Women Make Up Growing Portion of Leadership Positions in Marijuana Industry

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Weed girl power. - COURTESY OF PHOTOSPIN
  • Courtesy of Photospin
  • Weed girl power.

The marijuana industry is beginning to show more respect for women. By that, the publication Marijuana Business Daily means less wet T-shirt contests at medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as fewer ads of half-naked women with bongs, and more, way more, top executive positions in the weed economy. 

A recent survey by the magazine says that women now make a "sizable and growing" portion of high ranks in the industry, including 63 percent of high-level positions at testing labs; 48 percent of executive spots in processing and infused product manufacturing, where women make up 48 percent of "key decision-making" positions like being the owner, CEO and/or president.

"While years ago it was rare to see women in executive roles on the retail side of the industry, they now fill 38 percent of those positions at dispensaries and recreational stores."

All-in-all, women hold 36 percent of leadership positions in the entire industry, which is noticeably higher than the 22 percent lead positions in U.S. companies in general, according to 2014 figures from the Pew Research Center, the Marijuana Business Daily article by Becky Olson says

Other sectors, such as wholesale and investment, have fewer women in exec positions, but those numbers are still higher than the average for all U.S. businesses, Olson writes. 

There's still room for much improvement in other areas, check out Olson's article for more detail on that.

From the article:
The results reveal that women are more likely to hold executive titles in every major sector of the cannabis industry than in the general workforce at large. This indicates that women have more opportunities to climb the ladder in the marijuana industry and are making quicker progress toward those goals than females in all other industries as a whole in the U.S.

It also reflects how the cannabis industry has matured and abandoned some of the practices that alienated women as both professionals and consumers.

The survey was conducted online on Oct. 6 and 7, and the findings include responses from 632 cannabis executives and professionals.

Some highlights:

Women hold 36% of leadership positions in the entire industry. That’s significantly higher than the 22% average for U.S. companies in general, according to 2014 data from the Pew Research Center. The national figures are pushed lower by heavy male executive representation in industries like commercial banking and the government (which includes the military), according to a 2013 study conducted by the University of Denver’s Colorado Women’s College.

The University of Denver study found that in newer sectors – such as technology and social media – “women are better represented in positional leadership roles.” That phenomenon certainly seems to be playing out in the cannabis industry and is supported by the results of the survey.

In addition to testing labs, other cannabis sectors are also truly excelling at female representation in the executive ranks, most notably processing and infused product manufacturing, where women hold 48% of key decision-making positions such as owner/founder, chief executive officer and president.

While years ago it was rare to see women in executive roles on the retail side of the industry, they now fill 38% of those positions at dispensaries and recreational stores.

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