women small business owners surveyed for the report, achieving a proper work-life balance was a priority, listed by 60% of respondents. Some 78% of women small business owners surveyed believed that they had achieved that balance, compared to 85% of men small business owners, the report said.
Other top priorities for women entrepreneurs were developing a strong workplace culture (16%), being seen as a leader in the industry (12%), and being innovative in business (12%).
More than 60% of the women surveyed said that they work more than 40 hours per week. However, they were also very fulfilled in their work, based on the language they used to describe their job. For positive words, 52% called their job interesting, 48% said it was fulfilling, and 46% said it was enjoyable. On the flip side, 46% said their work was demanding, 33% said it was stressful, and 21% called it exhausting.
For more information on how women can advance in their careers, including negotiating for a higher salary, check out this article by TechRepublic's Alison DeNisco.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- A majority of women small business owners surveyed by Bank of America believe that women will exceed the number of men in leadership roles, STEM fields, and small business ownership by 2037.
- Many of those surveyed also believed that women would reach pay equity with men in that same timeframe as well, according to the report.
- One of the top priorities for women small business owners was maintaining a proper work-life balace, cited by 60% of respondents.
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Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.