Celebrating American Business Women
NJM celebrates women in business every day of the year, but there’s also a dedicated day of recognition for all the women who keep their companies running day in and day out. National American Business Women’s Day honors the contributions and accomplishments of the millions of women participating in or owning businesses in the U.S. The annual celebration is held on September 22 and was officially recognized by congressional proclamation in 1983 and again in 1986.
Women have taken strides toward greater representation in the workforce in recent years. Yet executive positions at large firms are predominantly held by men. In 2018, only 22 women held CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies. Nearly 47% of U.S. workers are women, according the U.S. Department of Labor, yet less than 5% of the nation’s most powerful companies are led by women.
At EA Boniakowski Group, an independent insurance agency, women represent three quarters of the staff. “It is my belief that supporting women in the workforce is essential to running a successful business,” says Doris Zampella, CEO of EAB Group. “That means allowing for flexibility in scheduling, designing business practices around a healthy work–life balance, and offering opportunities for advancement.”
At NJM Insurance Group, women make up 50% of its Executive Leadership Team . The senior vice president & chief information officer and senior vice president & chief underwriting officer positions are both held by women.
The Boom of Women Business Owners
The number of businesses owned by women in the U.S. has grown at a faster rate than for any other demographic. According to the 2018 State of Women Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express, in 1972, the number of businesses that were majority–owned by women was 402,000 (4.6% of all firms). In 2018, that number stood at 12.3 million (40% of all firms).
In the past 11 years (2007–2018), the number of women–owned businesses increased by 58% and the total employment by those businesses rose 21%. Why are women in the U.S. launching more than 1,200 businesses every day? According to a 2018 survey by the SCORE Association, the four primary motivations for starting a business are:
A desire to pursue their passion
The experience to start a successful enterprise
A desire for flexibility in their lives
Supporting Women in Business Every Day
Recognizing National American Business Women’s Day is important, but businesswomen can be celebrated every day. Locate a women–owned business and purchase a product or service. The website Women Owned was established to build a broad consumer movement of support for women–owned businesses. Visit the site to discover “why, where, and how to buy women owned.”
Kim Bassford, a Commercial Lines Manager at Insurance Agencies, Inc., attributes her success to positive relationships she has formed throughout her career. “Whether you’re starting your own business or looking for better opportunities in your workplace, relationships matter,” she said. “Learning from, teaching, and helping those around you can lead to opportunities you never expected.”