Area Development
Tomorrow, Americans will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Twenty-five years ago, Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman nominated to a national political ticket, and during that time, women have become a dynamic political and business force. The Congress's Joint Economic Committee has found that women's increased political activity over the past quarter-century is related to women's activity in business and the economy.

Women make up half of all American workers, and more than half of all American women are part of the country's work force. Women's educational attainment is higher than that of men's, and families increasingly depend on working women's incomes.

Despite the strides women have made in business, challenges persist. The average full-time working woman earns 80 cents to a man's dollar. Some industries remain gender-segregated. And millions of women must balance a full-time workload with family care responsibilities.