Sunday, May 6, 2012
Female Business leaders becoming the norm
Anousheh Ansari, Abigail Johnson, Martha Stewart & Oprah. What does all these women have in common? They are successful entrepreneurs.
Leading the group of successful female entrepreneurs is Anousheh Ansari, founder of Telecom Technologies Inc and Prodea Systems. Anousheh has sold multiple companies, her first being TTI Inc – she is now onto Sonus Network Inc. Anousheh Ansari is also an avid supporter of the sciences, not only having been to space herself but also setting up "the X Prize", a contest which helps finance companies looking to perform private space exploration.
Many female entrepreneurs entered business through a husband or family member, but then rose to outshine their significant other. Abigail Johnson for example runs Fidelity investments, a company her father originally setup, but she grew to be worth over twelve Billion dollars. Similarly, Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler has grown her husbands business in Germany to over six billion dollars.
It is hard to discuss financial successful women without mentioning media icons like Oprah - the daytime talk show host whose media empire's worth has exceeded a billion dollars.There is also <a href=http://www.marthastewart.com/>Martha Stewart</a> who (when she's not in jail) also runs a home making tv show, magazine and book series which has a book value well over a billion dollars.
Examples of smaller businesses founded by female entrepreneurs include <a href=http://www.canadianbusiness.com/rankings/w100/list.jsp?pageID=profile&profile=48&year=2007&type=profile&listType=W100>henderson bas </a>, and online marketing firm founded by Dawna Henderson. Dawna also recently led her company to be partially acquired by multinational conglomerate MDC partners – more information about the acquisition is available at the New York Times article: <a href=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C07E2D8113AF934A15757C0A9629C8B63&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/F/Finances/> MDC Partners acquires stake in henderson bas</a>.
Many women still face discrimination in the workforce and business though. Women statistically earn less than men; this decreases their ability to walk away from a job to start their own company. Many people still maintain age old stereotypes that women are inferior to men in performing specific tasks, making it difficult for women to start businesses in male dominated fields. Nevertheless, there is no question female leadership in businesses is growing: Women are now 2x as likely to start a new business than men are. In other words, women are becoming the powerhouses of new economies, creating money and jobs all over the world.