The debate over whether and why a gender wage gap exists in our nation can be contentious and partisan.

Numbers speak

Women entrepreneurs represent 36.2 percent of businesses in the U.S., and are also the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. economy, employing more than 13 million people and generating $1.9 trillion in sales. Additionally, women are expected to generate more than half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs by the year 2018. Interestingly, only 10.6 percent of all the women-owned firms are employer firms, however this power group provides 8.9 million jobs and makes up $1.4 trillion in receipts.

"Women are expected to generate more than half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs by the year 2018."

It is indisputable that women entrepreneurs are producing tangible benefits and value for our economy. That is why it has become paramount that we advocate for policies and programs that will empower more women to become business owners. At the same time, it is imperative to support existing women entrepreneurs in their endeavors to scale and grow their businesses.

Long-term vision

Fulfilling both objectives will lead to more women in the U.S. working for themselves or for other women. One critical reason this is important is women will increasingly be in a position to determine what more working Americans—both their female and male employees—are paid. We are seeing momentum increase on the topic of gender gap as this discussion is also being made more public among athletes, actors vs. actresses and within the media industry. Rather than waiting for a solution, we can be part of the solution!

We know that when more women serve, they seek to give back—to their communities, their employees, the country, and our world overall. Whether it is on corporate boards or in public service or the business world, women bring a unique perspective to the table.