Women’s Small Business Month

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It’s Women’s Small Business Month! We thought it might be the perfect time to talk a bit more about our WBENC certification and the importance of supporting women owned businesses, especially in the creative/marketing industry.


Did you know that 61% of designers are female yet the number of agencies with female creative directors is just 3%?1 This is an astounding disparity for mid to upper-level positions held at creative firms. Additionally, only 0.1% of all creative agencies are founded by women.2

It’s important to note that more often than not, women are the primary decision makers (and drivers) within their household and influence nearly 85% of ALL consumer purchases.3 It begs the question, why aren’t more women holding more mid to upper level positions in the industry and why aren’t there more women-owned creative agencies?

The good news is that while those stats are dismal, things are looking up. In the past few years, we are seeing an upward trend in companies seeking design and marketing work from women because of the direct correlation to consumer purchasing statistics. With the understanding that women offer a very authentic perspective when advertising and marketing brands, more businesses are balancing their in-house ratio of men to women or outsourcing to women-owned agencies.

But how can creative agencies, and businesses in general, shift the environment and culture to support women in business?

  • CLOSE THE PAY GAP: Women make just 80 cents on the dollar of what their male counterparts earn in the design industry.1 Conduct regular performance reviews to track results, productivity, and efforts of all employees and then, in turn, reward them equally.
  • BE AN ALLY AGAINST SEXISM & SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Yes, sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace still exists. Implementing a zero-tolerance policy and cultivating an empathetic workplace culture that supports employees speaking out against sexism and harassment without fear of embarrassment, discrimination, or being fired is key.4
  • FLEXIBLE WORK ENVIRONMENT: It’s not news to note that once women have children, a lack of flexibility in the workplace can lead to a reduction in their working hours or leaving their careers entirely. Flexible working hours and a remote working environment are easy accommodations to make for employees and make sense for the 24/7 economy we live in. The COVID-19 pandemic the world is currently experiencing has shown that a shift to working from home has not only been achievable but has actually increased employee productivity.5

To help balance the scales even more, many organizations assist in the development, support, and promotion of women-owned businesses. Specifically, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the US. Their certification verifies that the business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated and managed by women. They also provide many resources, support, networking, and education for member businesses. Corporations and government agencies seek women-owned vendors and contractors for many reasons, and the WBENC certification affirms that the business meets the rigorous criteria. Since October of 2019, McGrath + McKenna has been a proud WBENC certified Women’s Business Enterprise and SBA Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB).

Closing the revenue and employment gap by supporting women-owned businesses (and small businesses in general) will not only help to fuel our economic recovery, but it will empower women as leaders and bring about a more diverse, balanced, and sustainable economy. Let’s all work together to support women-owned businesses this October and well into the future.

If you’re interested in receiving the WBENC certification, visit: https://www.wbenc.org/certification.

For more information on women in business and marketing to women:





Ladies Who Launch


20 facts and Figures to Know when marketing to women

Diversity Best Practices’ Women Facts

Women in the Workplace 2020 Report


Ladies, Wine & Design, a worldwide non-profit that seeks to promote diversity in the creative industry

The 3 Percent Movement

1 Source: 2019 AIGA Design Census

2 Source: https://adage.com/article/agencies/world-female-agency-founders/313902

3 Source: https://chainstoreage.com/news/study-women-influence-85-all-purchases

4 Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/03/16/how-does-sexism-influence-workplaces-today/#4409938c7e51

5 Source: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200710-the-remote-work-experiment-that-made-staff-more-productive

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