State of Women in Business: The Breakup Edition

23SOW in Biz Simone Keynote

Nearly 350 guests evaluated the data on women in work and set plans to take action to address equity in business

For the past four years, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce has been the source of data on women in the Colorado workforce. Our State of Women in Business events have catalyzed the business community to take action to advance women in work.

Over the past few years, the workforce has experienced a pandemic of women leaving their jobs, transitioning careers, or quitting and starting their own businesses. This ‘Shecession’ or ‘Great Resignation’ was brought on by the stressors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has shown no signs of stopping.

Today, women are still underrepresented in leadership, not advancing in their careers as quickly as men, and women of color experience these gaps at even greater levels.

  • Only 1 in 4 C-suite executives is a woman, and only 1 in 20 is a woman of color.        
  • The “broken rung” is still holding women back: for every 100 men promoted from entry-level to manager, only 87 women are promoted, and only 82 women of color are promoted.
  • Only 5% of the 122 Colorado publicly traded companies have a female CEO.
  • Only 24% of publicly traded board seats are held by women in Colorado – and, embarrassingly, only FOUR of those women are women of color.
  • Now, women leaders are leaving their companies at higher rates than ever before. 
  • To put the scale of the problem in perspective: for every woman at the director level who gets promoted, two women directors are choosing to leave their company.

Women are demanding more at work and leaving their jobs at higher rates than men to get it. These reasons run the gambit but are often attributed to lack of flexibility, pay gaps, and other inequities in the workplace.

Something must be done.

As a CWCC Community of members, partners, invested businesses, and women in business, we convened to put our heads and hearts together to take action at the 2023 State of Women in Business: The Breakup Edition on February 28.

Event Highlights:

Erica McIntire, Bank of America, is the inaugural recipient of the
CWCC Chamber Champion Award,
presented by Maureen McDonald, HealthONE
  • Keynote: Addressing the Exodus of Women in Business by Charmaine Davis, sponsored by Wells Fargo
    Regional Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau
  • The Colorado Perspective by Colorado Governor Jared Polis
  • The State of CWCC by Simone D. Ross
    CEO of the CWCC and Executive Director of the Colorado Women’s Chamber Foundation
  • Local Leaders Panel
    Moderated by Brittany Morris Saunders Head of Community Affairs for Amazon
    Shannon Fitzgerald, Chief Brand Officer for SSA Group
    Joe Garcia, Chancellor of the Colorado Community College System
    Kathy Nesbitt, Executive Director, City of Denver’s Office of Human Resources
    Wendy Lea, Founder of Energize Colorado
  • CWCC Chamber Champion Award, sponsored by HealthONE
    Presented to Erica McIntire, Colorado Market Executive with Bank of America
  • CWCC Board of Directors Passing of the Torch
    Leanna Clark, CEO of Girl Scouts of Colorado and CWCC Past Chair
    Andrea Miller, Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance
    Delta Dental of Colorado and CWCC Chair

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