The NY Times article, As Layoffs Surge, Women May Pass Men in the Job Force discusses the growing role women play in the workforce.
As the graph below from the NY Times indicates, the share of jobs held by women has been growing steadily over the last few decades. This has been due to increased workforce participation rates by women.
The recession is also increasing the share of jobs held by women. Men are over represented in troubled industries (construction, manufacturing, etc.) and in the current recession men have suffered 82% of the job losses. Men currently have a much higher unemployment rate (7.6%, men 20 and older) than women (6.7%, women 20 and older).
Women are also starting more small businesses. According to the Center For Women's Business Research there are roughly 10.1 million women owned business in the U.S.