Empower through Actions - Not Words this IWD

Empower through Actions - Not Words this IWD

As we scroll through social media today and make International Women's Day posts, let us remember that it is through actions not words that we forge a path to empowerment and equality. 

And despite what it looks like in our feeds today we are a far way from an equal world. In fact the Chief of the UN said "Progress toward gender equality is “vanishing before our eyes. We are 300 years away from gender equality" [Source].

The World Economic Forum is a bit more optimistic in humankind and predicts 131 years away from gender equality [SOURCE]. 

But either way, we are far from an equal world. 

Some stats in 2024 that should shock you. 

  • Women receive only 1.9% of all funding [SOURCE]. 
  • Women account for less than 15% of check-writing VCs. [SOURCE]
  • Only 28% of CEO / MD roles are held by women in North America [SOURCE] and only 5% Globally [SOURCE]
  • Less than 20% of Board Seats are held by women [SOURCE]

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with statistics like these, recognizing that the issue is vast and complex. However, there are steps we can all take each day to contribute to meaningful progress.

Gender equality is a not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary  foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world - United Nations.

This is an open letter from a Woman Founder who also spent 15+ years in corporate marketing sharing my perspective on how all of us (regardless of gender) can better support women in business through our actions.

 

Ways to Support Women Founders & Women in Business

1. Fund her. Invest in her business or idea. Financial support is paramount to her success. 

2. Purchase products or services from her company. And if you're not the target audience - introduce her to someone that is. 

3. Share her business on your social media platforms. Compounded reach from others networks over time can have a huge impact. Sharing, liking and commenting on her posts helps signal to the algorithm what she has to say is valuable. 

4. Attend and encourage others to attend events hosted by her business.

5. Offer to mentor her or connect her with a mentor.

6. Introduce her to potentials new clients and provide a warm introduction. Often all she needs is an introduction to close a deal. 

7. If she asks for feedback within surveys - provide feedback on her products or services.

8. Write a positive review for her business. Testimonials go a huge way in helping her with trust and credibility. 

9. Offer to be a beta tester for new products.

10. Nominate her for awards or recognition.

11. Share her success stories and achievements.

12. Recommend her for speaking engagements. As a woman Founder this is so paramount. It's incredibly tough to get a speaking engagement without the big logo of a corporation. 

13. Offer to share your expertise in areas outside her core competency. 

14. Invite and create networking opportunities by introducing her to other Founders, VCs and professionals.

15. Help her develop a strong personal brand on LinkedIn. 

16. Join her mailing list or subscribe to her newsletter.

17. Follow her social media channels.

18. Support her in negotiating fair partnerships or contracts.

19. Celebrate milestones and successes with her.

20. Encourage her to take breaks and practice self-care.

21. Offer to be a sounding board for new ideas.

22. Offer to host her workshops or events at your workplace.

23. Provide emotional support and guidance during the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. 

24. Encourage her to take more risks and put herself out there more for opportunities. 

25. Encourage fair compensation practices and advocate for equal pay for equal work in your company - and all companies. 

26. Create spaced where women can share their ideas, concerns, and experiences without judgment.

27. Speak up against gender biases and stereotypes in the workplace and beyond. If you see workplace bullying or harassment speak out. Visit the Speak Out Revolution to get resources. 

28. Be mindful and use inclusive language and avoid gendered stereotypes in your written and verbal communications.

29. Support and attend events, conferences, and networking opportunities specifically designed for women in business to hear their perspectives on important topics. 

30. Put more women on panels with various ages, racial backgrounds, and different socio and economic backgrounds.

31. +1 her ideas in a board room or meeting. 

32. Gift us a free ticket for an event - all the events nowadays are super costly and over time these add up. We need more free or sponsored events to attend. There's a huge financial barrier. 

33. Remove barriers on your events - like must have raised XXX in funding to attend. 

34. Ensure your events are 50/50 in gender parity. If they aren't examine the barriers that may be causing this. 

35. Quote her in publications, PR and articles.

36. Actively diversify your LinkedIn network to include more women's voices in your newsfeed.

37. Simply be there as a friend, advocate and supporter, cheering her on every step of the way.

Each small act of support can have a profound impact on the path of a woman founder. Let's start making some of these actions today. 

 

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