Randy McIlwain, NBCDFW.com
Two North Texas businesswomen say their focus on details gives them an edge.
Despite the economic downturn, census numbers indicate U.S. women are narrowing the gap in six-figure salaries.
Since 2009, the number of women earning at least $100,000 has increased 14 percent compared to growth among men of just 4 percent.
Many women are starting their own businesses.
Amy Cole, co-owner of One 2 One Restaurant & Bar in Frisco, used a lifetime of personal and professional experiences to lay the foundation for becoming a entrepreneur. She studied broadcast in school, worked for Hotels.com, stayed home with her children and started a photography business. Her experiences helped her develop a business plan to build a high-end restaurant from the ground up.
And the ability to multitask is what makes women most valuable in a business climate where budgets demand doing more with less, Cole said.
"Women do it the best because we are responsible for our children and our families and the school work and running all the errands and doing all the housework and planning the birthday parties and, on top of that, having the job,” she said.
Education is also another major component in earning potential. More women are going to college and getting diplomas. A recent check of the 2010 enrollment for Collin College shows that 57 percent of the school's students is female. Administrators said the college's gender gap has been widening over the last decade.
The job market is also changing, with a shift from manufacturing jobs that used to favor men. New job growth is tied more directly to small businesses that demand creativity and detail to attract customers.
Rhonda Martin started her home-based real estate company, The Commercial Connection, in 2006. Martin said there is a major difference between the way men and women approach clients. In her experience, men often worry too much about bottom lines and closing deals fast, while a woman’s approach is different, she said.
"They (women) focus on building relationships,” she said.
Martin said long-term relationships have allowed her to thrive in the down economy.
Cole echoed Martin’s sentiment. Just like in their personal lives, women are more content to slow things down and look long term, looking for ways to sustain a partnership over a long period of time, Cole said.
“Every dollar counts," she said. "They want to build a relationship. They want to know who they're doing business with -- women are really good at that."
However, despite the gains, far more men still earn six-figure salaries than women do. In 2009, about 14 percent of men earned six figures, compared to about 5 percent of women.