With a shift in laws and public opinions toward cannabis comes the onset of a brand new industry that can shake up the usual employment trends seen in other industries. Plainly speaking, the cannabis industry has potential to be the first true gender equalizer.
Women in the United States makeup 51% of the workforce and earn 60% of college degrees. Despite these statistics, only 29% of senior positions are held by women, and only 2% of CEOs are women.
Comparatively, 36% of cannabis executives are women; while not quite equal, the outlook of the industry is considerably better when compared to the national average. Along with this, the cannabis industry has a few things going for it that can establish itself as the first true gender equalizer.
Potential for Growth
The cannabis industry is still in its infancy and has a projected job growth rate of 21% per year. For comparison, healthcare only has a 2% job growth rate.
With a growth rate comparatively higher, the cannabis industry has more space to close the current gap it currently faces. Cannabis business owners and CEOs have a unique opportunity to create the equal groundwork environment that sets the new standard for other industries to follow.
The Market Will Support It
While the legalization of recreational marijuana in some states is the latest hot topic, the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes continues to hold a significant portion of the market.
We’ve seen medical marijuana used to help cancer patients manage the pain and discomfort that comes with chemotherapy; we’ve also seen the use of CBD oils effectively treat those with epileptic seizures.
Part of the appeal of medicinal cannabis products is the fact that it provides a holistic alternative to those sensitive or allergic to certain medications, or have a compromised immune system.
It’s this very holistic approach to medicine that motivates families to place full support behind the cannabis industry. This involvement is often lead by mothers who want to advocate for their children’s health; the outcome of which is women opening their own cannabis businesses and making their voices heard.
We Already Have A Few Role Models
Part of the solution is to provide women seeking careers with role models for inspiration; thankfully, we have a few examples to share.
Jennifer M. Sanders: founder and CEO of CNS Equity Partners. Jennifer has a background in investment banking, but left the male-dominated workplace to pursue an industry with positive impact at the forefront.
Amber Senter: COO of Magnolia Wellness. Amber’s business has a focus on medicinal marijuana despite being based in California. She was inspired to dive into the cannabis industry after being diagnosed with lupus.
Hope Wiseman: Owner of Mary & Main. At 25, Hope is the youngest dispensary owner in the country. Her story is a testament to the opportunities the cannabis industry provides, regardless of age.
These women are only a few examples that cement the cannabis industry’s readiness for women and minority-owned business.
While there may be a lot of work left to achieve true gender equality in the workplace, the cannabis industry has a lot going for it to be an example to follow.