Ways the Cannabis Industry Wins at Gender Equality

The cannabis industry is one of the world’s newest and fastest-growing sectors of business. There is room to bring about more modern practices as a new industry, and cannabis has not shied away from bucking tradition. Because of this industry’s openness to taking on inequality, it’s a great sector for women at all levels. Though not perfect, the cannabis industry has helped elevate women to positions of power and provide resources to facilitate success.

General Staffing

The cannabis industry does well to be modern in its hiring practices. 43% of companies have majority women teams, with 38.5% of all employees identifying as female. These numbers are a stark contrast to other successful industries where women are much less likely to be represented. For example, women make up a small portion of computing professionals at just 25%, and women hold an even smaller portion of finance roles at 15%.

Even though women make up 50% of the population and 47% of the workforce, they are often relegated to industries like childcare, education, and hospitality. Seeing women as equals in all industries is essential to move gender equality forward. The cannabis industry has done well to try to even the playing field, but there are still many male-dominated sectors of cannabis, including cultivation and business ownership.

Women in Leadership

Cannabis is incredibly unique for the number of women in leadership positions it has. 41% of companies have at least one woman in an executive position, which makes sense when you factor in that 37% of all cannabis executives are women. This is much higher than the national average, where women make up only 22% of executive positions.

One area where women have not seen as many opportunities in cannabis is ownership. Though there are more women in executive positions in cannabis than in traditional industries, the same does not hold for ownership. Women in Ohio and Massachusetts only own 15% and 5% of businesses, respectively. This is compared to the national average of 21% of women-owned businesses.

Women-First Initiatives

Even though cannabis is a more equitable industry than most, that does not mean there still isn’t work to be done. Many organizations across the country and the world are pulling resources for other women to grow and learn in cannabis. These organizations operate to teach women about the industry, provide resources, and inspire them to take on roles in cannabis.

Here are our favorite women-first initiatives:

Women Grow  

Women Grow, a nationwide organization working to educate and uplift women in cannabis. Their mission is to build a network of women working in cannabis and build connections between these women to help strengthen their businesses. They host monthly educational events and support cannabusinesses in all aspects of the industry.


Cannaclusive is a revolutionary database and resource for minorities in cannabis. They aim to highlight and promote diversity-owned cannabusinesses and provide others with insights and thoughtful content to inspire them in their cannabis journey. Their diversity database is a great resource to find and support women and minority-owned cannabis businesses across the country.

Illinois Women in Cannabis

As a Chicago-based and women-led cannabis company ourselves, Illinois Women in Cannabis has been a valued partner since our beginning. Illinois Women in Cannabis seeks to build a strong network of female cannabis professionals in the state from all levels. They provide members with educational and networking opportunities throughout the year to help empower women to take on the cannabis industry.

 If you’re interested in making a move to a career in cannabis, Growing Talent is here to help. With more than 25 years in the recruitment space for new verticals, Growing Talent is well equipped to help you navigate this budding industry. We’ll connect you to a network of top minds in cannabis today and help you find your perfect fit within the world of cannabis.

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