Where Have the Women Gone?
In this month’s issue of Harvard Business Review (November 2016), Adi Ignatius, Editor in Chief, laments that of the world’s 100 best-performing CEOs, there were only two women. He then states that:
“Among the 886 companies we studied to produce our list, just 28 – or 3% - were led by female executives.”
I admit that the chances of my working my way to a CEO position in a large company would have been slim to none. However; as I look around my world of Women Entrepreneurs, it never ceases to amaze me that so many women have gone rogue and have created their own companies, utilizing their own talents, skills, and passions. These women are the women who do it all. They work hard, in many cases, raise children, and live fulfilling and comfortable lives with passion.
The comments of Mr. Ignatius suggest that when a woman executive leaves corporate life, her education, knowledge, and thinking ability, blow up into a cloud of dust. That same woman is then relegated to a position of invisible being. This is far from true. There are women who have advanced degrees as well as women without degrees who, as entrepreneurs, achieve greatness personally, professionally, and economically.
Where have the women gone? In my very small world, I have a growing list: Sandra Yancey of eWomen Network, Shelli Gardner of StampinUp, and the amazing women in my smaller business circle – Marybeth Gregg, ICWOP; Esther Hughes, Center for Elite Women Communicators; Linda Waterhouse, WSI Web Systems; Susan Best Jones, S Best Designs; Eileen Galbraith, The Credit Gal; and Sara Levin, The Artful Inker. These are only a few of the women in my world. Not long ago, I attended a conference with over 1,000 entrepreneurial women. These women have created their own path, some still working in traditional jobs, and some breaking ties and choosing to be totally independent. How many others are out there who never get the recognition of a Harvard Business Review.
In that same magazine, there is a Charles Schwab advertisement with a photograph of a woman with the following suggestion: “Own your tomorrow.” I own my today and my tomorrow. My company is Edith’s, Inc., the product I manufacture is Bezi™ Bra Discs™, a product that camouflages nipple protrusion. After all, women want to be heard without distraction. Bezi™ Bra Discs™ are manufactured here in the US and Edith’s holds the patent and owns the molds. Success is believing that anything is possible. It’s not easy to be an entrepreneur, but, that’s who and what I am.
Look around and be amazed at the women who you add to your list. Harvard Business Review might be looking for women in the wrong places.