Our Women

OWL advocates for women 40 and over—-a demographic that is the strongest voting bloc in nearly every election.  According to U.S. Census estimates, there are over 78 million women in the U.S. who are 40+, and their number is growing.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: June 2014

Women by the Numbers

Workforce (CEOs, VC firms, business owners)

Women-owned businesses are growing

• Women are starting over 1,200 new businesses per day—double the rate from three years ago
• There are over 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S.
• One-third of all U.S. firms have women as majority owners
• Women-owned businesses generate nearly $1.5 trillion in revenues and employ 7.9 million people
• Women-owned businesses have steadily increased their influence on the U.S. economy
• Since 1997, women-owned firms have:
    • increased in number by 68%
    • grown revenues by 72%
    • added 11% more jobs
      (American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report)

• Women currently hold 4.8% of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 5.1% of Fortune 1000 CEO positions.

• The percent of board seats held by women in the 2020 Index companies increased to 16.6% in 2013 from 15.6% in 2012.The percentage of board seats held by women in 2011, the first year of reporting, was 14.6%. 


• $37,791
  The median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round, full time in 2012. In comparison, the median annual earnings of men were $49,398.

• 77 cents
  The amount that female year-round, full time workers earned in 2012 for every dollar their male counterparts earned. This ratio was statistically unchanged from 2011.


  According to a 2013 analysis of data from the American Time Use Survey, during the 2011-2012 period, 17.4 percent of women provided eldercare, compared with 14.7 percent of men.
  Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). Eldercare in 2011 and 2012. TED: The editor’s desk . Retrieved September 20, 2013, fromhttp://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130920.htm
  These data are from the American Time Use Survey. To learn more, see “Unpaid Eldercare in the United States-2011—2012 Data from the American Time Use Survey” (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-13-1886.


  According to a 2014 analysis of data from the Current Population Survey, in 2013, among women aged 65+, 13.5% were employed, 6.3% were unemployed, and the rest (80.2%) were not in the labor force. In comparison, the rates for men aged 55-64 were 22.1% employed, 6.2% unemployed, and the rest (71.7% ) were not in the labor force. (Table 1, p. 7)
  Women in the labor force: A databook 2013. (2014). (BLS Reports No. 1049). Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-databook-2013.pdf


Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, including:
• 80% of all healthcare spending
• 93 % over-the-counter pharmaceuticals
  (Source: Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team)

Voting/Elected Office

State Legislatures

• As of 2013, 1,779 (24.1%) of the 7,383 state legislators in the United States are women.
Colorado has the highest percentage of females in state legislative office (41%), while Louisiana has the lowest (11.1%).


• In 2013, 71 women held statewide elective executive offices across the country; women held 22.4% of the 315 available positions.
• The largest number of women to serve simultaneously as governors was nine, which occurred in 2004 and again in 2007.
• Since the founding of our country, only 32 women have been elected state governor. 


• Women account for 19% of members of Congress.
• 63.7% of female citizens 18 and older reported voting in the 2012 presidential election, in comparison to 59.7% of their male counterparts.

Social Media

There is a higher percentage of women than men utilizing every form of social media:

• Facebook: 76 % vs 66%
• Tumblr:  54 % vs 46%
• Pinterest: 33% vs 7%
• Using tablets to access social media: 32% vs 20%
• Consuming news on Facebook:  58% vs 42%

Media Representation

• By a nearly 3 to 1 margin, male front-page bylines at top newspapers outnumbered female bylines in coverage of the 2012 presidential election. Men were also far more likely to be quoted than women in newspapers, television and public radio.
• On Sunday TV talk shows, women comprised only 14% of those interviewed and 29% of roundtable guests.
• Talk radio and sports talk radio hosts are overwhelmingly male.
• As newspaper employment continues to tumble, so does the number of women in key jobs.
• Newer, online-only news sites have fallen into the same rut as legacy media. Male bylines outnumbered female bylines at four of six sites reviewed.
• The percentage of women who are television news directors edged up, reaching 30% for the first time. Overall employment of women in TV news remains flat.
• Women comprised just 9% of the directors of the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2013.
• Women comprised 39% of documentary directors whose work appeared at major festivals in 2012-13.
  (all from WMC 2014 report)