This year women became the new majority in the US workforce giving us reason to reflect and act on the importance of this achievement. While we applaud this transformational milestone, there are still many challenges that remain. The critical impediments include start-up financing, access to mentors/networks, skill proficiency for the new technology, and career branding and development. American women are now better educated then men, and in fact, receive the majority of bachelor degrees. In law, medical and doctoral programs they represent the new majority. Women now own 40 percent of all private businesses in the US and make the majority of consumer decisions worldwide. Latest Pew research reports that almost one-third of married working women out earn their husbands. ABC news just reported that single women without children, under the age of 30, in major American cities, take home at least 10 percent more than males.

The new economy also means that service and knowledge-based jobs are the fastest growing areas, while manufacturing and construction jobs are declining. Additionally, women tend to dominate in health and education and have been affected less than their male counterparts during this past recession.

What does all of this mean? It means that women are poised to lead the state and nation in our economic and business recovery. It means that local and state legislators and candidates need to recognize the impact of the new workforce majority, (which they have started to- thank you Mr. Hetherington) and it means that business leaders and banks must provide greater access to loans and start-up financing.

When women are successful -- whether they are household CEO's, starting new ventures, or building and growing their corporate divisions, everyone wins. This is not a partisan issue.

If you are a woman interested in receiving practical solutions and workshops to navigate in the new economy, come to the Women Mean Business benefit conference on Oct. 5 at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich. There will be an all-star panel of industry leaders and experts offering workshops on career branding, technological proficiency and wealth acquisition. Headlining the group of business leaders is Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, founder and Chief Merchandising Officer of the Gilt Groupe. Gilt Groupe (www.GILT.com) is the premier online luxury retailer destination for women's apparel and home categories, with revenues projected at $500 million for 2010. The conference organizers have also reached out to Governor Rell and her office, to recognize the new majority and their need for this important conference, with a proclamation declaring Oct. 5 as Women Mean Business day.

I will lead this initiative, together with my team, and I implore all women seeking best practices for navigating and advancing in the new economy to attend.

Register at www.DevonFleming.com.

Devon Fleming is considered the metropolitan area's business and lifestyle leader. Her brand publishes books, articles, blogs, and other online content. For more information, e-mail devon@devonfleming.com.