Millions of men and women marched Saturday to promote the equality of women. My favorite part was all of the homemade signs. The one that best described my sentiments read: "When Women Rise, The Nation Rises." If women and men participated equally in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the United States' GDP could rise by $30 billion.
What actions go with each sign we saw? The people in 50 states that marched, the Democrats and Republicans that rallied, and the old and young that came together can move the needle quickly if we match action to the inspiration we saw Saturday. I equate change to being entrepreneurial, so I picked my favorite signs I saw and matched them to actions steps to enhance women's entrepreneurship:
"Same s*it, different century."
OK folks, the good news: Women are starting companies twice as fast as men. The bad news: Our fail rates are almost as bad as if it was still last century. However, if women do make it over a million dollars in revenue, we perform as well or better than our male counterparts. So, what do they need?
- Access to capital - Invest in a woman owned business
- Access to mentorship - pick one woman and mentor her
- Access to leadership - pull a woman up at each moment in your career
"I want my whole damn dollar."
We are still only making 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. In all industries we can:
- Entrepreneurs, ensure equal pay across your hires as your grow
- Enterprise companies, look across your workforce and ensure you are providing equal pay for women
"I can't believe I am still protesting this s*it."
We are now more educated than our male counterparts. Let's start being more bold by:
- Go start a company. Two-thirds of women in corporate America say they want to start their own company. Do it.
- Sign up or run for some type of public service. Your town's economic board, school board, county supervisor, congress and yes, president
"It took me quite a long time to develop a voice & now that I have it, I am not going to be silent."
(Quote by Madeleine Albright) Only 7 percent of stories in the media are about women founders.
- Encourage press to ensure gender ratio in their content
- Women, be more outspoken about your ideas and success
- Use social media to promote women owned and run companies
"Men of Quality Support Equality"
Unconscious bias is real in this country.
- Put your executives through training such as MARC by Catalyst. (Men Advocating for Real Change)
- Ensure you have women on your board
- Bring men into the conversation at all steps
"Ugh, Where do I even Start"
Everywhere!! The world's biggest opportunity are women entrepreneurs, so:
- Pay Equally
- Tell their story