Hello SOTGC community,
While spending most of my time in the tech world for the past several years, I’ve seen the rise of the WIT (Women In Tech) movement, an increase in WIT startups, and an overall increase in women entrepreneurship overall. Women entrepreneurs have started volunteer organizations for many years, but now, they can run the organization as a business as well as doing good at the same time.
I’m not saying you should stop volunteering, I’m just saying that from time to time why not think of starting your own business? How many men do you know that do volunteer work compared with women? I know far more women volunteers than men, who most of the time start a business instead.
Another issue I have grappled with through my work, as well as from running my own business, is that I’m expected to offer my services at a low cost, if not for free. Many women entrepreneurs share this experience with me. We also tend to charge less than what our work is worth, underpricing and undervaluing our competence and skills. And it’s the same for an employee: as a women, we are often paid less for doing the same job as a man even if we are many times more skilled and educated. Just being a white middle-aged male raises your income.
Well, that’s how it has been and still is to a great extent, but we can change that for ourselves and for young women entering the working life. How? Some suggestions that come to mind:
- Network, network, network and be generous in sharing and helping.
- Connect women that could benefit from knowing each other.
- Raise your price. Don’t undervalue your skills and competence.
- Think like a man from time to time. What would a man charge? How would he close a deal? You can do this and still express yourself as a woman.
- Be proud of what you have achieved and what you’re doing.
I would be glad to get your input on other measures that can be added to the list of suggestions. One initiative that I’m very proud of being part of in 2016, as the Swedish country ambassador, is the United Nations’ initiative Women Entrepreneurship Day (WED) that’s coming up November 19 (at some places on the 18th). In the Nordic and Baltic Regions, we will focus on networking, business models, and sales. There is still time left if you’d like to sign up to be a WED ambassador for your city. You’ll find out more on WED. http://womenseday.org/
A woman entrepreneur that I recently got to know when visiting San Diego is Felena Hansson, the founder of Hera Hub. www.herahub.com- The coworking spaces are the first national spa-inspired coworking space for female entrepreneurs. Hera Hubs has three locations in San Diego and one in Washington D.C. If you’re interested in starting a Hera Hub in your city there is an opportunity for it. I was speechless when I heard what Felena is doing to increase women entrepreneurs. A couple of months ago she released a book and shared her vast experiences of being a women entrepreneur. Why not grab a copy at http://www.flightclubbook.com/
As I see it, we, as women, have the responsibility to lead and pave the way for future generations of women in creating equal opportunity with men in our work life, including entrepreneurship. Since most societies have a ratio of 50/50 men to women, why shouldn’t that ratio be the same in businesses?
So, go out there and start your own business and use all your superpowers, both as a woman and as the person you are!
Best as always,