Can’t Find a Minneapolis Glass Ceiling on Facebook- Is it Missing?

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Based on Facebook, the glass ceiling has been removed in Minnesota.

Has gender equality arrived in the land of 10,000 lakes? It appears so if you rely on college graduate levels and Facebook demographics.

While attempting to target an Audience on Facebook for an article on requirements when hiring employees I recently wrote, I found an interesting set of numbers for Minneapolis that suggests gender isn't a factor in business ownership, and if it is, the answer may not resemble what you think. The results may or may not surprise you, especially if you have a bias, albeit I will admit I found the number curious (which should be obvious considering I wrote this).

The Facebook Audiences I examined…

Minneapolis Minnesota as the target audience and expanding the radius 25 miles beyond.


Must have income of $150,000 or greater AND must have a job title of CEO/Founder/Owner


23-48 years of age

For Women, the audience size is 148,000 total people

For Men, the audience SHRINKS to 130,000 total people

Wow, that's a huge gap, and while many may expect a gap, I'm willing to bet there are many out there who would have guessed the gap was in favor of males instead.

After adjusting income to require at least $250,000 income the numbers are:

For Women, the audience size is 28,000 total people

For Men, the audience again shrinks to 24,000 total people

Again, using the increased income of at least $250,000, albeit increasing the radius to 50 miles outside Minneapolis, I find the following potential audience size on Facebook (at this level of audience, Facebook states the audience selection is TOO SPECIFIC (my highlighting):

For Women, the audience size is about 29,000 total people

For Men, the audience falls to 25,000 total people.

Once again, using the $250,000 minimum income, albeit expanding to the entire state of Minnesota, we find most of the wealth is concentrated in the metro area. Regardless, gender numbers remain largely consistent with Minneapolis and Saint Paul metro area, suggesting a negative gender bias or hardship in business doesn't rear its ugly head in rural Minnesota.

For Women, the whole state of Minnesota audience size is 30,000 total people according to Facebook.

For Men, the audience dips to 27,000 total people, remaining about the same proportionately throughout the state.

Lowering the minimum group income to $150,000 or more, and again using the entire state of Minnesota I found the audience size large enough to highlight my post. 

For Women, the audience size is 176,000 total people

For Men the audience to 156,000 total people

I didn't attempt lowering the income levels to less than what I would find for a typical business owner that's successful. At some point, I'm likely to see what the results are, however, I'm slow to bet the numbers reverse or demonstrate anything other than consistency with the current findings.

The negative gender bias towards females controversy.

While I'm looking forward to examining Wisconsin and other states, the numbers I found today suggest and support my thoughts that gender isn't a barrier to business ownership. For those paying attention, this isn't a huge shock and surprise considering the college degree gap that exists today. For those not dialed into the gender makeup of college campuses, there are more females on any given typical campus and more females graduating with degrees than men. According to the US Department of Education, in 2017 we will see about 134 females graduate with a bachelor's degree for every 100 men, and the female graduate numbers run the entire board.

spreadsheet with US college Degrees by gender information. Females are graduating at all levels including Associates, Bachelors, Masters, and doctors at higher rates than men

What the data is missing. While I think Facebook is a relatively good source of demographic information, I don't know that it is. Some or all of the business owner numbers could be a reflection of simply more business females on Facebook than men. Even if there are more male business owners, if females are over-represented on Facebook by a wide enough margin, it will skew the results and create a false conclusion. 

That said, when I add in my own experience and thoughts on the issue, I'm willing to take for granted that the numbers may not be spot on, albeit they are reflective of reality. When I enter into a business relationship with an owner, I simply don't see a difference in competency levels between female and male new business owners, or experienced business owners for that matter. the feedback I receive from both appear consistent as well. Namely, marketing, cashflow,  and finding quality staff remain at the top of the list of concerns. 

What I don't hear is gender is playing a role in the ability of my clients to succeed. Before you reach a conclusion that maybe it's because female clients aren't willing to share that thought, considering all the other personal and private information I receive from all clients including female business owners, I find it highly unlikely. 

For a while now, and increasingly so, the business world from the vantage point I'm engaged with it has an overall level gender playing field. Sure, maybe any given industry or local has biases, albeit I see (small) biases going both directions. In fact, I've reached an opinion that those who believe females require "special" incentives and other government intervention are discounting the ability of females to compete and succeed. On the one hand, if it were me, I would want "free" handouts, and on the other hand, I would feel insulted because the handouts suggest I'm not good, smart or work hard enough to find success on my own merits. 

If you believe that women can't succeed without special treatment, I suggest you rethink your opinion because I can tell you, as a matter of fact, the business owner ladies I work with are every bit as capable and qualified for managing and operating their businesses. For those that don't believe it, I suggest you attempt to compete against them and see how that turns out for you. Better bring your A game, or you're toast before you even start.




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