What I learned by Listening to Women
I went to an event recently that brought up a lot of memories.
I was in the audience of Women’s Pitch Night Vancouver, listening to women make their cases for their business ideas. As I watched these talented women pitch, I realized the needs of women in business haven’t changed much since I started my career in the very masculine oil fields of Alberta.
Bringing Ideas To Life
We need help fleshing out our ideas and bringing them to vibrant life. Women face an uphill battle as entrepreneurs. We’ve gained a steadier foothold in business over the past 50 years, but we still lack the support structures we need to start our own businesses. For example, we’re less likely to find women in the upper echelons of the business world who can mentor us, share their own experiences, and help us take a kernel of an idea and help it thrive into something bigger. According to search and leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder, only 54 percent of women have access to senior leaders who also serve as mentors.
Clear Calls To Action
We need help developing clear calls to action that resonate. It’s difficult for any entrepreneur to connect with an audience while pitching, regardless of gender. It’s nerve-wracking and requires extraordinarily quick thinking and steely poise. But women face an even tougher battle because they aren’t represented proportionately among investors. Women make up only 8 percent of investing partners at the top 100 venture capital firms, according to Crunchbase. We need help making men understand the importance of our products and services (even if those products and services are marketed to women).
We need help building our teams and growing beneficial relationships quickly. Women are masters of soft skills like emotional intelligence and teamwork, but we tend to keep our own operations small while men expand rapidly. That can hamper entrepreneurs who are in start-up mode because investors want to see a rapid return on investment — and that means scaling up quickly and making connections that can help businesses reach the next level of success.
Ambitious, inspired women are a world-changing force. But to get ahead, we need to help ourselves by listening to women – just like I did when I opened my first business a few decades ago.
If you’re interested in learning more, I hope you’ll consider my upcoming series of webinars. We’ll explore ways women can skyrocket their confidence and abilities in a short time to attract the investors they need to take their businesses to the next level. We’ll work on presence, pitches, and building community and support networks. I’m so excited to offer what I have learned to women who are changing the world, one business at a time.
We’re still pioneering the way women work, even all these years later. Women are the future of business. But we all have a role to play in helping us command the respect our ideas and our skill sets deserve. I hope you’ll join me in furthering your own unique talents and opportunities.