For a very long time, the corporate ladder was often considered to be the place for men only. That women were able to understand the complexities of the workplace was a preposterous notion. Women have fought that stereotype along the way for centuries. In our modern age, we see more and more women who hold high titles in business or are entrepreneurs themselves. There is no doubt about it, women have a place in business. And if you are a woman who has ever questioned her role in business, read on and get inspired!
Historically Speaking, Women Got It!
Women in the US have been spearheading companies since the 1800s. Do you find that hard to believe? It’s because we don’t talk about women and their successes nearly enough! Here are a list of fantastic women who will inspire you in big ways:
- Rebecca Lukens – took her failing family’s iron business and turned it into a major steel company, beginning in 1825.
- Clara & Lillian Westrop – began a Savings & Loan for women in 1922, just two years after women were granted rights to vote. Considering, at that time, women had to have a husband, or father, open an account for them, this was a major improvement to the banking world.
- Hattie Austin – sold chicken and biscuits out of her home during the Great Depression. In 1938, she opened her first restaurant, Hattie’s Chicken Shack.
- Margaret Rudkin – sold all her cars and horses during the Great Depression. In her efforts to generate income after that, she created a bread recipe that eventually became Pepperidge Farms.
The list goes on and on and on. We can now look to current names such as Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, Sofia Vergara, and Vera Wang for inspiration to breaking molds and asserting ourselves into the business arena.
How Do They Do It?
While women historically have found a need to fill in a homemaking setting, modern women are seeing a demand for them to take the helm of ventures and fill other management type roles. For instance, franchise opportunities for women are a fast growing way for women to get into the business sector. Some franchises even set out to look for women because women often fulfill exactly what the franchise is looking for. Of course, this takes a bit of money and a lot of elbow grease. But if you aren’t sure you have enough elbow grease, consider how hard it would be to sell chicken and biscuits out of your home to people who are struggling just as much as you are!
Take the Correct Action
Before jumping blind into entrepreneurship, here are a few things to consider when trying to grow your business:
- Small business incubators are your friend!
- Networking with other women is a major plus
- Don’t compare yourself to your competitors
- Run your business as if you are the consumer
- Let your friends and family help you
Women are no longer being relegated to fulfilling any specific stereotype. We can make big splashes in the business sector if we so choose. If anyone dare steps on your dreams, take that and use it as motivation to achieve your goals and dreams. You may be a young single mom, or a middle aged newly single woman, who out of need of income must find a way to make ends meet. You got this. So many women came before us and made it happen. You will too!