When it comes to innovation and job growth, the women of the world are seeing unprecedented progress. These women are not just redefining the workforce for themselves; they are improving it for every other worker, too.
Here’s a look at a few key (and interesting) areas where women will continue to make big strides in 2017:
Small Business Ownership
In the U.K., women are responsible for more than half the increase in self-employment since 2008, accounting for 80 percent of the newly self-employed. Women entrepreneurs are opening businesses to the tune of 1,140 every day in the United States, with employment numbers growing 4.5 percent faster in businesses where women are in charge. Worldwide, women are building multi-million dollar corporations, and launching handmade gift websites. Whatever their trade, expect to see more women as their own bosses in the coming year – and more people working for these entrepreneurs.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM)
Large-scale technology companies including Apple and Google are actively recruiting more women to fill STEM roles at their companies, and organizations like Girls Who Code are trying to get women interested in the field while they are still young. From a financial standpoint, more women in STEM would be beneficial. The field is expected to be one of the fastest growing for employment over the next 5 years.
As medical technology improves, more expert providers will be needed. From nurses to radiologists to physicians to pharmacists – keeping people healthy is a big business, and women are needed more than ever to fill roles. One area that is seeing especially fast growth is optometry. From 2009 to 2013, women in optometry rose almost 10 percent.
If you think of old men sitting around a card table when you think of poker, it’s time to think again. Vanessa Selbst of the U.S. earned more than $1 million in 2015, and women like Gaelle Baumann of France and Elisabeth Hille of Norway have cracked the glass ceiling in the traditional men’s sport by placing in the finals in world-class tournaments like the World Series of Poker. Expect women to continue to shatter poker stereotypes in the coming year and bring home the cash to prove their worth.
Wind, solar and hydropower industries are booming, but so are traditional fossil fuels. In the field of oil drilling and gas extraction, female workers grew by 11.6 percent between 2009 and 2013 and the average wage was $131,800.
The workforce is continuing to improve for women, even though we know there is still a long way to go. As job opportunities improve for women, the fight for wage equality and equal treatment must ramp up. Both men and women stand to gain when women excel in the workforce and these industries are proof.