These times are presenting us with a new world where most of us are working remotely or, maybe, will be doing so shortly. The pandemic crisis is here, and the best solution is to separate us all. It is an important time to have to learn new skills. And even enjoy morphing into your new daily routine. For most of us, we hate this type of crisis-induced change.
For many of us, it should come as no surprise that female entrepreneurs make up the fastest-growing segment of business owners, not only in the U.S. but around the world. As the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Entrepreneurship 2016/2017 Report states, "Female entrepreneurship continues on an upward trend globally. Latest research shows that women’s entrepreneurial activity is up 10%, closing the gender gap by 5% since 2014. In the past year, 163 million women were starting businesses across 74 economies worldwide, while 111 million were running established businesses." Moreover, women now control over $20 trillion in annual global consumer spending, and that number is expected to rise by an additional $10 trillion in the next several years.
Yet, for all their contributions and innovations, women still do not receive the recognition they deserve. This is especially true when it comes to the accounting and legal professions, both traditionally male-dominated.
Changing, but not fast enough: gender inequality in law and finance leadership
Did you know that women entrepreneurs represent the fastest-growing segment of business owners in most countries of the developed world, including the U.S.? In fact, according to the Women’s Entrepreneurship Report, 63 of the 74 featured economies have experienced a 10% increase in overall female total entrepreneurial activity. Women control over $20 trillion in annual consumer spending across the world, and that figure is expected to rise by another $10 trillion in the coming years.
Yet in spite of this substantial worldwide growth, women do not get the necessary recognition they deserve. Below, I showcase three women entrepreneurs who went from zero to hero and in the process, made a name for themselves in the male-dominated world of business. Their stories highlight how woman-powered leadership can lead to highly innovative solutions that benefit everyone in the company, as well as their customers.
Read how they are doing things for others, leveraging their ideas and creating big solutions to serious problems.
I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by ConstructechTV host Peggy Smedley about blockchain and its implications for the construction industry. It was such an interesting conversation that I want to share it with you :
Blockchain: much more than a trend
As I tell Peggy, blockchain is not a passing fad. Its where the world is moving, whether it's building buildings or securing our food supply chain or paying our taxes. A report from International Data Protection (IDC) has projected that global blockchain spending will reach $2.9 billion by the end of 2019, nearly doubling the $1.5 billion amount spent in all of 2018. That's a tremendous increase in just one year, clearly indicating that something big is going on.
Possibly nowhere is the power and potential of blockchain more evident than in the construction industry. As more and more companies recognize that blockchain is the most secure way to make transactions, more are adopting it, from general contractors at the beginning of a project to buyers and sellers of the finished property.
Finally, "female CEO" is not an oxymoron.
Yes, women entrepreneurs have come a long way over the past several decades, but it wasn't so long ago that they had little to no influence in the business sector. Scores of women have changed all that but one who stands out as one of the first is Brownie Wise, a single mom who helped build a plastic food-storage empire known as Tupperware. Talk about a Blue Ocean strategic thinker!
To err is human!
As we have all experienced (sometimes painfully), mistakes are an essential part of life. They're how we learn and grow and accomplish things.
Consider this: When toddlers are learning to walk, they stand, take a step and fall down. Then they get back up and try again, and again. Before long, they've mastered control of their bodies and they're off, rarely crawling again. This is also how we learn mastery as adults—we try something, fail, learn from it and try again. Just like little kids, this is how we grow.
The Mistake-Learn-Grow Relationship Stays With Us Throughout Our Lives.
Everyone makes mistakes, every single one of us. There's a big difference, however, between those who can learn from their mistakes and those who can't. I would even offer that the secret to success is knowing how to treat mistakes as a foundation for future achievements. The sooner you learn to capitalize upon, rather than avoid, your mistakes, the sooner you'll grasp the crucial knowledge that can be gained from them. Then you can move on to new decisions, and probably new mistakes, which is also at the heart of the fast-growing concept fast failure.
Why Do We Make Mistakes?
I have had so many requests for help using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument, the OCAI, that it seemed timely to tell you more about this great method and tool for evaluating your culture today and what you would like it to become in the future (www.ocai-online.com).
A business, by definition, needs to be in a constant state of motion. If you want to grow and succeed in the market, you need to always be moving forward. The same can be said for organizational culture. In both cases, change is the driving force that can help your organization reach its goals and fulfill your ambitions.
Why is corporate culture important?
Understanding organizational culture is hard, and changing it is even harder. But it is the essence of what your organization is all about. In order to implement meaningful change inside your business, you will have to look inward and evaluate your current culture. Only then is it possible to determine where you want to go from there and create a strategy that can help you reach your destination.
Fortunately, recent developments in understanding and improving organizational culture have created new methods that can help you achieve change. One such method is the OCAI and here is how you can use it to implement change in your organization.
Have you heard of the “third billion?” Even if you haven't, you're definitely going to feel their impact. “Third billion” describes a billion women from emerging markets who are going to join the global economy as entrepreneurs, employers and employees over the next decade. From Turkey to India, women entrepreneurs are taking leading roles in this global shift, transforming their local economies and their communities. Oh and in the process, changing the world.
Case in point: The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor study looked at 59 economies around the world and found that women are creating businesses at a higher and faster rate than men in three economies, and at a nearly equal rate in four others. Specifically, the startup rates by gender are comparable in Brazil, Ecuador, Switzerland and Uganda, and in Nigeria, Ghana and Thailand, the rate of new women entrepreneurs is higher than that of men. In the remaining 52 economies, the proportions of men startups are higher than women, in some cases, up to six times higher.
This is excellent news on a global scale as it signals a growing positive trend. After decades of legislative, policy and socio-cultural changes that have empowered women by supporting and training them, the world is finally placing women in leading business roles.
Not only transforming economies but communities too
When was the last time you looked at your business with fresh eyes? Maybe it is ready for some significant changes? How would you know? How would you make them happen? As we often tell our clients "If you want to change, have a crisis or create one." If not, very little gets done. But the pressures to change are accelerating. People really hate to change. What to do?
Anthropologists seem convinced that no one wants to hire them. With very low unemployment and almost 6 million jobs going unfilled in the U.S. today, shouldn’t highly-skilled, well-trained and capable anthropologists be able to find work of some kind that’s related to their education and interests?