Find Your Mentorship Community on Women’s Entrepreneurship DayNov 18, 2022
If women comprise just over half of the American population, why do we need to pause and recognize women entrepreneurs? As a person who identifies as a woman*, it is something I have struggled with throughout my decades in business. I didn’t want special treatment, yet I knew that there were disparities in our professional lives. And the numbers back up these perceptions.
According to the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO), women perform 66% of the world’s work yet only earn 10% of the world’s income. It is not that we don’t contribute that income back into the economy, however, as women account for 85% of all consumer purchases. In the U.S., there are approximately 10 million woman-owned businesses, generating $1.3 Trillion in revenue and employing 7.8 million people. And we are really good for business profitability. When women are added to leadership positions, going from 0% to 30%, there is a documented 15% increase in profitability.
In honor of Women’s Equality Day, I wanted to share some observations from my career and how the Vision to Life Community supports all entrepreneurs in our paths.
In my experience, being a woman in traditionally male-dominated industries: banking, financial services, and wealth management, it wasn’t that men stood in my way, and only women helped me succeed. My struggle was not fitting into the traditional networking paths and camaraderie with my male counterparts. They didn’t intentionally exclude me; they didn’t know what to do with me. And as there were so few roles for women in my field, most women were hesitant to mentor me as I was sure to advance and edge them out of one of their coveted positions.
Now, as a small business owner and professional board member, I focus on creating those mentoring opportunities. I always thought I would return to the classroom and feel so lucky that technology caught up with my desire to build community, making this virtual “classroom” boundless.
My company, Seventh Scout, interviewed several women for a series we covered on women’s equality. I specifically spoke about being a female entrepreneur. Below is a loose transcription of this interview:
One of the confounding things to me when I think about women’s equality is that women control the wealth in this country. However, we still have such a disparity in our pay.
I’m a fundamental believer that corporations are the foundations and paths to growth for our society. I don’t think businesses are bad. I think they’re intrinsically right. They give us wealth. They give us benefits. They educate us. They give us opportunities. So why can so few women be found in leadership and on boards? How are we advocating for ourselves? Women are not speaking up about ensuring that their pay is related to what they’re doing and not to their gender.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a genius in starting a women’s equality movement from the men’s perspective. She showed the disparity of how gender should be irrelevant in many decisions, such as the parental rights of men and the ability to be there for their children, a right that once was exclusively reserved for women.
I think an essential part that digital media will play in any equality movement is access to tell stories and make this vital issue relatable to all, not just held within intimate conversations or think tanks. That comes with access to websites and publishing stories on social media channels.
Now that networking and mentorship exist virtually, we can expand our collaboration beyond our comprehension. What are the online communities that support women entrepreneurs? What do you want to see offered in our Vision to Life Community? Follow us on social media or connect with me on LinkedIn to keep the conversations going!
*In building an inclusive community of entrepreneurs, it is important to me to recognize that our gender identity is diverse, and using gender-inclusive language matters.
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