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Phoenix Forward

5 predictions about working women

Working Women.

Forget the Chinese Zodiac calendar: This should be called the Year of the Working Woman. Case in point: In 2012, the number of women influencing the workplace, as both employees and business owners, is set to shoot up at a historic rate.

“Just like Rosie the Riveter, more women will tap into their skills and entrepreneurialism to redefine the leadership landscape, launch small businesses, pursue and apply education, and ultimately drive job creation,” says Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, PhD, author of the new book Society 3.0: How Technology Is Reshaping Education, Work and Society.

She shares these top five predictions for working women in 2012:


More women will become leaders in the workplace.

The pipeline of female leaders “will increase quickly,” says Wilen-Daugenti, who serves as vice president and managing director of Apollo Research InstituteSM, a nonpartisan research group that studies trends in education and the workforce. This year, 18 women are leading Fortune 500 companies, including newcomers Virginia “Ginni” Romety, of IBM™, and Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. Already the number of women CEOs has increased 12.5 percent at Fortune 500 companies compared with 2011, Wilen-Daugenti notes. 


Women-owned firms will drive job creation and employment.

Women-owned businesses account for an estimated 23 million jobs annually, Wilen-Daugenti says. “That’s great news for workers,” she adds, citing government statistics, because women-owned businesses are growing in number and making significant contributions to the U.S. economy.


Women will launch their own businesses and work for themselves.

“More 21st-century women are inspired to become their own bosses,” Wilen-Daugenti says. Over a 15-year span, from 1997 through 2011, she explains, women-owned businesses doubled at a rate of 1.5 times the national average.


More and more women will obtain higher education.

“There are three women who earn degrees for every two men, and women are more likely to continue on to graduate school,” Wilen-Daugenti says. She indicates in her book that by 2012, the number of women earning degrees is expected to exceed the number of men matriculating. Women understand that education is a key requirement for future complex jobs and careers, and that educated people will lead the future workforce, she adds.


Women will outperform the market.

A NASDAQ® report finds that women-led companies are more financially successful compared with companies headed by men, Wilen-Daugenti says. This same report notes that women-friendly corporations generate higher profits than male-centric companies do.


IBM® is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corp.
NASDAQ® is a registered trademark of Nasdaq Stock Market Inc.

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