Countdown to Success: Women Making Big Strides in Local Business

A word from Hudson Valley Executive Editor, Olivia J. Abel

I’m a word person, not a numbers person. Hence, my long career as an editor and writer. In fact, when I attended my daughter’s kindergarten back-to-school night in September, I audibly snickered when her teacher said that many of the parents there that night — squeezing ourselves into tiny little chairs and looking around wide-eyed for some cute drawings — would not understand our children’s math homework. How could that be, I said later. But I had to admit that the idea of this new Common Core math, while not exactly striking fear in my heart, left me feeling vaguely uneasy. Still, there are times when I’m well aware that it is best to put down my pen (or get my fingers off the keyboard, if you will) and let the numbers do the talking. And that’s what I’m going to do right here.

In this issue we bring you our third annual roundup of local businesswomen. I hope that our profiles of these 10 local movers and shakers — both entrepreneurs and those who have climbed the corporate ladder — impress and inspire you. Several people have commented to me that, in this day and age, they don’t know if it is necessary to single out women. After all, females have been a vital part of the workforce for decades now, and there is no denying that significant strides have been made in recent years. Still, there is a long way to go. Let’s look at the numbers:

  • Women earn 60 percent of all master’s degrees, 47 percent of all law degrees, and 48 percent of all medical degrees 
  • More than 9.1 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people and generating more than $1.4 trillion in sales
  • One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned

That’s the positive news. But in other key areas, the figures are less encouraging:

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  • Women make up only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs
  • In 2013, median weekly earnings of men over the age of 16 was $860; women earned $706
  • Tech giant Google admitted last year that 83 percent of its technical workforce is male
  • One year out of college, college-educated women working full-time earned $35,296, compared to $42,918 for their male counterparts

On November 13, we plan to celebrate the achievements of our local businesswomen. At Hudson Valley’s inaugural Women in Business Luncheon, held at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, we’ll honor 31 local hot shots. For more information about this exciting event, click here

And while we salute hard work, we are also excited that the holidays are right around the corner. There are hundreds of ways to celebrate the season in high style here in the Valley; check out our extensive guide to Holiday Happenings here

Happy Holidays. 

Olivia J. Abel
Executive Editor

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