Talented, dedicated and ambitious women’s entrepreneurial spirits increasingly are driving the nation forward.
Women have steadily increased their presence in the world of small-business ownership over the past 10 years. In fact, the number of women-owned firms has grown 68 percent since 2007, compared with 47 percent for all businesses, and wo-men-owned businesses support more than 7.9 million jobs, according to a survey commissioned by American Express.
Women have many reasons to love working for a small business, according to Aflac’s 2018 Small Business Happiness Survey, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. employees at organizations with three to 49 employees. Eighty-seven percent of all employees said it is more fun working at a small business, and that number was even higher among women.
Here are three key findings from Aflac’s survey that indicate women are finding happy, fulfilling careers at small businesses.
A supportive, close-knit working environment
One of the clear benefits small businesses have over their counterparts is the ability to more easily create company cultures that make all employees feel like they belong. In fact, in this year’s survey, women employees ranked feeling like a family as the best part of working for a small business.
The benefits of greater flexibility
While working for a small business often comes with many perks, women listed flexible scheduling as the biggest perceived benefit. This was closely followed by feeling more appreciated and feeling like their input matters. These benefits help explain how a whopping 91 percent of all employees feel satisfied working at a small business.
However, 31 percent of female employees said the top challenge of working for a small business over a large one is salary and benefits. Adding voluntary benefits like dental, vision, accident and critical illness insurance is a proven way to not only help employees manage out-of-pocket medical costs, but also improve employee benefits satisfaction and job retention.
Progress and commitment toward pay equality
Seventy-eight percent of female small-business employees believe they are compensated equally with their coworkers, and 73 percent think the small-business industry achieves success when it comes to equal pay. Still, 48 percent of male and female respondents acknowledge that there remains room for improvement. All together, these strides indicate the small-business community is on the right path forward.