In the last two decades, the number of women-owned business in the United States has jumped 114 percent. But in a recent study, women still fall behind in equal pay in businesses of all sizes.
Across the United States, 11 million women-owned businesses employ 9 million people and generate about $1.7 trillion in revenue, according to Matthew Owenby the chief human resource officer for Aflac. He said his team was seeing a positive trend in women owned-businesses, but he wanted to find out how other women are faring in the workforce.
“About a third of the women we surveyed said there are still issues but progress is being made, which is good,” Owenby said. “There is still opportunity there for small businesses to improve.”
In Utah, men made $15,000 more on average than women in 2016. That comes from a report by the Institute of Women’s Policy Research. Owenby said men tend to make more money than women in both small and large businesses. Large corporations do provide more health benefits and job-growth opportunities for men and women, but small businesses have their perks as well.
“95 percent of small business employees feel satisfied at work,” Owenby said. “Those are extremely high numbers, people are very optimistic about the future of work. The other positive things they mentioned about being in small businesses, primarily flexible scheduling, feeling appreciated, feeling a part of a team or a family, seeing the output of their work and how that affects the company.”
Owenby said owners of small businesses also tend to be more transparent about the direction they’re taking the company.
As unemployment rates go down the scarcity of talent goes up and Owenby said that will put a strain on small businesses. He said they can still compete by offering competitive health benefits and competitive pay.