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.

(U.S. Census Bureau)

Women by the Numbers

Workforce (CEOs, entrepreneurs)

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 percentage of board seats held by women in the 2020 Index companies has increased from 14.6% in 2011 to 16.6% in 2013. 
(Gender Diversity Index)


•  $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.


During 2011-2012, 17.4% of women provided eldercare, compared with 14.7% of men.
  (Bureau of Labor Statistics)


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

Elected Office/Voting


•  Women account for 19% of members of Congress.


•  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 ever been elected state governor. 

State Legislatures

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


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 using many forms 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%
  (Strategy Online)

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.
•  Online 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.
  (Women’s Media Center)