Strong. Bold. Tenacious. Gutsy. One of a kind. If you think we’re describing Carhartt, our flagship brand, you’re only partly right. In fact, we’re describing the Carhartt — capital “W” — Woman. Without a doubt, 2016 has shaped up to be quite a year for women. Advancements in the workplace and political arena, to name a few, have put women at the center of the national discussion.
The Carhartt Woman is no stranger to the type of tenacity required to get stuff done. Heck, she was challenging the norms long before it became the popular thing to do. Seventy-five years ago, for instance, women took to the factories to help build the heavy machinery required to win WWII. Ironically, many of those hardworking women were outfitted in Carhartt gear. Fast forward a couple generations and women are now on the front lines fighting alongside the men; and that same bold spirit is pushing women to new heights elsewhere.
According to a 2016 joint study by Womenable and American Express OPEN, Women-owned businesses now comprise 38% of the business population, employ 8% of the country’s private sector workforce and contribute 4% of the nation’s business revenues. And between 2007 and 2016, while the total number of businesses increased by 9%, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%. That means women-owned companies grew at a rate five times higher than the national average.
Another study from the USDA showed that between 1982 and 2007, the number of women-operated farms grew from 121,600 to 306,200, with increases in all sales classes (measured in 2007 dollars).
And while the gender pay gap, which is a comparison of what women earn vs. men, remains a heated topic, there are promising stories to tell there too. In 2014, women in the U.S. earned on average 82.1% of what men did, but in the construction industry that gender pay gap was much narrower at 93.4%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014).
From the job site, to the board room, to the pastures and fields, self-starting women are not only paving a path for themselves, they are inspiring future generations of hard workers, leaders and thinkers. The Carhartt Woman, always reaching for more, has no doubt played an important part in that evolution. And while there’s still room for advancements, we salute the progress women have made and look forward to what the future holds.