Last week, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee (JEC) released Invest in Women, Invest in America: A Comprehensive Review of Women in the US Economy, a new wage gap report and study on women’s key role in the US economy. The study revealed the economic importance of women-owned businesses, which have added approximately 500,000 jobs between 1997 and 2007, a period when “the rest of privately-held firms” were cutting jobs. Furthermore, the number of businesses owned by women increased by 44 percent, twice as fast as the growth rate of male-owned businesses. Perhaps the growth is spurred on by Fortune 500 companies. Women are 46.4 percent of the employees of Fortune 500 companies but are only 2.4 percent of CEOs and 7.6 percent of executive officers. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), clarified, “The report can serve as a roadmap for policymakers who want to chart a new pro-growth course for the economy – one that recognizes the changing demographics of our workforce. I also hope that it will be a resource for elected leaders across the country who are working to assess different economic proposals and trying to understand how women’s role as generators of economic growth is affected by different policies.” The study also revealed women make up half of the workforce (49.8 percent) and the persistent gender pay gap that increases with age impacting older women (over 50 years) more than younger women. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), and Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, joined Maloney in releasing the report at the Capitol last Friday.