Friday, March 30, 2007

Revisiting Where We Left Off With Julie Roehm

On December 12th, we reported about Julie here. Now, there's more: Julie Roehm says Wal-Mart charges invalid.

My question is this: Did she or did she not have an affair with marketing VP Sean Womack while working at Wal-Mart? If she did, I think she's going to have a tough time winning her case. Let's hope she didn't.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 46
Benazir Bhutto

When I was growing up I thought a woman could have it all and now I find that, yes, a woman can have it all -- but she has to be prepared to pay the price. ~ Benazir Bhutto

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Read my lips: There IS a glass ceiling ...

... and it will take more than a hammer to bust through it.

Two spectacular commentaries penned by a colleague of mine, Judith Dobrzynski. I absolutely love her style. She hits you right between the eyes and doesn't flinch. A great wake-up call to the world.

Return of the 'glass ceiling' (LATimes 3/17)
YOU HAVE TO hand it to Catalyst, the women's research and advocacy outfit. It always manages to see a few rays of light in a field of gloom. Next week, Catalyst will host a big, fancy dinner in New York to honor companies with successful initiatives to advance women in corporate America. In the 21st century, you might think, it shouldn't be hard to find lots of companies to applaud for expanding opportunities for women. Think again.
Read more here.

Female CEOs still rare sight (Chicago Trib 3/28)
For women of the corporation, the news from around Chicago has seemed pretty good of late. After taking a few years off, Brenda Barnes easily moved back into the executive suite in 2005, becoming chairman and chief executive at Sara Lee Corp. in Downers Grove; last June, Irene Rosenfeld left Frito-Lay to take the CEO title at Kraft Foods Inc. in Northfield; and, two months earlier, Patricia A. Woertz leapt from Chevron Corp. into the top job at Archer Daniels Midland Co. in Decatur, Ill.

Considering that there are just about a dozen women at the top of the entire Fortune 500, Chicago seemed like a place where women had a good chance of climbing high on the corporate ladder.
Read more here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 45
Billie Jean King

Ever since that day when I was 11 years old, and I wasn't allowed in a photo because I wasn't wearing a skirt, I knew I wanted to change the sport.
~ Billie Jean King

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

High Power and High Heels

In case you missed it, The Wall Street Journal (3/26) ran an interesting article on how companies are moving beyond sports, steak and scotch to cultivate new clients.
No one thought it the least bit silly.

After all, networking over shoe shopping at a Manhattan boutique is no different for women than playing golf and sharing cigars after a steak dinner is for men. For the 53 shoppers who attended a "shoe event" sponsored by law firm Bryan Cave LLP on a recent Tuesday evening -- all of them female lawyers and their female corporate clients or friends -- getting to know one another while browsing designer shoes was a refreshing change from being the lone woman at a client dinner or sports event.

"The shoes were an icebreaker for starting conversations," says Elizabeth DaSilva, managing director, Global Trust Services, Americas at Bank of New York. She mulled a pair of high-heeled evening pumps but quickly turned her attention to the other shoppers. "It was the first opportunity I'd had to talk to lawyers my firm uses about something other than an immediate work assignment," adds Ms. DaSilva. She didn't buy any shoes but found the shopping and dinner after at a Turkish restaurant relaxing, and says she came away feeling more comfortable with attorneys from Bryan Cave and with names of other executives for her contact list.

Such women-only networking events are proliferating at law firms and an array of other companies, including Ernst & Young LLP, Merrill Lynch & Co. and General Electric Co.
As a woman entrepreneur, how do you network? Once you make a connection, do you keep in touch, continue to ask how things are going with the person until such time they might need something you have to offer?

Read more here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 44
Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams

The voice of women has a special role and a special soul force in the struggle for a non-violent world. ~ Betty Williams' Nobel address

Friday, March 23, 2007

Starting a Business? Begin With The End In Mind

This is the fourth column of a new series of weekly Q&As in which entrepreneurs featured in the Women Entrepreneurs Special Report at BusinessWeek answer questions submitted by readers. This one focuses on how you can be sure you are ready to start your own business.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 43
Germaine Greer

If a woman never lets herself go, how will she ever know how far she might have got? If she never takes off her high-heeled shoes, how will she ever know how far she could walk or how fast she could run? ~ Germaine Greer

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Time Out From Entrepreneurship

Never enough time? Tell me about it. But maybe if you practice these time management techniques, you just might get your life back.
Karen Behnke is CEO of Juice Beauty, a San Rafael, California, organic beauty products firm that projects sales of more than $10 million this year. "Our top line is doubling, our EBITDA is doubling," says Behnke, 49. "We're doing very well."

But like the rest of us, Behnke has days when life gets in the way. She recalls one chaotic workday when her husband, Howard Luria, an interventional cardiologist, was away and she needed to make an hour-long drive to Napa where her dad, who is battling a brain tumor, had gotten worse.

To add to the stress, Behnke was between babysitters and didn't have anyone to watch her son and daughter, ages 9 and 7, until she got back. She made hasty child-care arrangements with another mom and began making her way over the winding roads to Napa with her phone ringing nonstop. One minute, her 83-year-old mother was calling; the next minute, she was taking a scheduled client call or speaking with one of Juice Beauty's 30 employees. Then there was the emotion involved in checking her dad into the hospital.

It was 9 p.m. when Behnke finally got home and put the kids to bed, but it wasn't lights out for her yet: She opened her laptop to find 120 e-mails waiting for her. "Those are the days that you think, ‘Oh, my God. How am I going to do this?'" she says. "When something lands on top of [my schedule], that's when it just kind of falls apart."
OK friend. Time out. Or if you really want to get your life back, go here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 42
Mary Quant

Good taste is death. Vulgarity is life. ~ Mary Quant

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Woman's Place Is In The Corner Office

In honor of Women’s History month, Hilary Kramer (pictured) takes a look at the state of women in business.
At a quick glance, it would appear we have much to celebrate. Women have made great strides since the days of our parents and grandparents. Women make up half the U.S. labor force. And the future looks bright.Women outnumber men 56 percent to 44 percent on college campuses. 40 percent of businesses in the U.S. are women owned. More than 50 percent of all management and professional positions are held by women, and many of the companies being run by women are out-performing those without women heads. Look at Meg Whitman at eBay or Maxine Clarke at Build-A-Bear, and you’ll find well-compensated women running high-growth companies with great success.

But if you look more closely at the CEO’s office and compensation -- especially in traditionally male-dominated sectors -- the facts reveal ... read more here.
Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 41
Dian Fossey

No one loved gorillas more. ~ Inscription on Dian Fossey's original grave marker

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why Are Women Bailing From Corporate America?

As if we have not said enough!

Read more here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 40
Anne Frank

Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart. ~ Anne Frank

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur?

There are places aplenty to get help. Love this one for the resources and energy!

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 39
Marilyn Monroe

Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. ~ Marilyn Monroe

Friday, March 09, 2007

New Magazine: Divapreneurs!

Divapreneurs is a bi-monthly magazine designed exclusively for women business owners and entrepreneurs.

Divapreneurs Magazine is a resource for connecting the women business community to information vital to their business enhancement and success. It offers motivating and inspirational main features and profiles as well as tips, tools, legislative information, business education and many other resources. In addition, it provides a mechanism for women business owners and entrepreneurs to create win-win community partnerships with nonprofits in an effort to fulfill their philanthropic heart thus broadening their reach and effect on the Colorado landscape.

Who is a divapreneur? She's a passionate business leader with staying power who is creating and capturing new industries while making a big impact on existing industry segments. She's inventing new products and services and putting people to work. She's willing to risk it all to be successful and make her imprint. She's a community leader and a dynamic role model who believes if you want something, you go get it!

Sound familiar? Read more here.


Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 38
Margaret Thatcher

In politics if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman. ~ Margaret Thatcher

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Can Sexy Women Build Businesses?

Ooooops, I meant to say, "Can Sexy Women Climb the Corporate Ladder?" The article leads with:
If you're a professional woman with designs on occupying the corner office, your fashion sense better be more Hillary Clinton than Pamela Anderson.
Agree? Disagree? Think it applies to both running a business and climbing the corporate ladder?

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 37
Betty Friedan

We're only beginning to know what we're capable of. ~ Betty Friedan

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Women Entrepreneurship in Japan

Japan maintains a traditional economic system that is deeply rooted in a male-dominant society. Women are expected to stay home and take care of their families. Social expectations toward women are low, regardless of a woman's education, ability, or career aspirations. In recent years, however, the Japanese economic system has begun to favor women who take an active part in the business world. Entrepreneurship rather than employment in large companies particularly offers Japanese women an improved chance of advancing in their careers.

The venture landscape is beginning to change, in the U.S. and in other countries. "Women have been starting businesses at twice the rate of men over the past several years,"[1] notes Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight, a leading telecommunications market research firm, in Small Business Telecom: Opportunities in the Women -- and Minority-Owned Small Business Marketplace.

Similar to that of the U.S., the business environment in Japan over recent years has also been drastically changing due to the internationalization of Japan's economy, an aging population, diversification of talent in corporate structure, diversification of lifestyles, and technological innovation.

Until recently, here were five (5) reasons potential entrepreneurs hesitated to start their own business.

Read more here about how women are starting to play a significant role as a critical knowledge-based workforce component in Japan. And just like the trend in the United States, they are beginning to show signs of favoring entrepreneurship over employment in Corporate Japan. Fascinating research. Charla Griffy-Brown is one of my favorite professors and she brought in co-author Noriko Oakland to share her vast experience in corporate Japan. Worth reading.

Also and as a sidenote, if you want a glimpse of what kind of resource women entrepreneurs in Japan tap into when they need help, click here. When you catch the following quote, you will be very grateful you run or are about to start a business in the USA:
In Japan, personal guarantees are required for small business loans. There is a high rate of suicide among Japanese men who fail to repay personal guarantees. The reasons for these suicides are the shame when the business fails and the need to use life insurance funds to pay off debts so that the banks will not harass friends and relatives who have given their guarantees for the loans/debts. This shows their cultural desire to “save face.”
Chapter 36
Eva Peron

I have one thing that counts and that is my heart. It burns in my soul, it aches in my flesh and it ignites my nerve: that is my love for the people and Peron. ~ Eva Peron

Thursday, March 01, 2007

At the Library: Women Entrepreneurs ...

... mold and the Sweet Potato Queens.

"If it ain't fun, we ain't doin' it" ... from the book, The Sweet Potato Queens. Easy reading (including Margaret Heffernan's new book How She Does It) takes place here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 35
Billie Holiday

You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation. ~ Billie Holiday