As a company founded, owned, and staffed completely by women, EvolveMKD is passionate about #girlpower. After all, women-owned companies are the fastest growing segment of businesses in the United States!
Despite a turbulent sociopolitical climate, the growing number of female business leaders is a promising step toward economic and social equality. So how do we ensure that ‘women in business’ isn’t just a passing trend, but a permanent reality? Cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit in women – and instilling in them the confidence and know-how to execute their visions – is crucial to sustaining social mobility and forging the path to gender equality.
In January, Xeomin sponsored an all-star panel of female entrepreneurs with the purpose of doing just that. Panelists Randi Zuckerberg, Alyson Hogg, Dr. Anne Chapas, Niki Cheng, and Kristi Faulkner offered insight on how to navigate a male-dominated workforce, and fielded questions from an all-female group of influencers and media. Below, we have curated their most impactful tips for aspiring female entrepreneurs and any working woman who wants to challenge the status quo.
1. Don’t try to “do it all.”
The myth that women should be able to “do it all” is pervasive and enduring. From mothers to wives to businesswomen, female entrepreneurs wear many hats, but panelist Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg media and editor-in-chief of Dot Complicated, insists that we shouldn’t try to wear them all at once: “Work, sleep, family, friends, fitness: Pick three.” Zuckerberg reveals that she chooses to focus on a different three every day, promoting a much healthier, more sustainable balancing act.
2. Embrace your age.
“Men are respected for being older,” states Alyson Hogg, founder and CEO of luxury self-tanning brand Vita Liberata. Hogg encourages women to embrace their age in the same way men do, arguing that for both genders age is a strength, not a weakness: “Older means more experienced, a little bit smarter, and [that you’re the] person in the room who can give advice.”
3. Understand the importance of appearance.
While it would be nice to say that appearance doesn’t play a role in the workplace, study after study has demonstrated the opposite. From getting hired to receiving promotions, well-groomed people are more likely to enjoy professional success. Dr. Anne Chapas, founder and medical director of Union Square Laser Dermatology, has observed that “fresh ideas come from fresh looking people.” Attention to appearance is not about adhering to certain standards of beauty, but a simple acknowledgement of the fact that self-presentation influences the way your colleagues perceive you and your ideas. Niki Cheng, founder of BoConcept, embodies this sentiment when she encourages women to “accept the age you are, but try to look your best!”
4. Use your womanhood to your advantage.
“Act like a man” is an antiquated piece of advice commonly bestowed upon women in leadership positions, but the truth is that women do not have to mimic male behavior to succeed. In fact, many of the panelists argued that female entrepreneurs succeed because of their gender. To illustrate this point, Hogg notes that, contrary to popular belief, motherhood benefits her employees professionally. She has noticed that, after having children, her female employees return to work with an entirely “new set of skills” that make them better, more efficient workers.
5. Stand your ground.
Running a business is hard – running a business as a woman is harder. Female entrepreneurs face the added challenge of dispelling gender stereotypes about leadership and competence. It is important to realize that sexism often goes hand in hand with being a woman in a traditionally male space, but it is even more important not to feel defeated when you do encounter misogyny in the workplace. Co-founder and president of strategic communications firm WomenKind, Kristi Faulkner, urges women to confront this sexism head-on. When you feel that you’ve been pigeonholed or discredited because of your gender, Faulkner tells women to “be sharp, be articulate, and stand your ground.”
We are proud that our very own founder and CEO, Megan Driscoll, was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2017 Stevie Awards! Jump start your entrepreneurial train of thought with this Bustle article featuring Megan and other amazing #girlbosses.