With a recent poll projecting that 60% of Americans are supportive of marijuana legalization it’s clearer than ever that the cannabis business will bring the next pinnacle of U.S. industry. The hot topics of women’s rights and workplace equality find people looking at marijuana jobs as vital cornerstones in steps toward equal opportunities for both genders. Public perception may envision the weed industry as a male-dominated boys club but recent studies have actually shown the hard work that women have put into marijuana-related enterprises with a staggering 36% of executive positions in the cannabis industry filled by women.
Promising Statistics of Women Filling Marijuana Jobs
The recent study
conducted by Marijuana Business Daily may not dispel the weakness for sexist leanings found in certain types of marijuana marketing, but it does provide hard facts that show marijuana jobs are going to women far more than jobs in other popular industries based on national averages. While returns showing that women held approximately 36% of all executive roles still find women in the minority, it’s a vast improvement on the national average that shows a mere 22% of executive positions in U.S. businesses filled by women.
What truly marks the cannabis business as a progressive industry for female employment are the percentages of other marijuana jobs populated by women. A 63% majority of executive jobs in marijuana test laboratories go to female workers. Slightly less than half of all executive roles pertaining to cannabis processing and manufacturing (including marijuana edibles) go to women with statistics hovering around 48%. Women working in divisions associated to marijuana investment comprise only 28% of executive roles, though even this number trumps the national average in other major industries. With a mere 5% of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies filled by women, the rise of the cannabis industry is providing a major opportunity for business-savvy women to get their feet in the door and compete with male peers on a playing field that is evening out.
There’s Still Sexism in the Cannabis Industry
While the statistics may be especially refreshing for female candidates seeking to fill marijuana jobs, it could be a misstep to assume the push for full job equality in the cannabis industry will be a downhill battle. The brothers of the Puffa Puffa Passa frat house are not simply figments of public imagination, as can be attested by Betty Aldworth, the executive director of the organization Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In her 2014, opinion piece for The Cannabist
, she outlines some of the obstacles she faces simply because of her gender. However, the rampant sexism within the marijuana business that Aldworth cites may have less to do with the product and more to do with a societal habit. Women workers are woefully few and far between in neighboring industries, such as agriculture and farming. While women are finding less adversity in securing marijuana jobs, they may also be coming up against changing a society’s way of thinking more so than an industry’s.
The Unique Perspectives of Women in the Marijuana Business
Fortunately, women are not turning up to the battle unarmed. Organizations such as Women Grow
are providing resources and reinforcement to women seeking employment in the growing field of cannabis. While Women Grow is a relatively new organization founded in 2014, it already boasts 29 chapters spanning the U.S. Women are also uniquely equipped to handle the demands of certain marijuana jobs with built-in experience. Conditions both physical and social have found women relating to marijuana with a depth necessary for someone who wants to excel in the cannabis industry. The average American household finds women making the healthcare choices for their families while also being more receptive to alternative forms of medicine than males. Women are also more likely to be stricken with chronic ailments in which marijuana could be deemed a successful form of therapy. All of these factors line up to offer unique perspectives that would greatly benefit the rising marijuana industry.
The fact that a minority statistic can be considered staggering is further proof that gender discrimination and prejudice remains a major issue in our society. Marijuana jobs have already made a major stride in repairing this transgression with the cannabis industry hosting more women in executive positions than any other industry in America. A recent report from the University of Denver deduces that gender equality will continue to level out as older businesses with traditional, yet archaic practices fade away. For now, the marijuana industry provides a window for women to experience an industry that recognizes their accomplishments and talents.
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