RALEIGH, N.C. — Women are making major strides in the business world, and North Carolina is a hot spot for their success. 

What You Need To Know

  • Five North Carolina towns ranked in the top 50 places where women are most successful

  • Tiffiny Consoli is the owner of Pool Scouts of the Greater Triangle Area

  • Only 6.5% of women work in male-dominated occupations

A study by SmartAsset ranked five towns in the top 50 places where women are most successful, including Cary, Durham, Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro. 

Tiffiny Consoli is the owner of Pool Scouts of the Greater Triangle Area, a franchise pool servicing company. Consoli became the first woman to own a Pool Scouts franchise five years ago. She's since become one of the top earners in the company. 

"I was looking for a business to own, to run, I was really interested in having my own business. The franchise model really worked for me," Consoli said. 

Consoli grew up in Houston, Texas, spending time with her family at the beach and being part of a swim team. 

"I chose this industry because I love the outdoors, and I wanted to be in a service industry," Consoli said. 

Consoli falls into a unique category, where only 6.5% of women work in male-dominated industries, according to a 2020 report by the Institute For Women's Policy Research. 

"It's a technical job, so I had to learn the technical aspects of the job and learn how to build relationships with employees and vendors that were mostly men," Consoli said. 

Before opening Pool Scouts, Consoli spent time in Colorado, where she opened her first small plantscaping business with a friend. She then moved on to the sales industry and had the opportunity to open a new retail store in North Carolina. 

"Really, all of the skills I think women have, in terms of building relationships and partnerships, are really important and will help them get through their business no matter what their business is in. It's really important to be able to work with people and ask for help when you need it," Consoli said. 

Over the past two decades, the number of women entrepreneurs has risen 114%, according to the American Express State of Women Owned Business Report. 

In 1988, President Ronald Regan signed the Women's Business Ownership Act that eliminated the requirement to have male cosigners for female entrepreneurs, and provided government support for female businesses. But women began entering the workforce long before that. Women filled the workforce during World War II, citing a period of financial independence for females. 

Although women have made a name for themselves in the business world, they still face obstacles, including gender and wage discrimination. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 data showed women earn 82 cents for every dollar a male earns. That percentage is up from when women earned 57 cents per dollar earned by men in 1973.