Another year, another list of incredible women-identifying leaders in conscious business. In the previous two installments, we opened with real talk about the overwhelming gap between our planet’s population and how misrepresented those demographics are in positions of power within for-profit organizations. Since the 2019 World-Changing Women list, not much has changed when it comes to gender equality in the private sector. The number of Fortune 500 companies that have a female CEO is still abysmal, and women are still underrepresented in all levels of business. But, while we acknowledge there are plenty more steps to take, we’re taking a moment to look back and appreciate just how far we’ve come.

According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, there are a total of 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the US. This number becomes even more incredible when you realize that there were only 402,000 women-owned businesses in 1972. During the decade between 1997 and 2007, women-owned businesses added half a million jobs to the US economy. In 2018, women started a net total of 1,821 new businesses every day; 64 percent of those businesses were started by women of color. Businesses run by women produce $1.8 trillion a year, according to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. All this to say: we’re getting somewhere.