It was my pleasure to moderate a panel of women who have made it part of their life’s work to help and support women entrepreneurs. Julie Abrams as CEO of Women’s Initiative; Alison Covarrubias as Co-Founder of The Hatch Network; Baat Enosh of NCWIT and Women 2.0 and Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa as a Director of Savor the Success.
We started our discussion by exploring the popular notion that women will “rule the world” and that the economic recovery will be largely led by females. We went on to discuss the challenges women face securing funding for their companies, the conflicts inherent to being a parent and running a company, and the unique circumstances that women of color face on their road to successful entrepreneurship.
The panelists agreed that a gender war wouldn’t do anyone any good, but that bias still exists. Until influential men become more balanced and realistic in their opinions about women’s abilities, change will be slow – particularly in the area of venture capital funding. The fact that so few women are partners at venture capital firms is a roadblock, as people tend to invest in people they are most comfortable with and more women V.C.’s invest in women owned businesses.
On the positive side, studies indicate that women-owned businesses are run more efficiently, achieve a higher return and are focused on more than just the bottom line – usually with an additional mission benefiting the greater good in some way. The current recession may be the catalyst that women need to be recognized as leaders with unique qualities that are necessary to gain an edge in our increasingly competitive and global world.
You can view the entire discussion on a series of youtube videos, here are the links.
Please comment and share your views!