Women all over the globe are starting their own businesses, playing by their own rules, and earning respect on their own terms.
As we salute the strength, creativity, and passion of women business owners as a whole, we are pleased to introduce you to five female entrepreneurs we had the pleasure of meeting this week. These dynamic women are running their own businesses and making a living doing exactly what they love to do.
The post featured profiles of five businesswomen who created, respectively: a pet photography and design studio, a luxury personal concierge service, an online marketplace that donates a percentage of proceeds to charity, a women’s shoe liner company and a PR and marketing agency. BrandMakerNews congratulated female entrepreneurs for their hard work and ingenuity and encouraged other women to follow in their footsteps.
The business world is still surprisingly male-dominated, despite the fact that US women now outnumber men in colleges and are close to surpassing them in the workforce. A Catalyst Women in US Business report finds 46.3 percent of the labor force is female, but women make up only 6.7 percent of Fortune 500 top earners and 2.4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. According to Business Week, women are also statistically less likely to take the entrepreneurial path than men.
A lack of leadership development opportunities for women may be to blame for this gap, according to a recent study from Development Dimensions International:
Specifically, Ms. Howard and co-author Richard Wellins, a senior vice president at DDI, found women being shut out of “high-potential” programs designed to boost people’s careers by providing experiences such as managing multinational business units or training and support that helps them transition smoothly to higher-level jobs… As both men and women rose through the ranks, the gap widened between the genders in involvement in leadership development programs.
The Columbia Journal of Gender and Law also found that women have a more challenging time in leadership roles; even when performance is equal between men and women, women’s competence is rated lower: “People more readily credit men with leadership ability and accept men as leaders. In one study where subjects were shown slides of a man seated at the head of a table for a meeting, they assumed that he was the leader. They did not make the same assumption when the person in that seat was a woman.”
The US economy is just starting its long road to recovery, and creative thinking and entrepreneurship will be invaluable during the process. Since women make up a growing percentage of the American workforce, it is important to examine the causes of gender discrimination and focus on leadership development for women across different types of industry.
Do you think organizations offer enough growth and leadership opportunities for women?
Learn more about Employee Development Systems, Inc.’s leadership development courses.