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  • Writer's pictureAmy Spencer

Why I'm passionate about helping women-owned businesses

Management consultant Marilyn Loden coined the term “glass ceiling” in 1978 during a panel discussion about women’s aspirations. She used it to describe the cultural challenges women face when their careers stagnate in middle-management roles, which prevents them from attaining higher leadership executive positions.  


Today, 46 years later, that term is not only part of our lexicon, but the glass ceiling still exists, despite the notable gains women have made in the workplace. Consider this: in 1990, the number of employed women in the U.S. was less than 54 million, according to Statista, but by 2022, that number had grown to 74 million. What’s more, women make up more than half of college-educated workers, according to the Pew Research Center. Even so, that glass ceiling is still a barrier very few will break through.  

 

Leaving the corporate world 


Frustrated women who are not advancing in a corporate setting or aren’t getting the flexibility they want and need, are leaving Corporate America. But they aren’t idly sitting on the sidelines; rather, they are embarking on an entrepreneurial journey to build the professional and personal life they envision.  


SCORE reports that in 2022, 42% of businesses in the U.S. were owned by women, employing 9.4 million workers, and generating $1.9 trillion in revenue. What’s more, between 2019 and 2023, the growth rate of women-owned businesses outpaced that of men-owned businesses in the number of firms, employment, and revenue. That’s a significant impact on the overall economy.  


So, while I hate to see women not get the gains they deserve in Corporate America, I am thrilled to see so many of them using their talents to start their own businesses. 

 

Why I support women in business 


I once sat by a man at a conference breakout session who shared that diverse supplier strategies made him feel he was losing out on opportunities because he was a white male. He went on to say businesses owned by women and other BIPOC communities were getting work they didn’t deserve. I was the only woman business owner seated at this breakout table; all the others were white males. I was stunned to hear him say this without a hint of hesitation. After letting him “get it all out” I did offer him a few choice words on my perspective and appreciated that one other man at the table was willing to offer his own counter point. Another man shared that he could see it both ways.  


This moment sticks with me today as inspiration to lift other women in business up whenever I can. Of course, there are amazing men out there in influential business positions who are advancing female and BIPOC colleagues into the highest corporate positions. We need them more than ever. But as the statistics show, some portion of male executives elevating talented women into top executive positions is not enough to make meaningful and lasting change.  If we want to see women break through the glass ceiling in tide-turning numbers, we also need women to use whatever influence they have to make a difference. 


One way I do this is by looking to women to support my business whenever I can. Most independent corporate communications consultants who work in partnership with Evo Communications are women business owners. In addition, I have a team of incredible women business owners helping Evo Communications thrive in the following categories: 


  • Fractional personal assistant 

  • Accountant 

  • Marketing specialist 

  • Bookkeeper 

  • Attorney 

  • Graphic designer 

 

Putting money where my mouth is 


Five decades after the term “glass ceiling” entered our vocabulary, it persists due to a variety of reasons. Sure, we’ve made some progress, but we have a long way to go, and I believe it will be decades before the glass ceiling no longer exists.  


In the meantime, I will continue to support women-owned businesses.  


Along with partnering with women professionals, I also write a check for $500 to support WomenVenture every time Evo Communications books a new client, women-owned or otherwise. WomenVenture is a nonprofit that does noble work to support the growth and success of more women-owned businesses, particularly within the BIPOC community, and I am proud to be able to donate to their efforts.  


If you’re interested in learning more about how we can support you and your business, let’s schedule a call and talk! 

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