Let’s be real. There are less women run businesses than their are of our male counterparts. There are less women in the C Suite of Fortune 500 companies than men, 17 out of the 340 to be exact. There are less women general counsels than men, 21% to be precise. There are less funding opportunities for women led businesses than men and an overall disparaging pay gap between men and women. From The Harvard Business Review covering the funding issues for female entrepreneurs (link here) to a recent article I wrote for The Huffington Post (link here), there is no secrecy to the truth that we, as She.E.Os, find ourselves in.
However, with knowledge comes power and with power comes change. I often find myself in rooms that are predominately male and armed with the facts, am able to illicit a conversation on the issues driving these statistics. I used to feel that I needed to overcompensate for the fact that I was female, however, what I have realized is that this only furthers the narrative men have of women in the workplace. If I was “too” anything it immediately polarized my position. What I found was that by just having the knowledge of the truth, I was able to showcase my power in a disarming way. By doing so, I had more progress with the men I was engaging with. They found my fact driven stance, pragmatism and unrelenting knowledge to be a catalyst to further the conversation of funding, partnership, collaboration and most importantly: respect. I am not saying it is fair, but what I am saying is, it exists. So how do you combat this? With the knowledge of the truth and the work ethic behind our businesses.
The uphill battle we find ourselves in, is not a mission for only one, but a collaborative one that requires the unity of the #girlboss and the support of the men who believe women can do anything that a man does. And believe me, they are out there. I know this conversation is one with great divide, but I am hoping my own confessions will resonate with others and together we can fight for our common goal.
Photography By: Rosalie Agency
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