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The workplace still doesn’t work for women. Issues like the lack of federal paid family leave, flexible work schedules, equal pay and affordable childcare make it harder for women to advance at work. Female business leaders can pave the way for workplace equality for their own employees and inspire corporations of all sizes to do the same.
Today PayPal released a video featuring advice from five female founders and executives. The women shared how they are working to set an example in their own companies, like hiring diverse teams, having flexible hours and closing the pay gap.
Women-owned businesses in the U.S. already employ almost nine million people and generate more than $1.6 trillion in revenue, according to 2018 SCORE data. The impact will increase: The number of women-owned and women-led businesses in the U.S. on the rise. From 2007 to 2018, the number of female-founded companies increased by 58% and companies owned by minority women grew by 163%, according to The 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.
If women play an identical role in labor markets globally, $28 trillion dollars could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025, according to McKinsey and Company. The World Economic Forum finds that women typically invest up to 90% of their income back into their families and communities, so supporting women-owned businesses will benefit everyone.
In the spirit of motivating female founders to create change, I asked each woman her number one piece of advice for female founders.
If you have an idea, realize that you can be the one to create it. “We can all agree we need more female entrepreneurs. But what we really need is for more women to look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘I can start a company.’ And that starts with us, the current generation of female entrepreneurs,” says Heidi Zak, the cofounder and co-CEO of ThirdLove.
Be receptive to feedback — especially when it’s critical. “As an entrepreneur, it is crucial to solicit feedback from your stakeholders, employees and the end consumer. In order to move forward, you need to understand what’s working and what isn’t. If you think you have all the answers, you may miss some great opportunities,” says Lisa Edwards, the senior vice president of global boutiques at Benefit Cosmetics.
Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s imperative, and it makes you more effective. “When you’re building a company from scratch, you are the number one resource you have. You will work long days, and stress is inevitable, so it’s important to take a little time each day to step away, breathe and reset,” says Yunha Kim, the founder and CEO of Simple Habit. She experienced burnout when she started her first company and now she makes meditating at least once a day a priority. “As a boss, leader and team member, I am more alert, focused and equipped to handle the hundreds of unexpected fires that happen at a startup,” she says.
Realize you don’t need to know all the answers right away. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to push yourself out of your comfort zone to achieve personal and professional growth. Create your own opportunities and don’t be worried if you feel a bit out of your element,” says Blythe Harris, the cofounder and chief creative officer of Stella & Dot, “No one knows all the answers and sometimes the biggest breakthroughs come when you least expect it.”
And lastly, do what you love. “Find the majority of your day to be doing something you love,” says Kara Goldin the founder and CEO of Hint Water.
March 8, 2019 at 01:14PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs