It's not quite Even Steven (or Even Stephanie, Steven's female counterpart), but it's getting closer. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the following five trends:
1. Women are Winning the Pitch
As a women run agency, going up against the big firms for gigs is a daily occurrence. In the past, you used to show up in the lobby, sit across from a sea of men in suits and know that this probably wasn't going to be your day.
Nowadays not only are women run agencies receiving more requests for proposals (RFPs), which means they get to compete, but the suit stigma is loosening its tie and women are winning more pitches compared to just a decade ago.
2. Corporations Require Diversity Vendors
More companies, especially those that are publicly traded, are required to award a percentage of their vendor contracts to "diversity" vendors. The term used to be "minority owned", but in an overly PC world, the business community has accepted "diversity" as the current term of art.
Organizations like WBENC and WOBC are furthering this trend by offering certifications making women owned businesses eligible for a seat at the table. While this is a positive trend, the unfortunate truth is that not enough companies understand how to get certified and the certification process is quite cumbersome, but worth it.
3. Women are Embracing Their Feminine Wiles
Hey, if you got it, flaunt it. Now, I'm as much a feminist as the next woman CEO, but men have been using their boys' club for years to bully through the pitch process. Deals are made on the golf course, the strip club or over a bottle of scotch and a good cigar. Yet when women historically have used their sexuality, they are shunned for doing so.
On our most basic level we are all human. As such, sexuality will always be an underlying factor in terms of how you are perceived. This results in a psychological game that women now have the power to win by owning their feminine wiles.
A woman's intuition is never wrong and is a power that men simply don't have. That intuition goes double in business if you listen to it. Women tell it like it is, they can read the room, and they have a polished confidence and visceral passion when they own their sexuality without going over the line.
4. More Women Business Owners Than Ever Before
In the U.S., more than 9.4 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and generating $1.5 trillion in sales as of 2015. Women-owned firms (51 percent or more) account for 31 percent of all privately held firms and contribute 14 percent of employment and 12 percent of revenues.
These numbers are expected to exponentially increase year over year, and the hope is that these businesses hire other women so that this trend continues and evens the historically sexist score.
5. Company Decision Makers are Recognizing our Value
It is clear that women are the daily decision makers. Let's face it, when you ask a man what kind of shoes you are wearing, their answer will inevitably be black, where you and the other women around you would know the style, price point, and most likely whether it's a high or low end brand.
Women do their homework when it comes to purchase decisions, which makes sense since they make 70-80 percent of all consumer purchase decisions for themselves, their businesses and their households.
Additionally, 80 percent of women are on some form of social media, which means they are also the influencers of other women's purchase decisions. It's amazing actually that it took corporate America so long to recognize that if you are selling to a woman, that it might be a great idea to hire a company run by a woman for a woman's perspective.
In a culture obsessed with sex, it's refreshing to see these trends emerge in daily business life and corporate culture. While women are by no means there yet, these trends are great indicators that they are in fact taking over the business world, hopefully in a fabulous pair of stilettos.