Sheryl Sandberg writes in her book “Lean In,” “The time is long overdue to encourage more women to dream the possible dream.”
Now more than ever, women are dreaming that possible dream. The past few years have seen an incredible surge of female empowerment- from Jen Welter becoming the National Football League’s (NFL) first female coach or seeing the gap lessening for equal pay or Hillary Clinton’s two runs for the White House.
Women are showing up and showing out and according to the 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report found women to be “slightly more successful than their male counterparts.” After years of pushing their way into places they’ve never been, women are proving again and again that they deserve a seat at the table.
Women are breaking stereotypes and forging new ways of work. Women have begun to take things many considered negative about their gender in the workplace and turned them into positives. For so long, and something that can still be an issue, women who cried or showed emotion were considered weak.
Now, women are able to connect their emotional intelligence with their business. An article on Inc.com said, “We all need to run our businesses with much greater consideration for the people we interact with, our employees, our customers, our suppliers, our communities, the lot. Women seem to get this inherently. They want to make the world a better place, they want to take care of those around them, they sincerely treat people with respect (and expect to be treated with respect themselves). They understand the more emotive aspect of doing business and that is why they understand their customers. In an era where connecting and engaging are highly sought after by customers, women have a very distinct advantage over men.”
Also, women who hold leadership roles or are decisive have been called bossy for too long. An entire movement began with #BanBossy. Sandberg’s nonprofit, Lean In, and Girl Scouts of the United States, along with corporations and celebrities came together to encourage and inspire girls and women to go for leadership roles.
As more and more women find their way in the workplace, they are also breaking the stereotype of being manipulative to other women entrepreneurs. Julia Busha, who was the recipient of the Progressive Grocer’s 2015 “Top Women in Grocery,” had four simple suggestions to continue embracing female business owners: pass along opportunities, pooling resources, woman-crush Wednesday’s, and mentorship.
By continuing to work together and breaking stereotypes, the sky is the limit for women in business.