HERNDON, VA. May 2, 2012 ñ The surge in independent employment in America is in no small part driven by the number of independent women workers, MBO Partners, the leader in the $250 billion and growing independent consulting sector, revealed today in an infographic and media alert. In an era where attention has been placed on womenís career choices including the size of the stay-at-home mom population (5.7 million), and working women population (66.4 million), MBO Partners revealed that there are 8.5 million women choosing and enjoying a third path ñ independent work. Women account for less than half (47.6%) of todayís traditional workforce, but represent the majority -- or 53% -- of the growing independent work segment. Freedom and control over oneís own schedule are among the top reasons women choose the third path.
ìThe growing trend of independence is a testament to the pioneering spirit of our nation and the enterprising nature of women on a mission,î said Gene Zaino, CEO of MBO Partners. ìAs the country continues to struggle with economic recovery, women have forged a viable third path that empowers them with even greater control and freedom over their lives and careers. It also gives them greater fulfillment and a new definition of work-life success.î
Independent Women and Success:
While there are nearly 70 million women in the workforce, according to the Catalyst Census, women held just 14.1 percent of Executive Officer positions in 2011, compared to 14.4 percent in 2010. Further, women held less than 10 percent (7.5%) of Executive Officer top-earner positions in 2011, while men accounted for 92.5 percent of top earners.In 2011, women held 16.1 percent of board seats, and about one in ten companies had no women serving on their boards. Independent work has given women a new way to shatter the glass ceiling and many are finding the choice more rewarding than traditional employment. In independent work, women are equal to men in access and success -- more than half of the independent career cohort (53%) comprises women independent workers.
Independent Women and Satisfaction:
Drawing on data from MBO Partnerís landmark Independence Workforce Index, the company revealed that 77 percent of women independents are satisfied or highly satisfied and 74 percent plan to remain independent. Flexibility (65%), control over their own schedule (64%) and the enjoyment of being their own boss (59%) were the top reasons cited for remaining independent.
Independent Women Across the Generations:
As women mature in their careers, independent work appears to become a more compelling life choice, with Boomer women among the most likely to go solo, and Gen Y workers less likely to choose the path.