Women in entrepreneurship is a hot-button issue right now. Women represent a significantly smaller number of executives and entrepreneurs then men, and far fewer women aspire to positions of leadership.
Intuit published an infographic today presenting the top cities for female entrepreneurs as well as some interesting statistics about the state of women-owned businesses in the U.S. The report looked at median education levels, unemployment rates, income, population and percentage of business owned by women in each city to provide an overall score for female entrepreneurship.
San Francisco ranks number one, followed by Seattle, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, and Portland. Washington, D.C., has the highest percentage of women-owned businesses at 34.5 percent, while Austin had the lowest unemployment rate. Chicago and New York did not even make the top 10. Of 552 female business owners surveyed, 66 percent said they are most optimistic about growth and revenue for 2013 than they were in 2012.
Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg set off ripples of discussion with her recent book, Lean In. In the book, she said women professionals often don’t command the respect they deserve and hold themselves back from climbing the career ladder. This issue extends beyond the tech community, where there is a major shortage of women engineers. Women all over the country cite a low confidence, negative workplace culture, and a lack of mentors as other reasons, which is why Sandberg promotes women coming together in groups for discussion and support.
Studies have shown that gender and ethnic diversity in a workplace strengthens decision-making and diverse teams tend to be more innovative and efficient. Intuit also made a few suggestions along these lines, including finding and being a mentor, asserting yourself, and building a network of female entrepreneurs. Even if the environment for female entrepreneurs is evolving, there is still a long way to go.
Photo Credit: Alaina Percival/Women Who Code