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Evolution Of Women Involved In Franchising In Past 50 Years

Over the past 50 years, I have witnessed a steady increase in women participating in all aspects of the franchising business sector. The involvement of women in franchising has undergone significant evolution, reflecting broader societal changes, advancements in gender equality, and shifting economic landscapes.

1970s - The Emergence:
When I entered the franchising field in the 1970s, women's participation in franchising was still relatively limited. Women often faced social and systemic barriers that restricted their access to business opportunities. However, a few pioneering women began breaking into the franchising space during this time, often in industries perceived as more "female-oriented," such as baked goods, food, interior design, and retailing.

1980s - Growth and Diversity:
The 1980s witnessed an increase in the number of women entering franchising. This decade saw a diversification of industries beyond traditional sectors, as more women pursued opportunities in service-based franchises, health and wellness, and education. Women-owned franchise businesses began to gain attention, contributing to the growth of women's presence in the sector.

1990s - Advocacy and Support:
During the 1990s, various organizations and initiatives emerged to support women's participation in franchising. Women-focused networking groups and associations began to provide mentorship, resources, and education to aspiring women franchisees and franchisors. These efforts helped create a more supportive environment for women seeking to establish themselves in the franchising world.

2000s - Leadership and Empowerment:
The 2000s marked a shift towards women assuming leadership roles in franchising. More women began to establish their own franchise concepts and brands, becoming franchisors themselves. This decade also saw an increase in women holding executive positions within established franchise systems, contributing to more diverse leadership teams.

2010s - Focus on Inclusion:
The 2010s brought increased attention to diversity and inclusion in all sectors of franchising. More franchisors actively sought to include women as franchisees and leaders. Efforts were made to address any remaining gender-based biases and to create an environment that welcomed individuals of all backgrounds.

2020s - Continued Progress:
I continue to see the trend of women's increasing involvement in franchising to the present day. Women-owned franchise businesses are on the rise, and many women are successfully establishing and growing their own franchise brands. Advancements in technology and changes in work dynamics are also creating new opportunities for women in franchising, allowing for more flexible business models.

I am proud to be able to point out that our firm has developed successful women-owned franchise business models over the years in a wide variety of fields including healthcare, education, fitness gyms, cleaning services, food venues, and women's fashion.

It's important to note that while progress has been made, challenges related to gender equality and representation in business, including franchising, still exist. Factors like access to financing, societal expectations, and work-life balance can impact women's participation. Efforts to support women in franchising continue through mentorship programs, educational resources, and policies that promote inclusivity. Written By:  Carl J. Kosnar

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