The best business ideas for women entrepreneurs, managers and leaders are those that create solutions to personal problems. A female entrepreneur is a woman who finds an opportunity to solve a problem and starts a business around the solution. There are many tasks related to starting and managing a business, but the most important feature of great entrepreneurs are that they have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and do what is necessary to make that idea a reality. This could involve becoming educated, learning about an industry, working long hours, writing a book, developing products, talking to people and / or networking with business professionals. At the end of the day, successful business owners are those who are able to resolve other people's problems.
US Women in Business Statistics
The Catalyst Pyramid shown to the left, shows the percentage of women at various management levels in the United States. According to the statistics provided, women and men are generally on equal footing as related to entry level through mid-management employement and professional opportunities. However, there are significantly lower percentages of women in executive positions. How do we get a higher percentage of women into executive level management?
- Fortune 500 CEO's = 3.6%
- Fortune 500 Top Earners = 7.5%
- Fortune 500 Board Members = 16.1%
- Fortune 500 Executive Officers = 14.1%
- Management, Professional = 51.5%
- US General Labor Force = 46.7%
Women in Business and US Law
19th Amendment to the US Constitution : "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act : Title VII makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or gender.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act : It amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
Nursing Mothers Break Time Provision of the Affordable Care Act : It requires employers to provide reasonable break times for an employee to deliver breast milk for her nursing child for up to one year after the child's birth. It also requires the employer to provide a private place, other than a bathroom, to breast feed.
Some federal and state laws are designed to eliminate discrimination through force. As compared to other times in our past, modern women have great opportunities to do well in the US and some other countries around the world. They have the same opportunities to succeed or fail just as the men do.
What is Women Empowerment - How Women are Empowering Women
Women Empowerment is the spiritual, political, social, legal or economic strength of women within communities. It involves both the ability and confidence of women to achieve. Empowerment is related to:
- Having the ability to learn skills
- Having proper access to information and resources
- Having a range of options and choices
- Increasing one's positive self-image
- Involving oneself in growth and change that is never ending and self-initiated
- Having the ability to change others’ perceptions through democratic means
- Having positive thinking on the ability to create change
- Having the ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision making
- Having decision-making power
The United Nations has adopted Women's Empowerment Principles that are designed to improve the status and influence of women around the world. These principles demonstrate the best practices for individuals, businesses, communities and government agencies to allow women to women in all aspects of society. The countries that offer the best places to live for women are in Northern Europe, Western Europe and North America. The countries that offer the worst places to live for women are in the Middle East and Africa. Below are these 7 principles to improve the lives of women:
- Treat all men and women fairly. Respect and support for human rights and nondiscrimination
- Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all men and women
- Promote education, training and professional development for both men and women
- Establish high-level leadership for gender equality
- Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
- Implement enterprise development and practices that empower both men and women
- Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality
Business Attire for Professional Women
Your business attire, dress and overall appearance is an important part of your arsenal as a business professional and should convey credibility, confidence, personality and professionalism. There are three levels of business attire standards, and the standard adopted by any individual business is chosen by ownership and upper management. The three levels are: casual (t-shirt, jeans), business casual (blouse, slacks) and business professional (suit or dress). The following are basic rules for business attire:
- Clothing should be clean and free of wrinkles
- Clothing should not be too loose or too tight
- Shorts and skirts should cover down to at least mid-thigh
- Do not wear anything that is faded, tattered or full of holes
- Tops could be flattering without being overly revealing
Women Empowerment Quotes
"The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who's going to stop me." — Ayn Rand
"Women, like men, should try to do the impossible, and when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others." — Amelia Earhart
"A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts." — Nancy Rathburn
Education Scholarships for Women, Small Business SBA Loans or Grants
There are numerous education scholarships and small business loans for women who want to work hard, work smart and improve their lives. It is necessary to continuously learn and to put in the time to research what type of funding is available. There are consultants and organizations that can help through the process, such as the Small Business Administration (sba.gov). Invest in yourself and the opportunity.
Famous, Inspirational, Successful and Powerful US Women in Leadership and Business
Hillary Clinton: She is the only first lady to become a US senator, Secretary of State or Presidential candidate.
Melinda Gates: She founded Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband and has provided over $33 billion in grants and donations since 2000.
Janet Yellen: She was educated at Yale and Brown Universities in Economics and is the first female head of the Federal Reserve.
Mary Barra: CEO of GM Motors
Susan Wojcicki: CEO of Youtube
Oprah Winfrey: She is the queen of daytime TV and is a major force in the entertainment industry.
Meg Whitman: CEO of Hewlett-Packard and eBay. Princeton and Harvard Universities graduate in Business Administration. Candidate for California Governor.
Inspirational and Leadership Quotes by Women
“You manage things; you lead people.” — Grace Murray Hopper
“The only safe ship in a storm is leadership.” — Faye Wattleton
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” — Estée Lauder
“The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.” — Iyanla Vanzant
“As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behavior you want others to follow.” — Himanshu Bhatia
“We treat our people like royalty. If you honor and serve the people who work for you, they will honor and serve you.” — Mary Kay Ash
“Life-fulfilling work is never about the money - when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.” — Eileen Fisher
“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” — Dolly Parton
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” — Sara Blakely
“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” — Oprah Winfrey
1040TaxBiz - Female Owned Business to Help Women Entrepreneurs
Gloria Harris started small and worked her way up within the tax preparation industry. She learned and did what it took to achieve. She now has developed a system that helps others (men and women) do what she did. 1040TaxBiz provides everything a person needs to start a tax preparation business, including tax software, training, marketing, computer equipment, bank products, IRS registration and office space.