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Women in Numbers

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Facts and figures on females from throughout the world. 

By Mikaila Rushing, Illustrations by Jessica Wetterer

9.4 Million Firms 

Wage gaps in the workplace have people in a fury, but statistics show women are slowly gaining more power to close that gap by starting their own businesses. More than 9.4 million firms throughout the U.S. are women-owned and they’re generating approximately $1.5 trillion in sales annually, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners. Although the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. has grown 68 percent since 2007, only one of every five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned. Women of color are making an impact in the business world. About 2.9 million companies in the U.S. are majority owned by women of color and account for $226 billion in annual revenue.

45 Percent of Olympians

#Blackgirlmagic swept the internet after the 2016 Rio Olympics, with powerhouses like Simone Biles taking home medal after medal in gymnastics. The Rio Olympics also saw true gender equality for the first time, with a total 45 percent of female competitors participating in the summer Olympics. Although the leadership behind the Olympics still struggles to reach gender equality, the organization has taken serious steps toward empowering women in the events. One factor likely helping to level the playing field is the 1991 rule stating for every Olympic event created, there must be a women’s section created as well. Women’s access to new events, as well as those that were traditionally denied to them, be it gymnastics in 1928 or boxing in 2012, accounts for a lot of newly gained power in the world’s most influential sporting event.

85 Percent of Women

Far from being a time suck, it’s been found the internet and mobile devices can empower women in society. According to the U.S. Global Development Lab, 85 percent of women say the internet provides them with more freedom. Women, particularly those in developing countries, often do not have the same access to information, communication and opportunities their male counterparts do. But the internet and mobile devices like smartphones are helping connect women to those resources, empowering them to make an impact in the world. Communication can also provide a sense of security to at-risk women, and it’s been found that 68 percent of women say they feel safer with mobile devices.

19.6 Percent of Congress

In the upheaval that followed the 2016 election, women have been running for office in record numbers throughout the country, many citing Donald Trump as their inspiration, be that in a positive or negative light. Whatever the motivation, women are slowly gaining their seats at the political table, currently making up 19.6 percent of the 114th U.S. Congress, or 105 of the 535 seats, up from a mere 3 percent in 1971. The percentage increase marks years of small victories and several steps forward. The political landscape is shifting, after all, and women are sprinting toward the future, hot on the heels of congressmen.

1st Full-time NFL Official 

The NFL has recently had its fair share of scandals, especially in terms of views on women. But it seems the pushback has been heard at a higher decibel, as progress continues to be seen, be it women appearing in NFL commercials or in the NFL’s hiring of more female staff. One such step forward came in 2015 with the hiring of Sarah Thomas, the first full-time female official in the NFL’s nearly 100-year history. Thomas has been working as an official since 1999, and climbed her way up the ladder, earning her spot as the first women to officiate a major college football game at the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl before landing her current full-time professional position. In a New York Daily News article, Thomas said she does not consider herself a trailblazer. For other women working for a career in sports, though, the path to victory looks much clearer with Thomas in front.

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