International Women’s Day sheds light on economic disparities, progress

Sunday is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the achievements of women in all arenas. The day also calls attention to gender disparities that still exist around the world — and in Missouri.

Women in Missouri earn 78% of what men make, according to a 2017 Women’s Foundation study.

On average, women earn less than men at every educational level, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center reports.

However, the business world also offers signs of progress.

Since 2001, the percentage of firms nationally with at least one female founder has increased more than fivefold, to 22%, according to the Kauffman Foundation.

Startups with at least one female founder raise more money at similar investment stages than male-led startups.

And Forbes reports that the St. Louis area has the largest percentage of female-owned startups in the country — about 45%.

The theme for Women’s Day this year is #EachForEqual, emphasizing “collective individualism” and the need to seek gender equality.

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