7 Signs That Woman Ruled the World in 2023

Women Ruled 2023

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Women Ruled 2023
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The Year of the Woman

"Pink tax" and gender gaps, be damned! In 2023, women were steadily throwing rocks at glass ceilings, finding new ways to stimulate and dominate the economy. From entertainment and retail revenue to impressive strides in the workplace, here are seven ways women boosted the economy in 2023.

Gender inequality woman or female discrimination, unfair opportunity or unequal, obstacle or difficulty for woman leadership concept, businesswoman compete with men with more difficulty hurdles.
Nuthawut Somsuk/istockphoto

1. Gender Gaps Grew Tighter in the Workforce

The race to erase the gender gap in the workplace is as close to the cusp of total closure as it's ever been. In 2023, the gap between male and female workers reached an all-time low. Recovering from the COVID-driven decline in workplace participation, women have been coming back to the workforce at an even higher rate than men, according to the World Economic Forum's 2023 Global Gender Gap Report, boosting the gender parity recovery. 

Gender gaps are also tightening from an unemployment perspective, too. According to the International Labour Organization, the global unemployment rate is currently about 4.5% for women compared to a slightly lower 4.3% for men.

Barbie movie clip
IMDB / People

2. 'Barbie' Became the Highest-Grossing Film Release of the Year

Come on, Barbie, let's go party! 2023 was adorned in pink when Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" premiered. The female-directed film became the highest-grossing release of the year, raking in a not-so-modest $1.36 billion globally. And that number is even more jaw-dropping when it's applied to the movie industry as a whole, which lost $7 billion during the pandemic. The film's release revived the industry, and Greta Gerwig nabbed the title as the highest-grossing female movie director in history.

Barbie's reach didn't end with the silver screen, either. The pink waves made their way across everything from restaurants and grocery stores to fashion and social media trends. This flick had more pink-studded marketing campaigns than we can count on all of Barbie's plastic fingers.

Beyonce and Taylor Swift Boost the Economy
Getty Images/Kevin Mazur/Buda Mendes/TAS23

3. Beyoncé and Taylor Swift Ticket Sales Skyrocketed

What happens when two of the biggest female performers take off on massive tours during the same year? A jolt to the economy, that's what. 

You don't need to be a Swiftie to know about Taylor Swift's Eras Tour. The buzz about T-Swift's shows has dominated 2023, and Taylor's tour raked in more than $2 billion in ticket sales alone. Consumer spending on things like merch, hotels, and outfits is on track to reach a mind-blowing $5 billion. Dan Fleetwood, President of QuestionPro Research and Insights, summed it up perfectly in an interview with GlobalNewsWire saying, “If Taylor Swift were an economy, she’d be bigger than 50 countries."

Queen Bey was no slouch with her Renaissance Tour, either. Beyoncé broke a revenue record when her tour earned $127 million during its first month. The tour is also on track to come close to a separate $5-billion surge. 

In case you need help with the math: The Beyoncé and Taylor Swift tours generated about $10 billion in 2023. No big deal.

Portrait of smiling young woman in drugstore standing against shelf picking medicine
Lyndon Stratford/istockphoto

4. A Spending Boost Hit the Beauty Industry

According to Statista, the global beauty and personal care market is projected to generate $625+ billion in revenue in 2023. Who benefits from this surge in spending? Well, increasingly, it's women. Major media news outlets such as CNN, Elle, Glamour, Forbes, and more highlighted dozens of female-owned brands in 2022 and 2023 alone. 

The industry is experiencing a new era that is friendlier to emerging brands and new players entering the market. This is particularly true for smaller, women-owned indie beauty brands such as the UK-based Glisten, BIPOC woman-owned Julia's Place, and Hero Cosmetics, co-founded by Ju Rhyu in 2017.

The Way to the Plane

5. Women Traveled the World More

According to travel provider Road Scholar, nearly 70% of all of its travelers are women. In 2023, women also leaned into solo travel considerably more than men. And because of the rising interest in solo travel, there has also been an increase in travel groups and packages designed for women-only. 

Notes BCD Travel, a market leader in the travel industry, "the impact of women in travel is multifaceted, far-reaching, and vital to the industry’s growth and resilience." From the industry workforce to creators and influencers to those doing the actual travel, women "are pushing boundaries and breaking barriers."

Businesswoman addressing a meeting in office

6. Females Flourished in Fortune 500 C-Suite Jobs

The scales in corporate America started to even out in 2023. Among Fortune 500 C-suite jobs, women accounted for 40% of the workforce, up from 38% in 2022. Plus, this year, female CEOs ran 10.4% of Fortune 500 companies, with 52 companies out of 500 led by women.

Broadening the scope to include the 3,000 largest companies in the nation, during 2023 women held 16.6% of Named Executive Officer jobs. 

Related: 24 American Women Who Are Self-Made Billionaires

Group Of Business People Having Board Meeting

7. The Number of Female CEO's Reached an All-Time High

There was a time in the not-distant past when female CEOs were practically unheard of. Just 25 years ago,  there were only three female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Today, there are more than 50. Adding to this feat, 20 companies appointed new female CEOs during 2023.

Despite the figures remaining relatively low, expanding the scope reveals that the number of female CEOs in the U.S. doubled over the last decade.

And although women are a long way off from outnumbering men in CEO roles among Fortune 500 companies (or even closing that gap), in 2023, female CEOs did finally outnumber the number of male CEOs named John. Small wins are still wins,. Sorry, John.