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NJ First Lady Tammy Murphy Unveils Groundbreaking Maternal and Infant Health Plan 

First Lady Tammy Murphy and national public health expert Dr. Vijaya Hogan recently unveiled the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plana strategy to reduce New Jersey’s high rates of maternal and infant mortality and eliminate the racial disparities responsible for these deaths. The strategic plan is the latest element of the First Lady’s Nurture NJ initiative, which aims to make New Jersey the safest and most equitable place in the nation to deliver and raise a baby.

Eliminating racial disparities in maternal and infant healthcare 

Currently, Black mothers in the state are seven times more likely than white mothers to die from pregnancy-related complications. In addition, Black babies in New Jersey are three times more likely than white babies to die before their first birthdays. The Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan includes over 70 specific, actionable recommendations for maternal health stakeholders across all sectors. Funded by The Nicholson Foundation and the Community Health Acceleration Partnership, the plan will position New Jersey as a national leader in the fight for maternal health equity.

entrepreneur empowerment lunch

First Lady of New Jersey Tammy S. Murphy unveils the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Plan. (Photo credit: NJ.gov)

“Fully achieving the goals of Nurture NJ requires transformative change to a system that has historically and disproportionately failed Black women,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “The Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan provides the blueprint for necessary collaboration, partnership, and communication among government, private stakeholders, nonprofits and impacted communities and will ensure every New Jersey mother and baby gets off to a healthy start.”

The plan aims to reduce maternal mortality by 50 percent over five years and eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes. To do so, the plan seeks to: (1) ensure all women are healthy and have access to care before pregnancy; (2) build a safe, high quality equitable system of care for all women prenatally through postpartum care; and (3) ensure supportive community environments during every other part of a woman’s life so that the conditions and opportunities for health are always available.  

“Nationally and in New Jersey, maternal and infant mortality are among the worst disparities that Black women experience,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. “We are bombarded by stories that prove this issue crosses socioeconomic boundaries, and despite decades of awareness, we’ve struggled to move the needle. It will take coordinated effort at every level to change these statistics, and I am grateful that the First Lady continues to use her platform and her power to be part of those efforts.” 

 NAACP NJ State Secretary and Health Chair, Vivian M. J. Darkes applauded First Lady Tammy Murphy, and said,  “It is time that we acknowledge this issue and declare racism the social emergency that it is. We must join this collaborative in its quest to build racial equity infrastructure and capacity while engaging trusted voices within the communities, including people of color in the overall structure from the top to the bottom.”

“Women of color experience some of the highest rates of health inequalities due to societal, economic and environmental factors that impact their health,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, March of Dimes. “The Nurture NJ Strategic Plan will go a long way in tackling these social determinants of health, as well as the structural and systemic inequities that we see in our healthcare system. We’re honored to support this transformative and innovative approach to improving maternal health outcomes which has the potential to serve as a national model.”

“The maternal death rate for Black women in NJ is seven times that of white women,” Dr. Nastassia Davis, Founder/Executive Director, Perinatal Health Equity Foundation. “Black women in New Jersey are in a state of crisis.  Just this December we lost a Black mother named Jenayha Nulums to a post birth hemorrhage which was likely preventable. The Nurture NJ plan will complement the Black Mamas Matter Alliance’s plan as they both provide a solid framework of the necessary steps to move the needle forward. We have talked about these statistics long enough, it is time to put our words into actions.”

Implementing Nurture NJ: “Not just a ‘quick fix’ –it’s a long-term strategy” 

Formally launched as Nurture NJ on Maternal Health Awareness Day, January 23, 2019, the issue of maternal and infant health has been a focal point of the First Lady since the inception of the Murphy Administration in 2018.

NJ First Lady Tammy Murphy Keynote Speaker at 2019 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch. 

“This plan is not just a ‘quick fix’ — it’s a long-term strategy that will result in the systemic change needed to reach our goal of making New Jersey the safest and most equitable place in the nation to give birth and raise a baby,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “By focusing on equity, we can more effectively transform a system that has been failing New Jersey’s women of color for too long.”

The Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan is the culmination of over a year of in-person and virtual meetings with over 100 critical stakeholders, including national public health experts, New Jersey state departments and agencies, health systems, physicians, doulas, community organizations, and mothers and families. The team drew on extensive maternal health research and data to examine the structural barriers and systemic racism that contributes to the maternal and infant health crisis. 

“The Nurture NJ strategic plan is designed to build a complete ecosystem that supports the health and well-being of mothers and infants,” said Dr. Vjiaya Hogan, independent consultant, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Public Health, UNC-CH and lead author of the Nurture NJ plan. “The desire for transformative change was shared in every stakeholder discussion across New Jersey and the nation. This plan is about changing health outcomes through changing the way society treats women of color in all aspects of their lives.”

nurture NJ, maternal and infant health

The Ecosystem is a map of the conditions that need to be built to ensure that all women in NJ are surrounded by environments that always support and never inhibit their health and wellbeing. (Graphic source: nurturenj.gov)

To begin implementation, the report includes a detailed Year-One Playbook outlining the immediate, actionable recommendations that lay the groundwork for systemic change. The plan also includes implementation tools for various stakeholder groups in New Jersey, including business leaders, state agencies, health and social service providers, and community groups. The team, which includes 11 national consultants, has already begun working with stakeholders to ensure the feasibility of implementing the recommended action steps.

To learn more about Nurture NJ, visit NurtureNJ.nj.gov.

The Nicholson Foundation is a private foundation in New Jersey dedicated to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in the state.

The Community Health Acceleration Partnership works to build stronger and more effective community health systems through catalytic investments and strategic engagement.

SCOTUS Sonia Sotomayor to swear in Kamala Harris in historic first for women of color

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in tomorrow by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a historic first for women of color. The news that Sotomayor would have a role in Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony came at the end of last week.  

A historical moment for women of color

The ceremony will make history as Harris becomes the first woman of color to become vice president and will take her oath from the first woman of color to sit on the Supreme Court.

Ms. Harris chose Justice Sotomayor for the task, calling the justice a figure of national inspiration.

“Judge Sonia Sotomayor has fought for the voices of the people ever since her first case voting against corporations in Citizens United,” Harris wrote on Twitter in 2019. “As a critical voice on the bench, she’s showing all our children what’s possible.”

Justice Sotomayor, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2009, also swore in Joseph R. Biden Jr. for his second term as vice president in January 2013.

You might be interested: SCOTUS Justice Sotomayor Leadership Award from Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Harris reflected on the moment that she’ll take the oath of office as vice president in a recent interview with NPR saying, “I will be thinking about my mother, who’s looking down from heaven. I will be thinking of all the people who are counting on us to lead.”

Additionally, Harris has chosen to be sworn in using two bibles. One previously belonged to Mrs. Regina Shelton, who was like a second mother to Harris while the other belonged to the late civil rights leader and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who has been an inspiration to Harris throughout her career. 

Kamala says goodbye to California

first woman of color

United States Senate, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

As Harris prepares to take office as vice president, she says goodbye to her seat as California Senator. Harris, who was also the first Black woman to serve as a senator for the Golden State, won her seat in November 2016 and was sworn in January 2017. At the time, Harris was California’s attorney general. 

Harris formally resigned as California Senator yesterday, but she assures Americans that her work is not done since she will preside over the chamber once she is sworn as the first female, first Black, and first South Asian woman vice president of the United States.

“And this is not goodbye. As I resign from the Senate, I am preparing to take an oath that would have me preside over it,” Harris wrote in an op-ed piece for the San Francisco Chronicle. “As senator-turned-Vice-President Walter Mondale once pointed out, the vice presidency is the only office in our government that ‘belongs to both the executive branch and the legislative branch.’ A responsibility made greater with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.”

However, Harris hopes she will not have to use her power as a tie breaker too often. 

“Since our nation’s founding, only 268 tie-breaking votes have been cast by a Vice President. I intend to work tirelessly as your Vice President, including, if necessary, fulfilling this Constitutional duty,” she wrote.

“At the same time, it is my hope that rather than come to the point of a tie, the Senate will instead find common ground and do the work of the American people.”

Kamala Harris will be sworn in at tomorrow’s inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C. It will be a historic first for women of color but Harris promises that, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.”

Latina worker

Record job losses in December push women out of the workforce en mass

This time last year, we were living in a pre-COVID-19 world. In this world, for three months, something rare happened in the workforce that had only only occurred one other time in history, nearly a decade ago: women held more jobs than men in the U.S. economy. However, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly changed this narrative, leading to record job losses for women. 

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

Shocking gender gap in December job losses 

New data released last week has revealed that in December employers cut 140,000 jobs. A closer look at the data also reveals a shocking gender gap: Women accounted for all the job losses, losing 156,000 jobs, while men gained 16,000. Of course many men lost jobs as well in December, but when taken together as a group, they came out ahead while women fell behind. 

Additionally, a separate survey-study of households, which included self-employed workers, showed a wider gender disparity in the workforce while also revealing a significant racial and ethnic disparity: Black and Latina women made up the majority of job losses, while White women made significant gains. 

Racial and ethnic disparity in the workforce 

Black and Latina women disproportionately work in some of the hardest-hit sectors in the pandemic. These positions often lack paid sick leave and the ability to work from home, putting Black and Latina women and families at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. As schools and daycares closed due to the virus, many women were forced to make the hard choice between work and parenting. In many situations, women chose to leave their careers to take on primary care-giving roles in the home, especially if there was an employed male in the household. 

You might be interested: Mariela Dabbah, the perils of a global pandemic for gender inclusion in the workplace

Overall, women are still down 5.4 million jobs from February, before the pandemic began, as compared to 4.4 million job losses for men. At the start of 2020 men and women were roughly on equal footing, with women holding 50.03% of jobs. However by the end of 2020 the gender disparity in the workforce now shows that women hold 860,000 fewer jobs than their male peers. 

This gap is largely due to increased job losses in three sectors: education — which remains a female-dominated industry — hospitality, and retail. All of these industries have been greatly affected by the pandemic.

In December, restaurants and bars cut the most jobs by far, and part-time workers were hit especially hard. 

Among women, Latinas currently have the highest unemployment rate at 9.1%, followed by Black women at 8.4%. White women have the lowest unemployment rate at 5.7%.

As we continue into 2021, we must work toward recuperating these losses for women in the workforce and create better opportunities.

minority women's healthcare.

What’s at stake for minority women’s healthcare after Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation

This past Tuesday, Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the newest Supreme Court Justice, filling the place left by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her confirmation to the Supreme Court brings a lot of uncertainty for the future of women, especially Latinas and other minority women in terms of rights, access to education, equal pay, and affordable healthcare. 

Amy Coney Barrett taking oath. Lucy.Sanders.999, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Upon her nomination in September, Barrett said that should she be confirmed, she would be “mindful” of who came before her. “The flag of the United States is still flying at half-staff in memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to mark the end of a great American life,” said Barrett. “Justice Ginsburg began her career at a time when women were not welcome in the legal profession.  But she not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them.  For that, she has won the admiration of women across the country and, indeed, all over the world.”

Indeed, Ginsburg’s legacy will not be forgotten. Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, championing for equal rights, fair pay, and women’s right to healthcare and bodily agency. It is important now that we keep Barrett accountable and hold her to her word to be mindful of Ginsburg’s legacy and life’s work. 

The primary issue at present that we should all be concerned about is the potential threat Barrett poses to equal and affordable healthcare for women, specifically minority women. 

You might be interested: The threat to women’s rights is of our own making

The threat to healthcare access for minority women 

With Judge Barrett’s confirmation, the Court is now poised to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA has been crucial to minimizing the gap in health disparities for women of color in recent years. Prior to the ACA, 23 million women were uninsured in 2011.

women's healthcare

Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families

According to a report from National Partnership for Women and Families, for that year, women of color made up 37 percent of the U.S. female population, yet they were 56 percent of uninsured women.

Since the ACA, the uninsured rates among Black women, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women, and Latinas have declined significantly, and have declined for all women by nearly half. Barrett has repeatedly indicated that she would support lawsuits to overturn the ACA and has criticized both major Supreme Court rulings that upheld the ACA (NFIB v. Sebelius (2012) and King v. Burwell (2015)). 

On the topic of healthcare access for minority women, we spoke to Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families and expert in minority women’s healthcare.

Sinsi  is a national health and health care equity policy and advocacy thought leader with 25 years of experience advancing equal opportunity for women and families of color, and almost 20 years advocating for increased health care access and improved quality of care for underserved communities.

She has extensive experience in health and health equity policy and advocacy spans the state government, labor and non-profit arenas and has also worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as a senior health policy analyst and national campaign coordinator for their Healthcare Equality Project campaign to enact the Affordable Care Act.

As an expert, we asked Sinsi what really Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court could mean for minority women, their lives, their health. and for their families. 

“We must understand the great danger posed by Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court for women of color’s health and well-being for our families and communities,” Sinsi said.

She continues, “Having repeatedly indicated that she would approve the dismissal of the Affordable Care Act, our concern is that a case, Texas v. California, will be argued just seven days after the November election. If Barrett delivers the vote that overturns the ACA, we stand to lose a lot,” said Sinsi. “To start, millions of women of color will lose their health insurance. Insurers can discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. There are 67 million women with pre-existing conditions.”

minority Women health

Photo credit National Cancer Institute – Unsplash.com

Sinsi also reminds us that we could also lose access to prenatal and maternal care since health insurance providers would no longer be required to offer it. Affordable, preventive services, from preventive checkups, vaccines, cancer tests, and mammograms, would all be on the chopping block if the ACA is struck down.

Losing the ACA will severely impact the lives of minority women and women living in underserved communities as health services will become increasingly inaccessible. Not only will they become unaffordable, but women are likely to also face discrimination based on racial baises, gender identity, reproductive history, and even their ability to speak English.

Previously, women were protected from discrimination in health care by non-discrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act, known as Section 1557. However, in June 2020, the present Administration finalized a rule that would eliminate these provisions.

This rule puts women in danger, especially those who exist at the intersection of multiple communities and promotes misogyny, racism, and ableism in healthcare. Currently there are many lawsuits in the lower courts challenging this rule, and if brought to the Supreme Court in its actual composition, it would likely to be confirmed. 

Greater health disparities during the pandemic 

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

In the post-COVID world we are living in today, it has become all the more apparent how important our health is and how crucial it is that we have access to healthcare. If the Affordable Care Act gets overturned, millions of Americans will be left vulnerable during the pandemic.  And undoubtedly, people of color and underserved communities will be hit the hardest as they have already suffered disproportionately with more COVID-19 cases and deaths than non-Hispanic white populations. 

“Today, more than ever, Latinas and women of color are living this dystopian reality with the Coronavirus pandemic. Those who ever doubted the importance of access to health care or our community’s vulnerability can no longer deny it. The pandemic has shown to great, painful, and tragic effect the devaluation of our lives,” said Sinsi Hernández-Cancio. “Although there are more than three times as many non-Hispanic white people in this country as Latinos, we suffered the highest number of COVID deaths among people under 65. The largest number, not a portion or percentage.” 

To put that into context, for every white baby that has died, Latinos have lost two. For every white child or young person between the ages of 5 and 24 who has died from the virus, Latinos have lost three. 

“These are the future not only of our race but of the nation,” said Sinsi. “Latinos between the ages of 35 and 44 have died at a rate three and a half times higher than whites. These are fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts, sisters and brothers who are no longer here.” 

The repeal of the ACA would be dire and health disparities would worsen for minority women. At a time when over 236,000 people have died in the U.S. due to COVID-19, and while thousands are experiencing severe symptoms, the loss of health care coverage during the COVID-19 public health crisis would be devastating. 

The future of women and girls in our country 

Like most of life during this past year, the future is uncertain, but Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court poses a potential but significant threat to limiting the rights of women and girls in the U.S., from personal autonomy to education and economic equity, healthcare access, and equal rights under the law. 

minority women's healthcare, empowerment

Photo by Natalie Hua on Unsplash

“Barrett will assuredly join the majority of justices who oppose allowing women to make their own decisions on whether, when and how to parent. Her ascension is part of a concerted plan to marginalize women and communities of color,” said Sinsi. “It has strong roots in racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia. But the attacks on our access to health care are central to it all. As my granny used to say, ‘If you have no health, you have nothing.’”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg paved the path forward for women and girls in the U.S. to have equal rights under the law. Her legacy is based on a foundation that values the rights of women and their right to agency and autonomy in their lives. This includes equal pay, access to education, and access to healthcare without discrimination. Judge Barrett promised to be mindful of the legacy that came before her, and it is our duty now to hold her accountable to this and to upholding the rights of women in this country. The future may be uncertain, but the path forward is not. 

You might be interested: Latina Equal Pay Day is a call to action

“Despite these genuine threats, I do believe that communities of color will resist these efforts,” said Sinsi. “We know that Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group, and we’re on track to become 30 percent of the total U.S. population. I think we’ll continue to organize and elevate our voices–and ultimately, I think public opinion will be on our side.” 

energy efficiency

#EEDay2020 celebrating how energy efficiency uplifts Black and brown communities , RSVP today!

Sustainability leaders in the fight against climate change are gathering together this coming Wednesday, October 7, 2020 for a virtual half-day event that will celebrate how sustainable energy and energy efficiency can uplift Black and brown communities. The event will bring together energy efficiency leaders, climate warriors, and building science specialists who are spearheading a just transition with one goal in mind–achieving racial and social justice through climate action.  

Energy Efficiency Day 2020

#EEDay2020 will take place on the fourth annual Energy Efficiency Day, a collaborative event supported by hundreds of prominent organizations, companies, and government agencies with the goal of sharing tips, tools, and stories that promote the benefits of energy efficiency. The message of EEDay is simple: “Save Money. Cut Pollution. Create Jobs.” Energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs and it supports more than 2.4 million jobs nationwide. 

Energy efficiency

(Source: WOC/CS on Instagram)

RSVP to the the event: #EEDay2020, October 7, 10 AM ET – 2 PM ET 

The organizations behind #EEDay2020

The #EEDay2020 event is hosted in collaboration with two key organizations: Women of Color/Collective of Sustainability (WOC/CS) and Kinetic Communities Consulting. 

WOC/CS is a collective that supports women of color who are searching to connect, collaborate, identify mentorships, job opportunities, and seek resources with sustainability. WOC/CS strives to be a resource of opportunities across the sustainability ecosystem for women of color to build their careers, create professional success, and support their well-being. 

Kinetic Communities Consulting is passionate about making New York City a more sustainable city. They work with energy and affordable housing partners to connect, educate, and simplify energy efficiency opportunities for under-represented communities. Kinetic Communities Consulting works in the intersection of finance, engineering, planning, and organizing “a sweet spot” that helps them understand how to systemically drive change for a just clean energy transition. 

You might be interested: Young Latina Daphany Sanchez leads energy democracy movement in NYC

Energy Efficiency Day guest speakers

#EEDay2020 will feature guest speakers from various industries who will discuss ways to challenge industry titans, ensure a society-wide reduction of energy consumption while simultaneously eliminating energy insecurities, and leading a path toward a carbon-free future. A few of the event speakers include: 

Rhiana-Gunn Wright: Director of Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute. Rhiana is the architect of the Green New Deal. To Rhiana, climate policy has always been connected to social justice. Her interview with the New York Times highlights how the coronavirus has made climate issues even more stark. She discusses the challenges of leading as a Black woman in the predominantly white male world of environmental policy, which is a must-read. 

Jigar Shah: President and Co-Founder of Generate Capital, the leading investment and operating platform for sustainable infrastructure. Founded in 2014, Generate Capital is the only “one-stop-shop” for pioneers leading the Resource Revolution. Before Generate, as the Founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE), Shah pioneered “no money down solar,” which unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market and became the largest solar services company worldwide before its acquisition by MEMC. He’s also the co-host of Greentech Media’s celebrated Energy Gang podcast.

Sydney Céspedes: Campaign Manager with Green for All,  where she works to advance the team’s Safe Homes, Energy Efficiency and Green Jobs campaigns that advocate for deep investments in low-income, clean, and energy efficiency programs, and an inclusive green economy. Sydney Céspedes is a proud daughter of Colombian immigrants. She grew up traveling back and forth to her parent’s home country and visiting family along the Caribbean coast and the Andes. These experiences shaped her understanding and the value of community and social resilience. Sydney has a background in urban planning, community engagement, and community-driven policy change grounded in racial, economic and environmental justice principles

Adriana Espinoza: First-ever Senor Advisor in Environmental Justice to the NYC Mayor’s Office on Climate Change. Adriana is leading the execution of New York City’s first comprehensive study and plan for incorporating environmental justice into City decision- making processes. Prior to the Mayor’s Office, she served as New York City Program Director at the New York League of Conservation Voters. Her focus was advocating the Mayor and City Council to build a more sustainable city and invest in aggressive climate action. She fought along others for many of the City’s biggest climate victories including the Climate Mobilization Act, Commercial Waste Zones, and a historic $44 million investment in parks in 2019.

Kristal Hansley: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of We Solar. As CEO, Kristal brings affordable and accessible community solar energy to under-resourced communities and assists commercial properties with energy efficiency. Kristal is “the first black woman to launch a community solar company, and did so on Juneteenth.

 

Don’t forget to save your spot for this inspiring event!

women of color lack of access to capital

AMEX reports record of women of color starting new businesses

Women of color have started businesses at an unmatched rate since 2007, an American Express Report concluded. While the number of women-owned businesses grew 58% from 2007 to 2018, firms owned by women of color grew at nearly three times that rate (163%). As of 2018, women of color account for 47% of all women-owned businesses. An estimated 5,824,300 women-of-color-owned businesses employ 2,230,600 people and generate $386.6 billion in revenues.

women of color lack of access to capital

The number of firms owned by minority women has grown 163% since 2007

More specifically, numbers for Latinas and African Americans grew faster than the average rate for businesses owned by women of color: 172% and 164% respectively, equaling 2.1 million Latina-owned and 2.4 million African American women-owned businesses in 2018.

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Asian American and Native American/Alaskan women-owned businesses grew slower than for women of color in general but faster than overall women-owned businesses. There are 36,800 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander owned firms, representing 146% growth since 2007. Asian American women-owned firms grew 105% corresponding to 1 million firms and Native American/Alaskan women-owned firms grew 76% to 169,500 businesses.

The report estimates that if revenues generated by minority women-owned firms matched those currently generated by all women-owned businesses, they would add four million new jobs and $1.2 trillion in revenues to the U.S. economy.

 

 

Geographic trends for U.S. women-owned businesseshttps://youtu.be/F3BO8V0gxwk

Women started an average of 1,821 new businesses per day in the U.S. between 2017 and 2018, according to analysis in the 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express (NYSE:AXP). This level of new business formation by women is greater than the daily average during the pre-recession period from 2002 to 2007 (714), the recession and recovery period between 2007 and 2012 (1,143), and the post-recession period between 2012 and 2017 (952).

New this year, the report explores data back to 1972 – the first time the U.S. Census Bureau provided data on minority-owned and women-owned businesses. The analysis shows that over 48 years the number of women-owned businesses increased a dramatic 31 times from 402,000 to 12.3 million in 2018. During that time, employment for these firms grew 40-fold from 230,000 to 9.2 million, and revenues rose from $8.1 billion to $1.8 trillion– 217 times greater.

women of color Rosario Gamboa

Rosario Gamboa, Canela Bakery

“This new data demonstrates not only the remarkable impact women entrepreneurs have on our economy when it comes to creating jobs and generating revenue, but also the growing role of women-owned businesses in our communities,” said Julie Tomich, SVP, American Express Global Commercial Services. “Over the past 11 years, we’ve seen women’s entrepreneurship and economic impact increase – especially among the growing number of women-owned companies that generate more than $1 million in revenue.”

Notably in 2018, women-owned businesses that generated revenues of more than $1 million increased 46% over the past 11 years vs. 12% of all U.S. businesses. While these high-earning firms make up only 1.7% of all women-owned businesses, they now account for 68% of total employment and 69% of revenue among all women-owned businesses.

Over the past 11 years, the ratio of women-owned businesses to total businesses in the U.S. increased much faster than their employment and revenue growth. While the share of women-owned businesses leapt from 29% in 2007 to 40% in 2018, the proportion of total employment and revenues for all businesses grew by only a few percentage points. Over this period, the total proportion of employment increased from 6% to 8% and total revenues increased from 4.0% to 4.3%.

Geographic trends for U.S. women-owned businesses

women of color Keyla Sanders

Keyla Sanders, Photography

The report analyzes geographic trends for all 50 states (including District of Columbia), as well as the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

The states with the fastest growth rate in terms of the number of women-owned firms between 2007 and 2018 are:

1. Florida
2. Georgia
3. Michigan
4. Tennessee (tie)
4. South Carolina (tie)

This report examined economic clout, a measure that includes the growth in the number of women-owned firms, employment and revenues. The states where women-owned businesses most increased their economic clout between 2007 and 2018 are:

1. South Dakota
2. Texas (tie)
2. Utah (tie)
4. Delaware
5. North Dakota (tie)
5. Tennessee (tie)

Aracelli Fullem

Aracelli Fullem, International Protocol Consultant

The top metropolitan areas where women-owned businesses increased their economic clout from 2007 to 2018 are:

1. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metro area, NC/SC
2. San Antonio, TX
3. Austin, TX
4. Indianapolis, IN
5. Miami, FL

The states showing the highest employment vitality – a measure of employment growth rate from 2007 to 2018 at women-owned firms and their average number of employees are:

1. Minnesota
2. Maine (tie)
2. North Dakota (tie)
4. Iowa
5. Delaware (tie)
5. Virginia (tie)

You might be interested: US Hispanic businesses reach staggering numbers: 4.37 million and counting

A look at U.S. women business owners of different ages

New this year, the report examined generational trends among women business owners. Nearly half of women business owners are between the ages of 45 and 65 (48%) and two thirds (67%) are 45 or older. The next largest age group, 25-44 years old, account for 31% of women business owners.

Cecilia Arce, Verde Cleaning Services small business week

Cecilia Arce, Verde Cleaning Services

Distinctive trends emerge when racial and ethnic groups are analyzed by generations:

  • African American women business owners tend to be younger: four out of ten (39%) were millennials or younger generations (under 35).
  • Gen Xers (ages 35 to 54) represented the highest concentration of Latina business owners (53%) and Asian American women-business owners (54%).
  • Native American/Alaska Native business owners were more likely to be older, between the ages of 45 and 64 (47%).
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women business owners were more evenly divided between age categories ranging from 25 to 54 (70%).

Explore the 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, here.