Category: Women In Business

How to Help Entry-Level Women Advance Their Careers

Managers, especially those of young female professionals, are on the front line in the struggle to achieve gender parity. These managers have the power to set women on the right path and reverse the cycle of discontent that occurs when women’s careers stall after a few years. When managers give regular feedback about expectations and performance, provide coaching about broad organizational context and facilitate exposure to decision-makers, they set the stage for women to succeed.

Ruth, a mid-level employee, provides an example. She put her name in for a job opening that would advance her career within the organization. When Ruth looked at the position description a second time, however, she withdrew her name. Ruth wasn’t comfortable applying for a job for which she wasn’t 100% qualified.

When Ruth learned that a male colleague had put his name forward for the same position, she thought, “I’m surprised he’s putting his name forward when he doesn’t have all the qualifications either.” 

Then Ruth had another surprise. The hiring manager asked why she had withdrawn her name. Ruth explained that she didn’t meet all the qualifications. 

“You don’t understand,” answered the manager. “I want you in that position. I think you’re perfect.”

Ruth, like so many of her female peers, created barriers to her own advancement. Why? One reason is that women have a different understanding of “perfect for the job” and “perfect in the job” than their male counterparts.

Women tend to enter the workforce with the assumption that outstanding work will be noticed and get them promotions. So, they overdeliver. For the first couple of years, it works. Women’s hard work is initially noticed and rewarded – but then things change. Promotions begin to go disproportionally to men, who don’t seem to be working as hard. Women begin to feel


How to Drive Diversity and Inclusivity in Tech

In my more than three decades working in the software industry, I’ve had the privilege of watching an industry transform. From the dot-com boom to the rise of cloud computing, major evolutions in technology have had a meaningful impact on our lives, both at work and at home.

What’s equally important, though less visible day to day, is how the tech industry is changing behind the scenes, and that includes in the area of diversity and inclusion. As a woman in tech, I can say we’ve made great strides the last few decades as it relates to D&I, but we still have a long way to go.

In what was formerly a male-dominated industry, women now make up 53% of initial hires. Despite this progress, according to a recent study from the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women in tech are abandoning their careers at a steep rate. Today, more than half of women (56%) leave tech at the “midlevel” point – twice the exit rate for men. And many of them aren’t leaving for other interests or to build a family. In fact, the vast majority of women who leave tech careers (80%) report staying in the workforce, and half continue to use their technical skills elsewhere, suggesting culture and opportunity are driving departure.

In fact, women ages 25 to 34, a group reporting “greater dissatisfaction” with tech career prospects, specifically point to unsupportive work environments and a lack of inspiring role models as barriers to their workplace satisfaction. This is a huge obstacle not only for individual companies, but also for the larger tech industry and its desire for holistic innovation that appeals to all kinds of people.

While diversity in tech goes far beyond gender, these stats reveal areas for improvement as we look


Smart Ways Female Entrepreneurs Can Protect Their SMB

October is National Women’s Small Business Month, a celebration of the more than 11 million woman-owned businesses in the United States and their fearless leaders. According to research conducted by SCORE in a recent infographic, 1,071 woman-owned firms are started every day. Since 2007, women have started businesses five times faster than the national average.

As more women pursue entrepreneurship, it’s important that they conduct their due diligence. They must understand which legal steps to take so they can protect their small businesses and intellectual property. There are several items all entrepreneurs must be able to cross off their legal to-do list, including covering these key areas:

  • Incorporate or form a limited liability company (LLC) to protect the business.
  • Register for trademarks to ensure exclusive rights to the marks.
  • File for necessary business licenses.
  • Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) to hire employees.
  • Determine who will act as your registered agent.
  • Keep up with annual maintenance to stay in compliance with the state.

You’ve drafted a business plan, reviewed the viability of your business idea and accessed how much capital you’ll need to start your business. Now, it’s time to protect your startup.

1. Incorporate the business.

This is one of the basic, first steps many entrepreneurs take to protect their small businesses. An unincorporated business struggles to establish credibility, and it does not receive liability protection like an incorporated formation. An incorporated business receives liability protection. This allows personal and professional assets to remain separate from each other. It also ensures that personal assets, like houses and cars, are protected in the event of an unforeseen circumstance that may negatively impact the company.

Entrepreneurs may choose to incorporate as one of several different types of business structures. Here’s a look at some of the most common, and popular, options


Celebrate Women’s Small Business Month This October

  • Women own 42% of businesses in the United States.
  • Women-owned businesses generate $1.9 trillion annually.
  • Women of color account for 50% of female business owners.

October is National Women’s Small Business Month, which means it’s time to celebrate women-owned businesses everywhere, as well as the outstanding progress female entrepreneurs have made over the years. If you’re looking for creative ways to celebrate and support female entrepreneurship, keep reading.

1. Share the exciting facts about women in business.

Most articles about women in business (especially in STEM fields) focus almost exclusively on inequality and harassment, rather than on success, progress, opportunity or resilience. In celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month, consider sharing some positive facts about women in business on your social media. After all, the best way to inspire young women to go into business is by encouraging them with success stories.

These three facts can get you started, but there’s a lot more information in The 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, which is published annually by American Express and worthy of a full read.

  • In 1972, women only owned 4.6% of all businesses in the United States. As of 2019, women owned 42% of all businesses.
  • Women-owned businesses grew 21% from 2014 to 2019, and businesses owned by women of color grew at double that rate. Numbers for black women entrepreneurs grew the fastest, with an increase of 50%. In fact, as of 2019, women of color accounted for 50% of all women who owned businesses.
  • There are nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion.

If you have your own story of female entrepreneurship, be sure to share that as well, especially in online business communities. It’s vital for young women to see