Sharon Miller: September 21, 2017

Women Entrepreneurs Expect Big Cracks in the Glass Ceiling Over the Next 20 Years

Women Say Work-Life Balance is Achievable Despite Some Challenges

Sharon Miller

Head of Small Business, Bank of America

Women entrepreneurs see gender equality in the workplace on the horizon, according to the 2017 Bank of America Women Business Owner Spotlight, an annual study of 1,000 small business owners.

Bank of America Women Business Owner Spotlight Key Findings:

  • Women entrepreneurs predict significant strides for women in the workforce over the next 20 years, including:

    • 80% believe there will just as many – or more – women than men in STEM fields
    • 68% believe women will match or exceed men in holding C-suite or executive leadership roles
    • 66% believe women will surpass men in small business ownership
    • 61% foresee women achieving pay equity with men
    • 71% believe at least 25 states will adopt state-enacted paid maternity leave policies
  • Women business owners report work-life balance, though they still lag behind men

    • While 61% of women entrepreneurs report working more than 40 hours each week, 78% say they have achieved a good balance between their work and home lives (which trails men on work-life balance by 7 percentage points)
    • 30% of women small business owners (SBOs) have had a nightmare about their business failing vs. 21% of men
    • 21% of women SBOs describe their average work week as exhausting vs. 13% of men
  • Women entrepreneurs are increasingly upbeat about the economy, though taking a wait-and-see approach on revenue, growth and hiring

    • Women small business owners have shown significant YOY increases in optimism toward the economy:
      • 45% believe their local economy will improve in 2017 vs. 37% in 2016
      • 44% believe the national economy will improve in 2017 vs. 25% in 2016
      • While more optimistic YOY, women entrepreneurs have less confidence in the economy than their male counterparts
    • On a positive note, women entrepreneurs’ concern over specific economic issues also dropped YOY:
      • 68% expressed concern over the cost of health care in 2017 vs. 74% in 2016
      • Less than half are concerned about consumer spending, corporate tax rates and commodities prices
    • 54% of women SBOs plan to grow their business over the next five years vs. 60% in 2016
    • 19% plan to hire in the year ahead, on par with 2016
    • 44% expect their revenue to increase in 2017 vs. 54% in 2016

For more information, please visit:


More About Bank of America Executive Sharon Miller:

Sharon Miller is the Head of Small Business at Bank of America. Her team is responsible for delivering business and personal financial solutions to the company’s 3 million small business owners and entrepreneurs. Miller’s team of more than 2,000 associates delivers advice and guidance on cash management, business financing, home lending, investments and retirement. Prior to this role, Miller was Central Division Executive for Financial Center Sales and Merrill Edge® at Bank of America. In this role, she led financial center teams working in nearly 900 locations across 11 states, providing a full range of financial products, services and expertise to over 8 million Bank of America households. Miller joined Bank of America in 1996. She started her career as a Financial Advisor in Houston, Texas. She has held various leadership positions in the company, including National Sales Executive for Preferred Banking and Merrill Edge®, Complex Director for Merrill Lynch in Texas, Regional Executive for the Premier Banking and Investment business, and Market Executive for Nevada. Miller has been actively involved in the Bank of America community throughout her career. She has been an active member of Bank of America’s Diversity Council, has served on Merrill Lynch’s Director Advisory Council to Management and has held numerous market leadership roles across the country. Miller has held leadership positions in United Way, March of Dimes and Communities in Schools.

Speak Your Mind