It's a She-conomy is one of my favorite Intuit 2020 Report trends. Intuit's Michael Runzler came up with this clever term to describe the growing role women are playing in the global economy.
I want to focus on one of the key drivers of the She-conomy in the U.S. - education. Over the last couple of decades women have passed men in most measures of educational achievement.
The statistics on this shift are impressive:
- Women now account 57% of college students. In 1950 it was 29%.
- College men drop out at much higher rates than college women.
- Women comprise roughly 60% of all graduate students.
- The number of women in medical and law schools are roughly equal to men.
Men still earn more engineering, business and hard science degrees, but not by much. Census data shows that in 2009 almost 50% of science, engineering and business degree holders ages 25 to 39 were women.
It's not just college. Girls ages 8-13 read on average a grade and a half better than boys. Girls have also reached parity levels with boys in math proficiency. Boys still out perform girls on the math section of the SAT test, but the gap is closing.
The quick summary: at all education levels and in most disciplines, women are outperforming men. At the college level, the gap is so large it's resulting in social issues and affirmative action efforts to enroll more men.
The implications of the growing education gap are clear. The U.S. and global economy is shifting towards knowledge-based jobs and industries. Women, because of their higher educational achievement, are positioned to benefit from this shift.