Women may still be the financial underdogs compared to men, but nothing is stopping us from changing that. Studies have found that women are launching 1,200 businesses a day, 1.5 times faster than men. In fact, women-owned businesses generate $1.4 trillion in sales annually and employ 7.9 million Americans. And that number is rising.
Equal Pay Day on April 4, 2017 (TODAY!) gives us a perfect opportunity to amplify this conversation and look at steps we can take, individually and collectively, to accelerate change.
As teacher and coach to women entrepreneurs, I know that there is so much we can do. Women are the largest untapped potential source of innovation on the planet. And we have unique gifts that put us in a powerful position to create sustainable wealth while giving back, making a difference and doing what we love.
One of these gifts is the ability and inclination to build businesses from a place of empowerment and collaboration rather than urgency and competition. I call this our “cooperative advantage” - which contrasts with the traditional notion of the “competitive advantage.” Women have big hearts. We are wired from a more emotional place, and this creates incredible strengths in business and the workplace, such as:
Access to empathy, and a corollary ability to diffuse conflict and create intimate relationships quickly. This is important because in the world of work and entrepreneurship, connections are a powerful form of currency.
Intuitive, relationship-based knowledge that is often under-utilized in business but can make all the difference. For example, it can help us navigate conversations and negotiations to our advantage.
A people-pleasing mindset. Though the term “people pleasing” sometimes comes with negative connotations, when used right, people-pleasing skills can be an excellent leadership tool.
A natural inclination to give. In this world where everybody seems to be constantly selling or pitching, givers are appreciated. Showing up as generous and knowing how to pay it forward are valuable assets in business and entrepreneurship.
Over the years I’ve seen women successfully leverage this combination of unique attributes to build and grow businesses they love, ones that have allowed them to not only earn more money but also to keep more money - and thrive.
Over 500 female entrepreneurs and aspiring women business owners will be gathering
at the Women’s Leadership Summit I’ve organized, from April 7 - 9, 2017 at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Monterey to claim their worth, launch their businesses and work together to create an equal future.
On Equal Pay Day, let’s not just demand raises, let’s celebrate this potential and get busy putting it into play.