Women In Business Are Breaking Through Age-Old Systematic Constraints (Series 3 Of 5)

In the year It wasn’t until 1988 that Congress passed the Women’s Business Ownership Act, which eliminated laws requiring a “male relative” as a co-signer on business and loan documents. A male co-signer can be anything from a husband to an uncle to a son. This has prevented women from starting their own business. 1988 is not that long ago. Unraveling past layers takes time. Women-owned businesses have risen from 4.1 million to 12.3 million in thirty years, and to the extent that women own four out of ten businesses in the US, these statistics tell only part of the story. . While most women-owned businesses are small businesses, there are still many internal and external barriers that women face.

Business veteran Kim Gold founded True Religion Jeans in 2002 and launched her latest venture, Style Union Home, in 2020. She has been in business for over thirty years and has seen a lot of change. “Wow, women in business have come a long way since I’ve been in the business world. In the earlier part of my career I faced all kinds of discrimination. As the owner, designer and major shareholder of True Religion, I was unappreciated and undervalued. My ideas were consistently rejected by an all-white male board of directors. Even worse, men often ask questions like, “Is she on her period?” They were whispering comments like: It is unthinkable that it will even happen. Since then, the board members have apologized, which shows evolution and shows that we have come a long way. I have also evolved. I don’t feel the need to shout to make my voice heard and my current company is full of diverse people.

Michelle Cordero Grant, founder and CEO of LIVELY and GORGIE, added, “In the early 2000s, there still weren’t a lot of ‘chairs’ for women, so I think that made women feel crazy competitive and cutting edge. Supporting each other and uplifting the whole team felt like a survival of the whole body. That then subsided because there was a feeling that the higher we were to each other, the more prosperous we all would be.

The past style was predominantly masculine. In the past, women felt they had to give up their femininity to fit into a male-dominated system. Times have changed and in today’s reality, this type of leadership is not very effective. Society has gone beyond rigidly adhering to whatever gender role we are born with. We are now moving toward a balanced dynamic of masculine and feminine characteristics (not gender) within each individual. Having the ability to access both qualities creates versatility and greater adaptability. For more insights into female and male characteristics, visit Female and Male Career Dynamics.

Real efforts have been made to promote women as entrepreneurs, and women are still moving into social structures that are historically unequal to men. Redesigning social structures that meet the needs of both genders requires a joint effort between men and women. As we turn the tide into equity, it is important to intertwine our past and be aware of the patience for the future we want to create. A fair future is still being pioneered. Both women and men are needed to build this prosperous future. Equity is recognizing that different people have different experiences, needs, and gifts to offer. We need to stop trying to be like each other and embrace equality by respecting our differences. All the steps we take to acknowledge and respect people’s efforts based on virtue rather than discrimination are important. We all have to persevere in pushing the needle toward balance.


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