How Female Entrepreneurs are Paving the Way
President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Wage Act in 1963, paving the way for women to earn equal pay compared to their male counterparts. This act made it illegal for men and women working in the same place to earn different salaries for similar work. However, women have faced an uphill battle through the years when it comes to closing the wage gap. Even today, women employees earn 80 cents on the dollar compared to men. Women tired of feeling undervalued and looking to seize new opportunities have turned to a new “boss” – themselves.
According to American Express, the number of woman-owned businesses has increased dramatically over the past 46 years, the U.S. shows growth from only 402,000 in 1972 to over 12 million as of October 2018. In fact, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Report, global entrepreneurship for women has increased 10% in just two years, from 2016-2017 (across 63 global economies). More than 274 million women globally are running their own business, demonstrating the growing role woman-owned businesses have on the global economy.
Female entrepreneurs are innovative and driven. They understand business, and are able to manage operations from personnel to cash flow and everything in between. As with every entrepreneurial journey, taking an idea from beta to launch doesn’t come without its share of challenges and roadblocks. If you’re looking to call it quits in the 9-to-5, ready to set your own salary and pave the way for the next generation to follow, the advice from female entrepreneurs below may be just the motivation you need to get started.
Go for it
Aside from the wage gap, research also affirms an ongoing confidence gap between men and women. Men tend to overestimate their performance and abilities while women, unfortunately, tend to do just the opposite and underestimate both. Common concerns expressed by women in the workplace include worry about appearing to outshine others or being disliked. Don’t undervalue your contributions or your ideas! Focus on your strengths and achievements, be proud of what you’ve accomplished and approach life and career changes with confidence.
“It’s like a dream job for me. I feel very lucky to get to do what I love every day and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it.” – Kiri-Moana Proctor, DukeofLondon.co
Trust your Intuition
Both men and women have intuitive abilities, but women tend to be more receptive to their intuitive feelings. When faced with a tough decision, pay attention to your physical responses. Are you excited about the idea of entrepreneurship? Or does it make you exhausted to think about it? Those reactions are your subconscious giving you cues on how you really feel about the decision. Identify the feelings that are tugging at you and trust your gut!
“When I was in elementary school, my sister and I had so many little businesses — we did hair, nail design, car washing. Now I can see there was a real entrepreneurial spirit,” – Promise Tangeman, GoLiveHQ.co
Pave your Own Way
When you are running your own business, it’s just that – you running your own business. There is no standard one-size-fits-all blueprint for success. You shouldn’t feel like you have to follow someone else’s model to achieve your goals. It’s important to remember that success is different for everyone.
“Just because a defined formula exists, of what “running a business” means, doesn’t mean that’s what you HAVE to do. Make your own way. Being an entrepreneur is experimentation, trial & error, recalibrating every step of the way. If you’re nimble & open to change, you’re more likely to do well.” – Naina Redhu, naina.co
It’s Never too Late to Start
Your work experience, education and continued training are invaluable when it comes to running your own business. That means if you’re working the corporate 9-to-5 but hankering for a change, take advantage of the benefits and experience while you can. Several companies offer tuition reimbursement and continued professional training. These experiences will make you more successful down the road. In fact, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports, on average, 45-year-old founders headed the top 1% of fastest-growing new ventures. Age equals experience.
“I entered the startup game relatively late. I was 33 at the time and was in an amazing corporate career, but I realized I just didn’t have the same interests any more. Many of my friends were married and having children and I wanted adventure…” – Meray Azar, epicexperiences.co
Female entrepreneurs are not only paving the way for equality in pay, but closing the entrepreneurial gap between men and women-led businesses and inspiring the next generation of #ladyboss women on the way!
“Once, when I asked my mother how she was able to manage her life for 30 years after my father passed away, she said she didn’t think about the past and kept her eyes on the horizon. And so that’s what I do.” – Amy Millman, SB.co
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