10/22/14

The Future of Women in Business

Leaves are turning, the weather is cooling, and with Halloween approaching I thought it would be appropriate to channel our inner ‘witch’. Let’s come together as current and future women business owners and stir the preverbal pot a bit, or cauldron if that’s what you prefer.

Being a woman in business in a company where the majority of employees are male, as well as a former business owner myself, it is interesting to keep up on the stats for the up-and-coming women entrepreneurs or executives in the nations top companies.

Research and data collected recently show that the amount of female CEO’s and top-level executives are rising faster than predicted. This is good news. A collective cackle between us please.

In all seriousness though, more women are graduating from college versus men, and although this percentage could have shifted from recent data I’ve collected, in the United States 50.8% of women hold the majority of all undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. When you look into further advanced degrees, women hold almost half of advanced degrees in the U.S., including 47% in Law and 48% in Medical.

So why is it then that women still are not a higher percentage in the top-level corporate positions? Although it is still impressive that women own 1 in 5 companies with revenue of $1 Million or more, what is holding us back? Are we still playing those old tapes in our heads that ‘we just don’t belong’ in this role? Those are all legitimate and current fears with any woman who wants to take charge and create her own path. It will never be easy to say, “snap out of it, just do it, step into that role, and go for it” if these are the fears we are holding on to.

Movements and organizations such as Lean In, American Business Women’s Association (ABWA), and others are creating a feeling of empowerment and real contribution for women. CEO’s and business owners realizing that women are and will continue to be a valid source of revenue for businesses in the United States can be a big contributing factor to high future growth for advancing more women into an executive level, or influencing women to take that leap into their own business.

Wow, this is heavy right? All these reasons, numbers, and effects on the psyche… what does this all mean to you? How can a woman begin to take that step into the ‘man’s world’ of business? I believe it is taking one step at a time and understand what your goals are, what your fears are, and tackle them.

  1. Dissect the goals: what is first, second, and so on. What will it take to reach them? Basic, right?
  2. Break apart the fear components: fear can run rampant and if you don’t fully understand the ‘why am I fearful of this’ you won’t get past it and may seem larger than it really is.
  3. What is your personal brand: who are you? What do you stand for and how strong will you be when it comes time to back it up?
  4. Take on leadership roles: step up to challenges and contribute willingly to the uncomfortable.

By taking a few steps in the right direction, you can contribute to a positive change in your organization or your current business and help push the cause forward.

 

 

 

 

 

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About the author

Lisa Paras
I was born and raised in San Diego 35 years prior to a family move to Utah and I'm a former business owner of a graphic design company. I'm also a tennis player junky and love the outdoors and anything in the water! Country music is my choice any day. And three kids with the youngest in high school have taught me patience like a pro.

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