Why Women Run the World

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A blog by Erika Agata

It all truly began in 1963 when the Equal Rights Amendment was passed. But before that, women were only considered to be stay-at-home mothers and caretakers for both their husbands and children. However, when men went off to serve in the first World War, women were given the chance to prove that they could handle “men’s work.” Huge numbers of them were recruited into what was once considered “men only” jobs, along with new ones being created as part of the war effort (i.e ammunition factories). Women undertook jobs in mechanics, engineering, tank driving, building ships, factory work, driving fire engines, plumbing, etc. 

This change allowed women to be more than a domestic partner and in many cases allowed them to be one of the breadwinners of the family. In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act established minimum wage regardless of sex, and a few years later, in 1947, the US Supreme Court stated that women were equally qualified to not only serve on juries but are granted an exemption and may serve, if women chose to. Even to this day, the discrimination against women in the workplace has continued and can be considered even worse than back in the day. Whether it is due to race, religion, and/or sexual orientation, women have gotten the short end of the stick. For every dollar a man makes, a woman makes less. In 2018, if they’re Asian they make .87 cents, if they’re Hispanic they make .56 cents, if they’re African American they make .64 cents, and if they’re white they make .79 cents. If we were to dig a little deeper, and look at 2020’s gender gap pay, we see that if it is uncontrolled gender pay, women make 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. If it is controlled gender pay, women make 98 cents for every dollar earned by men. 

Now, if we were to look at how many businesses, both globally and in America, we would see that there are less women-owned businesses. In America, 4 out of 10 businesses are owned by a woman and in 2017, 71% of the newly launched female-owned businesses were by women of color. And did you know that women-owned businesses are SAFER to invest in? This is because for every dollar that is invested into these companies, they end up generating TWO TIMES the revenue of businesses founded by men. This is also because women tend to ask for less money while business financing and also tend to self-finance because looking for outside investors can be difficult. Furthermore, when applying for loans, men on average are given a loan of $43,916 while women receive a loan of $38,392 which is almost 5k less (and sometimes even less then that – truly the price of prejudice). When compared to America (who is 23rd), Ghana is the world leader for women-owned businesses because 46.4% of their businesses are owned by women. 

Furthermore, women-owned businesses added over half a million jobs between the years of 1997 and 2007. Though women-owned businesses continue to grow, there continues to be a disparity in how women are treated in the workforce, but if you were to notice, “almost every company that’s forward-looking… tends to be led by a woman” (Success). Women tend to come up with great and ingenious ideas that end up growing into empires. An example of this would be Build-A-Bear. The idea came to Maxine Clark from a trip to the mall with a friend’s daughter who suggested they should make their own stuffed bear at home, and thus the first store was opened in St. Louis in 1997. Another example would be Madam CJ Walker who took a hair product that changed her life, and was able to turn it into an empire during a time where women, and more specifically black women were shamed for wanting to be more than just a housewife. 

In conclusion, women have always wanted more, and have fought hard for more since the 1920s. They have come so far, and so many beloved businesses have come from it. Regardless of the gender pay gap and the difference in treatment. Thus, women run the world because without women, we wouldn’t have the following: circular saw (Tabitha Babbitt/1812), aquarium (Jeanne Villepreux-Power/1832), ice cream maker (Nancy Johnson/1843), computer algorithm (Ada Lovelace/1843), submarine lamp and telescope (Sarah Mather/1845), dishwasher (Josephine Cochran/1872), globes(Elle Fitz/1875), alphabet blocks (Adeline D.T. Whitney), life raft (Maria Beasley/1882), fire escape (Anna Connelly/1887), ironing board (Sarah Boone/1892), car heater (Margaret A. Wilcox/1893), medical syringe (Letitia Geer/1899), and so much more. They may seem insignificant, but they have all been created by strong women and years before the Equal Rights Amendment. In the words of Harry Belafonte, “But I say that the women of today, smarter than the man in every way.”