S.H.E. Matters: Breaking Down the Boys’ Club That is Construction

Category: SHE Matters • January 17, 2023

As the construction industry continues to be one of the most male-dominated fields in America, it is becoming increasingly important to address issues of gender inequality and promote diversity within this field.

Despite efforts over the years, women still make up a small percentage of workers in construction and face a considerable wage gap compared to their male counterparts.

Let’s take a closer look behind the construction curtain:

Constructing a Gap in the Industry

The construction industry is a male-dominated field, with women making up only a small percentage of the workforce. In fact, as reported by the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER), “nearly 90% of the industry is male.”

This gender gap has been present for decades and reflects the larger societal issue concerning workplace equality. Stereotypes and entrenched biases have contributed to this wage gap by discouraging women from entering the field due to their perceived inability or lack of capability.

Specifically, the construction industry is disproportionately male-dominated due to longstanding societal and cultural norms that have seen women traditionally viewed as unsuited for manual labor. This has created a lack of diversity in the workforce, with men making up the majority in most construction sites; women who are in construction are more likely to be behind a desk.

Additionally, other factors like lower pay, fewer opportunities to advance within the field, and lack of support networks are often cited as reasons why more women do not pursue a career in this industry.

Wait — Wages Matter, Too

As a result of all of the aforementioned, there are limited opportunities for growth or career advancement for women within construction. Moreover, an imbalance in wages between men and women has remained pervasive in the overall industry.

For example, according to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), women earn just 74 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts in the construction field at large. With regard to managerial roles in specific, women make approximately 86 cents for every dollar earned by a male colleague.

This wage gap is not only alarming but is also reflective of the larger societal issue concerning workplace equality in the United States.

Closing the Construction Gap

In order to create an environment where workplace equality and equitable distribution of resources between genders is possible, there need to be initiatives that focus on promoting diversity in the industry by encouraging more women to enter or continue working in construction fields.

Some actions leaders might take could include…

  • Providing more leadership roles for women
  • Creating mentoring programs
  • Implementing policies that favor equitable wages
  • Establishing guidelines against sexual harassment or discrimination
  • Offering educational support like specialized courses or training sessions targeted towards female workers
  • And more

Together, these steps can help create a more diverse and inclusive workplace that ultimately benefits everyone involved regardless of gender identity or background.

But what do you think? Are you in construction, or do you know someone who is and deserves a moment in the spotlight? Because we’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to us or visit our S.H.E. Matters page to send in a submission for our review, and stay tuned here for more information!

Our Top 5 Recommended Resources for Women-Owned Businesses

Category: SHE Matters • December 21, 2022

The time to finalize our New Year’s resolutions has arrived and — regardless of whether you’re an aspiring female entrepreneur or the existing owner of a women-led business — we’re willing to bet your bottom line is a part of the big picture.

What’s more, we want to see you thrive.

That’s why, if you’ve found yourself on the hunt for resources and organizations that will give you the year-end boost you need, we recommend the following five:

  1. Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

Having recently celebrated 30 years’ worth of business-related impact, the AEO’s vision “is for every individual in the U.S. to have access to resources and services for creating wealth, assets, and healthy communities through business ownership.”

Specifically, the AEO is focused on providing economic assistance and resources for entrepreneurs who are historically underserved, which includes many women — especially women of color. Thus, we highly recommend this organization.

  1. Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC)

The AWBC “works to secure economic justice and entrepreneurial opportunities for women by supporting and sustaining a national network of over 100 Women’s Business Centers.”

This non-profit organization assists a reported 150,000 female entrepreneurs every year. If you’re looking for mentorship or training, financing opportunities, and/or development resources, we highly recommend the AWBC.

  1. National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO)

“The National Association of Women Business Owners is an organization in the United States founded in 1975 that has the purpose of networking the approximately 10.6 million women-owned businesses,” according to the organization’s website, “so as to provide mutual support, share resources, and provide a single voice to help shape economic and public policy.”

No matter where you are located in the United States, NAWBO is there for you. With nationwide chapters that support women across all industries, you can consider this organization your “one-stop shop” for all things business development-oriented.

  1. Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO)

Created through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), “The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to enable and empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support.”

With a particular focus on “women who are economically or socially disadvantaged,” this government-provided resource is committed to training and counseling new female entrepreneurs. Additionally, its services are offered in a variety of languages.

  1. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

The mission of the WBENC “is to fuel economic growth globally by identifying, certifying, and facilitating the development of women-owned businesses.”

After 25 years of operation, amassing a network of over 450 organizations, and partnering with a curated 14 regional partners, the WBENC remains committed to closing the gap between women-led businesses and their male counterparts.

Last but not least, we’d be honored if you kept us in mind.

Here at Mad Men Marketing, we provide industry-leading marketing solutions to women-led businesses. What’s more, we’d love to hear your story and share it with our community!

Do you want to see your business highlighted? Or do you have someone else in mind? We’d love to know! Please reach out to us or visit our S.H.E. Matters page to send in a submission for our review, and stay tuned here for more information.

Small Business Saturday: S.H.E. Matters — And It Is Her Business.

Category: SHE Matters • November 21, 2022

Let us ask you a question: Do you observe and support Small Business Saturday? More importantly, how many women-owned businesses do you try to support on this day?

As we end our Thanksgiving feasts with Black Friday hot on our heels, our shopping lists are only bound to grow. And as you shop local, you should also shop women-owned.

If you’re curious to learn a little more about why, here’s what you need to know:

(Women-Led) Business 101

Every year, we see more and more women-led and owned businesses emerging. That being said, how many you will find may depend on the industry.

For example, according to the 2021 annual report created by The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), woman-owned businesses in the United States are “concentrated in” the five following industries:

  • Other services
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services
  • Retail trade
  • Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.”

Of course, regardless of industry, women face unique challenges in business compared to male colleagues or competitors. And, from day one, it all comes down to the money.

“When women business owners pitch their ideas to investors for early-stage capital, they receive significantly less—a disparity that averages more than $1 million—than men,” the Boston Consulting Group found. “Yet businesses founded by women ultimately deliver higher revenue—more than twice as much per dollar invested—than those founded by men.”

But, if these gaps emerge so early on for these businesses, what might the overall picture look like for established businesses today?

Her Business Matters

Despite the aforementioned, women-led and owned businesses today are doing well overall.

“Women-led businesses employed 10.1 million workers and accumulated $1.8 trillion in receipts in 2019,” as reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which deemed 2021 a “Year of Historic Achievements for Women-owned Businesses.”

That being said, the positive trends in this area are not necessarily felt across the board. Rather, the matter of intersectionality brings other challenges to light.

Specifically, since 2014, the revenue raised by women-of-color-owned businesses shrank, creating a disparity between these businesses and those owned by Caucasian women.

What’s more, “the disparity has an enormous effect on the U.S. economy,” according to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, which was commissioned by American Express. “Four million new jobs and $981 billion in revenue would be added if [the] average revenue of minority women-owned firms matched that of white women-owned businesses.”

Thus, it is of increasing importance that we specifically seek out and support businesses that are owned and led by women of color.

S.H.E. Matters is Open for Business

With women generating record profits for our economy — as well as revolutionizing the workforce and workplace cultures — a little support to a woman-led business could have a bigger impact than you’d think.

Further, we would love to highlight some of your favorite locally-owned businesses that are owned and run by women. After all, word of mouth is powerful unto itself!

Do you have someone in mind? We’d love to know! Please reach out to us or visit our S.H.E. Matters page to send in a submission for our review, and stay tuned here for more information!

Now You’re Just Somebody that S.H.E. Used to Know: Exploring “The Great Breakup”

Category: SHE Matters,Uncategorized • October 16, 2022

We’re sure you’re acquainted with the term, “The Great Resignation.” Occurring in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic over the last couple of years, the national workforce witnessed an onslaught of employees jumping ship in favor of better opportunities, work-life balance, and greener pastures altogether.

But what if we told you that it was a little more nuanced than that?

Specifically, we’re talking about women in the workforce — and women in leadership positions, especially. In other words, we’re talking about “The Great Breakup.”

If You Liked It, Then You Should Have Made A Value of It

Simply put, the Great Breakup is a similar phenomenon to the Great Resignation. However, while many may think of it as a wave of women simply quitting their jobs, the subject is more complex.

And it all comes down to whether or not the woman’s company is aligned with her values.

That being said, Pew Research Center has discovered that “a greater number of women than men tend to enter or exit the labor force in an average month.”

So, what makes the Great Breakup different?

“Women leaders are leaving their companies at the highest rate we’ve ever seen—and at a much higher rate than men leaders,” as explained by McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace 2022 report. “To put the scale of the problem in perspective: for every woman at the director level who gets promoted to the next level, two women directors are choosing to leave their company.”

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Let’s face it: When it comes to women leaving their place of work, many people will likely think of motherhood first. After all, having and raising a child is one of the most common reasons a woman will leave their job, right?

Well, no. Not in the case of the Great Breakup, at least. In this case, it’s often about whether or not a woman’s company is intent on bridging the gaps in both wage and diversity.

“Many women are finding that this intention isn’t there, as women continue to be more likely to experience microaggressions and overwork themselves for little to no reward, even at the executive level,” as reported by CNBC.

And, going back to McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace 2022 report, the following are the top three reasons that women are “breaking up” with their current companies:

  1. Women in leadership positions have a desire to climb the ladder but face greater obstacles than their male colleagues
  2. Women in leadership positions are both overworked and underrecognized
  3. Women in leadership positions are searching for a different workplace culture

S.H.E. Is Miss Movin’ On (Because S.H.E. Matters)

Here’s a (not so) fun fact: Statistics show that a mere “one in four C-suite leaders is a woman, and only one in 20 C-suite leaders is a woman of color.”

And when you consider all of the aforementioned — in addition to the Broken Rung, the Glass Ceiling, and an overall failure to address intersectionality — these statistics are, sadly, unsurprising.

And that’s why we think it’s time we take action and inspire widespread change.

But what do you think? Have you participated in the Great Breakup or the Great Resignation? And, if so, what do you think needs to be addressed and/or changed?

Please reach out to us or visit our S.H.E. Matters page to send in a submission for our review, and stay tuned here for more information!

S.H.E. Matters and is Invaluable to Our Economy

Category: SHE Matters,Uncategorized • September 18, 2022

In case you didn’t know, the month of September is National Women’s Small Business Month.

Thus, in honor of this month’s observance, we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on how women pave their own financial paths and generate a lasting impact on our nation’s economy.

After all, it’s not just that S.H.E. Matters today, it’s that she always has and always will.

The History of Women in Business

Recorded history dates the first woman-run business in America all the way back to the 18th Century.

Specifically, in 1739, “Eliza Lucas Pinckney took over operation of the family’s three South Carolina plantations at the age of 16 after her mother’s passing and her father’s return to the West Indies,” As reported by the SBDC National Information Clearinghouse (SBDCNet).

Following, up until the mid-20th Century, most businesses that were run by women were ale houses, clothing shops, and brothels. Primarily, these were only established by women who were unmarried or otherwise without a man who was considered the “traditional breadwinner” at the time.

Thankfully, by the 1920s, the idea of female entrepreneurship became normalized. Thus, in the 1940s, women were more ready to step into the workforce amidst the ongoing war. Even when the men returned and displaced those women, many went on to establish their own businesses and lines of work.

Finally, in 1988, “Congress passed The Women’s Business Ownership Act, which ended discrimination in lending, eliminated state laws that required married women to have a husband’s signature for all loans and gave women-owned businesses a chance to compete for lucrative government contracts,” according to Media Partners Worldwide.

Modern Growth, Modern Numbers

Today, while women continue to face an uphill battle against the glass ceiling, broken rung, and many other phenomena that otherwise hinder their upward mobility in business, there is still reason for celebration.

“In 1972, there were a little over 400,000 women-owned businesses in the United States,” as reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). “Today, there are over 13 million women-owned businesses and counting.”

What’s more, the U.S. Census reported that, in 2018, “women-owned employer firms reported nearly $1.8 trillion in sales, shipments, receipts or revenue and employed over 10.1 million workers with an annual payroll of $388.1 billion.”

Further, some exciting statistics provided by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) include:

  • One in five firms that report their annual revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned
  • 4.2% of all women-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more.
  • 5.4 million firms are majority-owned by women of color in the U.S.
  • The aforementioned firms generate an annual $361 billion in revenue
  • Those firms also employ 2.1 million people

S.H.E. Matters, and So Does Her Business

At the end of the day, women-owned businesses remain invaluable to our economy, and we hope to see them continue to proliferate as time goes on.

After all, women should not be doubted — and neither should their impact on the workforce.

Further, we would love to highlight some of your favorite locally-owned businesses that are owned and run by women. Please reach out to us or visit our S.H.E. Matters page to send in a submission for our review, and stay tuned here for more information!