They come from many different backgrounds and industries, but the women featured in this year’s Women in Business section have one thing in common – they are all making a lasting impact on our community, our state and even our world. From growing the food we eat to growing our entire local economy, and from running their small mom and pop shops to running our cities and colleges, these women are shining examples of what leadership means. You probably already know many of their names, but we’re proud to show you even more about what makes them special!

Unless noted separately, photography for the majority of the Women in Business head shots was provided by Christopher Marchetii, Marchettiphoto.com

Today’s workforce looks nothing like the workforce of the past. Since WWII, women’s participation in the U.S. labor force has climbed from 32.7 percent to 56.8 percent in 2016. Women make up nearly half of today’s workforce – and in many industries ladies are leading the way!

From human resource managers to education administrators and even speech pathologists and physical therapists, women are holding key roles in today’s business world, and their work is making a lasting impact.

In fact, women are 8 percent more likely to have earned a bachelor’s degree by age 29 than men, and in 40 percent of households with children under 18, mothers are the primary or sole earners. Couple that with the nearly 10 million businesses American women own and the $1.4 trillion in receipts these businesses account for, and that’s what we call bringing home the bacon!

Women in Management Occupations

  • Human resources managers 74%
  • Social and community service managers 71%
  • Education administrators 65%
  • Food service managers 46%
  • Marketing and sales managers 45%
  • Chief executives 27%
  • Computer and information systems managers 26%
  • Construction managers 7%

Did you know?

  • There are 74.6 million women in the civilian labor force.
  • Almost 47 percent of U.S. workers are women.
  • More than 39 percent of women work in occupations where women make up at least three-quarters of the workforce.
  • Female veterans tend to continue their service in the labor force: About 3 out of 10 serve their country as government workers.
  • The proportion of women with college degrees in the labor force has almost quadrupled since 1970. More than 40 percent of women in the labor force had college degrees in 2016, compared with 11 percent in 1970.
  • The range of occupations women workers hold has also expanded, with women making notable gains in professional and managerial occupations.
  • In 2016, more than one in three lawyers was a woman compared to fewer than 1 in 10 in 1974.

Still, despite these gains, women remain underrepresented in STEM occupations, and the number of women computer workers has actually decreased since 1990. Fortunately, our education, business and government sectors have been partnering throughout Arizona and the nation to bring STEM to girls and young women starting in elementary school – and the numbers have already begun to shift.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor 2017

Read profiles from our Women in Business Special Section…