The impact of all of this? It’s all good:
Success begets success. As more of these compa-
nies are successful, the bigger venture capital dollars
will come into these businesses… though it may still
take a while for their “pattern recognition” mode of
doing business to recognize these seismic shifts.
These women-run businesses will grow the
economy, and many of them will make the lives of
other women better (and more fun). I sort of doubt
Rent the Runway was ever going to be started by a
guy. Nor was Birchbox. Nor was Dry Bar. And nor
was Ellevest. And I know this, because I presented the
opportunity to any number of male CEOs in financial services who simply weren’t able to see women
investors as anything but a niche market.
These businesses will also provide great places for
other women (and men) to work. In fact, the women
of Ellevate Network tell us that they often start businesses in order to build the businesses at which they
want to work… and the No. 1 reason they accept a
job is “meaning and purpose.” So, it stands to reason
that many of these companies will provide modern,
people-friendly work environments.
The losers? Those companies who don’t “get it”
and keep operating as though the rules of the past
for engaging women (mostly male leadership teams
marketing to women… and the belief that simply
sponsoring a big female diversity group that hosts lots
of events means your company is female-friendly). Before, our choice was to stay at those companies and
chip away at the issue or head home; today, it’s much
more attainable for us to start our own thing.
So the Big Idea for 2016? We are entering the
golden age of female entrepreneurship.
The Bigger Idea? Women will begin to recognize
this and the power we have to control our own economic and financial fate.
Sallie Krawcheck is the Co-Founder and
CEO of Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women, to be launched in 2016.
She is the Chair of Ellevate Network, the
global professional women’s network.
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