Monday, November 29, 2004

My-oh-my: Watch Us Women Entrepreneurs Grow, Kissing Corporate America Bye-bye!

In BusinessWeek

A new study finds a boom in female entrepreneurship -- and a particularly healthy gains for minority women. According to the article, let's examine five key reasons why:

1. Women who want to start a business are seeing others who are doing it, and they think, 'Wow, I can do this too.'

2. The steady proliferation of capital and institutional resources has also helped make entrepreneurship a more viable option for women, allowing them more control from a professional -- and personal –- standpoint.

3. Because entrepreneurship is a direct path toward economic independence. "You're not waiting for someone to bring you out of poverty, and you're not waiting for someone else to give you a living wage or benefits."

4. Increased awareness of societal support –- including institutions like the Small Business Administration's Small Business Development Centers, local and regional chambers of commerce, and entrepreneurship incubators -- as other factors are driving the trend.

5. More women are becoming educated and developing stronger skill sets in the corporate world, adding to a pool of would-be entrepreneurs eager to branch out on their own.

Sure looks like women entrepreneurs are growing like mad and playing a vital role in fueling economic growth.

To read the awakening article, visit:
Women Lead the Startup Stats

Note: If you post this on your blog, please credit Escape From Corporate America! for bringing it to your attention -- thanks!

"I was tired of the large corporate atmosphere."

As published in the Chicago Tribune (11/28/04)

Diane Swonk, former chief economist for Chicago-based Bank One, was named chief economist for Mesirow Financial, a Chicago-based investment management firm.

Swonk, 42, said she took the job largely because of the firm's chief executive officer, James Tyree. "We just clicked," she said. "I was tired of the large corporate atmosphere. This gave me a lot of flexibility. One of my big issues was not only staying in Chicago but also finding a firm that is civic-oriented."

Swonk was at Bank One and its predecessors for 19 years. Bank One was acquired this year by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

"She's going to be providing economic information and forecasts to our clients," Tyree said. "We're now in 17 or 18 cities and are looking to expand our presence in each of them and I think she will help us do that."

Friday, November 26, 2004

Transformational Leadership Fits Entrepreneurship, Not Always Corporate Culture!

In (Online Recruitment, U.K.)

Transformational leadership begins with different beliefs about oneself and others. The first changing belief is that leadership isn’t a job but a way of being. The second is that, whereas in the past leadership meant power and control over others, today leadership beliefs begin with a desire to enable others to realize their own power and leadership potential. Thirdly, leadership in the past was based on believing it made people do things that you wanted done whereas, today, leadership is about a mutual relationship where each can transcend to a worthy purpose and behave with moral fibre, courage, integrity and trust.

In 1990 Judy Rosener published an article that showed how her research had found that women tended to be more transformational than men who tended to be more transactional. She argued that women encouraged participation in power and information and sought to enhance the status of employees. If we look at women entrepreneurs, such as Steve Shirley of F1 and Anita Roddick of Body Shop, a different leadership does emerge from that of many men.

Other interesting findings in this article published in the U.K.:

• It was found that women, on average, were more effective and satisfying to work for as well as more likely to generate ‘extra effort’ from their people.

• Women measured higher on all of the four elements of the transformational leadership tool, but the difference was closest on intellectual stimulation (men were better at intervening to correct followers’ mistakes).

• Women were more likely to be trusted and respected and show greater concern for individual needs.

• Women tend to be more nurturing, caring and sensitive than men and that these characteristics are more aligned with transformational leadership.

• Other studies since have found no significant differences in transformational leadership and gender in managers in equivalent positions. Is this because women are now being promoted by taking on male attributes or that men today are changing?


... What I have found is that when gender and transformational leadership is studied there is a remarkable difference when the women in the study are entrepreneurs rather than corporate women. ***Women entrepreneurs were much more likely to be transformational. With many women choosing to leave corporate life for self-employment, it is clear that transformational leadership doesn’t always fit the corporate culture.***

This excellent article goes on further to provide four ways in which women can bring their transformational leadership skills into the forefront whether it be through corporate work, entrepreneurship or using it on boards of companies and in public appointments.

To read the entire thought-provoking piece, visit: The Role of Gender in Transformational Leadership

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving and more!

Thank you to all of you for your readership, enthusiasm and comments. Your energy keeps me going on this passionate subject. Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. Now, on to our regular focus and this feature is a great one to share just before the holiday.

What I find ironic is that the following article was published in the "StatesMAN" It's about how more Hispanic women own firms nationwide and are growing at six times the rate of all U.S. businesses! Here's a clip from the article describing one woman's struggle to make a success out of her business:

-> A framed copy of her first business contract hangs prominently in Josefina Anguiano's home office. She smiles at the reminder of sleepless nights and mounting bills that defined the first two years of running her own business. "When you first begin, all the doors are closed," Anguiano said. "And, there's no profit." This year, Anguiano, 36, expects to reach the $500,000 mark in contracts for her company, AFC Windows & Roofing Inc., which offers home-remodeling work, window and roof installation and gutter and chimney repair. Anguiano hardly is alone.

Adds Myra Hart, a Harvard Business School professor and chairwoman of the Center for Women's Business Research, "This is a positive sign for the entire country. At this crucial time for the economy, we're seeing that greater participation in entrepreneurship among women from a variety of backgrounds is playing an important role in facilitating economic growth."

To read the powerful account of how Josefina grew her business one step at a time, visit:
More Hispanic women own firms nationwide

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Feel Successful ... Here's a Glimpse At How It's Done

According to a recent survey conducted by Gallup and Wells Fargo, 95 percent of women small business owners feel successful. Not only that, but 85 percent said they would start another business given the chance.

For anyone over the Thanksgiving holiday who is contemplating leaving corporate America to start a business, let the survey results propel you to just do it.

To read the article, visit: Survey says 95 percent of women small business owners feel successfull

Monday, November 22, 2004

Where Are The Women?

In Fast Company

Late this spring in Fast Company, "Where Are the Women? " (February) leaped from the page to the stage. Readers and members of Women in Technology International's New York chapter gathered at Sony Labs for an event to explore some of the issues affecting women in the workplace. Senior writer Linda Tischler, who wrote the article, and Mary Lou Quinlan, founder of strategic marketing consultancy Just Ask a Woman, led the discussion. Quinlan, who stepped down as CEO of the advertising firm N.W. Ayer in the late 1990s, shared three key reasons (outlined briefly below) for her career change -- and offered advice and ideas.

1. Keep track of quality time.
2. Take a (clean) break.
3. Plot your priorities.

Her most poignant remarks that relate to the purpose of this blog:

"I came back in and quit. I started a company. Now I'm doing my passion. Women will find their own way. They need to live a conscious career, not an unconscious one. Ask yourself: Am I happy? You have the right to ask that question -- and then do something about it."

To read the entire piece, visit: Women on "Women"

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Nothing To Lose, A Lot To Gain

Posted by Anita Sharpe in Worthwhile's blog:

Who's the latest symbol of rugged American individualism? Hispanic women, who are starting their own businesses at a rate much greater than the U.S. average.

It's a no-brainer. While women in general earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, Hispanic women earn only 53 cents. According to a story in today's New York Times, Tina Cordova, who now owns a multi-million dollar construction company, could only find work as a waitress at a Sizzler -- despite having a master's degree in biology.

What's the secret of Cordova's entrepreneurial success? A flair for business, a very big stubborn streak and lots of flexibility. "If I had listened to everybody who told me we wouldn't make it, of course we wouldn't be here today," she told the Times. "I wish I could say I had this business plan, we followed it and everything just fell into place. This is not true."

To read the entry (and by the way, I am a subscriber to this great new magazine!), visit: Nothing To Lose, A Lot To Gain

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Women Becoming Entrepreneurs: No Glass Ceiling Here


This introduction to the book "Clearing Hurdles: Women Building High-Growth Businesses," provides an overview of the history of women in business leadership, and outlines a plan for women to succeed in entrepreneurial positions.

This is a fabulous book and if you haven't already read it, I suggest you do. If you have read it, let's hear from you! But in the meantime, it is a book for and about women entrepreneurs -- women who desire to become their own bosses, gain personal control, grow their business, and create independent wealth.

To read the intro and learn more about the powerful impact "Clearing Hurdles: Women Building High-Growth Businesses" will have on corporate America, visit: Women Becoming Entrepreneurs

Monday, November 08, 2004

A DIY Tool Kit For Executive Women Interested In Getting Ahead

In (11/8/04)

Test Your Career Savvy: What Holds Women Back?

To learn more about the differences between men and women executives’ attitudes and work lives, read this. They also include a pop quiz to test how much you know about what helps and hurts women on their way up the corporate ladder (applicable to running a biz too):

Read it here:
What Holds Women Back

Why Women Executives Must Be Overachievers?

This interview addresses eleven key questions on why women executives need to be overachievers in corporate America.

Read it here:
Why Women Executives Must Be Overachievers?

Four Negotiation Tips For Women Executives

Many women who think they aren’t good negotiators simply have never been taught how. In this article, four typical mistakes women make when negotiating and how to correct them are highlighted, so you can get what you want in business and in your personal life.

Read it here:
Four Negotiation Tips For Women Executives

Professional Women Want To Be Authentic At Work

The desire to express their true selves in their jobs has become the No. 1 issue for women executives. Many are opting to go elsewhere or start businesses (Laurel here: "Yeah!) rather than repress the feminine side of their personalities.

Read it here:
Professional Women Want To Be Authentic At Work

For the complete section on Women to Watch (excluding 50 Women To Watch), visit:
Women to Watch section in WSJ 11/8/04

This Is Corporate America: Through The Glass Ceiling as reported in the WSJ (11/8/04)

In The Wall Street Journal (subscription only) 11/8/04

Good morning! If you have a chance, pick up a copy of the WSJ today. In it, they have a special Women To Watch feature entitled, Through The Glass Ceiling and it talks about how 50 women got where they are and why they bear watching. The first ten mentioned are:

1. Carly Fiorina
2. Margaret C. Whitman
3. Andrea Jung
4. Michelle Peluso
5. Anne Mulcahy
6. Rose marie Bravo
7. Ann Fudge
8. Patricia Russo
9. Xie Qihua
10. Debra A. Cafaro

Have a great day.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Successful Change Starts With a Shift in Perspective: Corporate Work or Entrepreneurship?

In LeaderValues

Read this article (authored by Steven Bacharach, Psy.D., a personal coach to executives who are seeking more fulfillment in all areas of their life) and let me know your comments on the following:

1. If Susan changes, will the organization adapt along with her and will she end up being more content?
2. Should Susan change or get out of the organization and start her own business?

To read the article, visit: Successful Change Starts With a Shift in Perspective

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The face of the American small business community is changing ... women-owned businesses outnumber men!

In San Diego Source

A recent study by the National Association for the Self-Employed shows that startups of women-owned businesses outnumbered new men-owned businesses by nearly a 2-1 ratio in 2003. That trend is evident in San Diego County, too.

"These findings present an important snapshot of women in today's workplace and a look at how the nation's 9.1 million self-employed women are in all-out pursuit of a more integrated and fulfilling work and personal life than they believe is afforded by the corporate world," said Robert Hughes, association president.

WHY the explosive growth in women-owned businesses? According to the article:

"Most of the women surveyed said their chief motivation is to have more time with their families and community, as well as greater flexibility in managing their households."

To read the entire work, visit: Study Reports Women-owned Startups Outnumber Men-owned Businesses

New Blog: Women Presidents' Organization Chicago!

In Women Presidents' Organization Chicago posting

It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of a new blog: Women Presidents' Organization Chicago. I serve as the WPO Chicago chapter facilitator and believe the blog will enable us to increase membership and keep the world at large informed about our Chicago activities. To find out more about this truly amazing nonprofit organization for successful female business owners, visit: Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

And if you qualify for membership, please email me!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Weaker Sex? Not These Women!

In The Times News (Twin Falls, Idaho)

From outstanding women leading and educating Magic Valley's health care sector to small-business entrepreneurs to the director of Twin Falls' downtown business improvement district, the women we're spotlighting serve in some of the valley's most influential positions.

While we've got nothing against businessmen, it's important to realize the business contributions made by women. Like the old cigarette ads say, we've come a long way, baby.

Other interesting snippets:

• "By far and away, women (business owners) are more receptive to education than men," he said.

• On top of their business duties, many women juggle the responsibilities of families and children. That scenario wasn't common just 50 years ago. And in some respects, the division of labor still isn't balanced.

• According to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, working women spend about an hour more doing household chores and caring for family members than men, while men spend about an hour more at the office.

To read the entire article, visit: Weaker Sex? Not These Women!