As the month of March quickly draws to a close, we reflect on some of the most famous, valiant, and powerful women of our time who have gone through great lengths to change our world. From Betsy Ross to Rosa Parks to Rosie the Riveter, women have and continue to make history and make a difference.
Today, women like Hilary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Estee Lauder who are known for their powerful influence and aggressive business styles are continuing to lead and to influence social and political change for women.
On January 21st, 2017, the Women’s March on Washington attracted more than 1 million women in Washington D.C. and over 5 million women worldwide to advocate legislation and policies surrounding human rights and civil issues, such as workers’ rights, healthcare reform, LGBTQ rights, among many other issues that women continue to face every day.
On March 8th, 2017, International Women’s Day, we saw more than 10 different countries and millions of women join “A Day Without a Woman” strikes across the globe for women’s rights.
Although the women’s rights movement has been active since the 1900s, in addition to these political and social actions, women are stronger than ever. For example, there are more women-owned businesses in the United States today than ever before. In 2016, we saw more women in executive and leadership roles, including roles that are traditionally held by men, such as construction and other special trades; science, medicine, and technology; and even in our nation’s Congress.
It’s true that more women are becoming the “breadwinners” in their families, however, the pay gap between men and women is still a problem. Even though the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed more than 50 years ago, women who work full time all year still only earn approximately 79 percent of what men earn doing the same jobs and with the same credentials.
Empowering Women as Business Owners and Leaders: Why Women Do It Better
Despite these astounding facts, women are becoming more powerful today. Approximately 38 percent of all U.S.-based businesses are owned and operated by a woman. Furthermore, studies show that women are actually better business owners than men for these reasons:
- Women are proven to be better at nurturing, multitasking, creativity and empathy.
- Women are more likely to sacrifice their personal time and social lives for the success of their businesses than men.
- Women are more likely to hire their own children to work with them in their businesses and develop “family businesses” more than men.
- Women have also proven to be better money managers than men.
Although the number of female-owned and operated businesses continues to increase with each passing year, why aren’t more women taking the plunge? Although a man’s greatest strength is confidence, which is why they are often seen as better entrepreneurs, confidence is also a woman’s greatest weakness, which stands in her way to success.
The “F” Word
However, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, the biggest fear of starting and sustaining a business is failure.
What is the number one reason why we – as women – don’t go for our dreams? One problem is likely confidence, the other is fear of failure… Entrepreneurship sparks a different and new level of emotions and anxiety. It’s important to be aware of and in control of anxiety as it can be damaging to your business and also your health.
In order to keep your anxiety in check, running a business requires sacrifice and a serious lifestyle change. This is what separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls: Most people don’t want to have to give up cable TV, going out, get up earlier and work harder, or even give up shopping or other luxuries in order to focus on their business. However, in the beginning, these decisions may be necessary…
Yes, failure is a very real thing. Rather than fearing or thinking of failure as “the end”, view failure rather as mistakes. Although no one loves to make a mistake or even admit them, the best thing you can do is to own up to them, learn from them, and move on. Remember, making a mistake is one thing, giving up or not trying at all is another. By giving up or not trying, you are guaranteed to fail.
“If you don’t have it, create it.”
Women no longer need to succumb or settle with a lifestyle or a career that is unsatisfactory, unfulfilling or unrewarding. If you want more, then take more. If you want something different, then go find it. Sometimes the best opportunities are the ones right in front of us. On the other hand, many believe that they aren’t qualified for a better job or they don’t have the education to be something they want to be. Although experience, diligence, and education are important, they aren’t always required.
Remember, if you don’t have it, create it.
These topics – and many more – are being discussed by millions of women all over the world today. If you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved in your community, then join us for this FREE Women & Civic Engagement event.
Click here for more details on the Women & Civic Engagement event.