Memo to Men: There ARE Women Leaders

Founders of MomsRising, Mother Talkers and The Broad Side

Once again, I wanted to gouge my eyes after reading an article pointing out the lack of women leaders. This one appeared in Forbes and was titled, “Why Most Women Will Never Become CEO.”

I chuckled upon reading the article, because really, the writer — a man! — tried to compliment us in this story. He wanted to be liked…badly. He went on and on on how we are the superior sex, that we’ve been discriminated against, that we have better priorities than men, yada, yada, yada.

Memo to this writer and male reporters and editors everywhere: there ARE women leaders. We just aren’t hanging out with you guys. We are busy working at the Parent-Teacher Association and are starting our own non-profit organizations or heading small businesses. The rules to entry into the old boys’ network were so cumbersome that we decided to write our own rules.

Here is another article, in of all places, Forbes, of what we’ve been up to:

A newly published report by The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute projects that female-owned small businesses, now just 16% of total U.S. employment, will be responsible for creating one-third of the 15.3 million new jobs anticipated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics by 2018.

Specifically, the Institute expects that women who own small businesses will create from 5 million to
5.5 million new jobs across the U.S. by 2018, and in the process transform the workplace of tomorrow into a far more inclusive, horizontally managed environment.

This job growth projection is based on a rigorous analysis of converging factors, including the faster growth rate of female-owned vs. male-owned businesses; higher college graduation rates by women than men; and the predicted growth of industry sectors and occupations traditionally dominated by women. The projection also reflects the timely fact that female-owned businesses, more often self-funded than male-owned ones, are therefore less reliant on bank financing at a time when many say small business lending practices are more restricted.

As of this article in Inc. Daily dated November 1, 2011, it is “mom-and-pop shopkeepers” and not the big guys from Fortune who are adding workers to their payrolls. All that name recognition and fat bonuses — for what?

That’s not to say that women who have achieved the top echelons of power, whether they be Hillary Clinton or Meg Whitman, should not be admired for their achievements. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to raise more women into these positions. I often wonder if we would have so many workers with work-life conflicts or have driven our economy into a ditch if Wall Street had been run by wives rather than husbands.

One thing’s for sure: as evident in the online space alone, women are converting their passions into businesses with little to no start-up capital. In my own little circle, I have known women to leave jobs in corporate media to start their own online publications, manage a staff in online organizations and consult for both private and public companies. Both their writing and social media skills are in high demand.

The PTA has become a breeding ground for women who want to run for higher office, as evident of Sarah Palin’s gubernatorial and then vice presidential bid. What will become of all of this, has yet to be seen as we are only at the beginning. If I were these guys, I would take notice.

Image courtesy Joanne Bamberger

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