Whether through news reports about Hollywood or the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team, it is clear that women are still getting the short end of the stick when it comes to income and respect versus men, regardless of performance.
Personally I find it strange. Starting my career in the mortgage industry, I was a minority male in a sea of talented and powerful women. My own Inc. 500 company at its peak had a female-to-male ratio of 6 to 1. In my experience, most women executives have better people skills, are less ego-driven and execute detail far better than most men I have employed. And yes, I paid the women the same or more than the men.
It is odd that there are not more women entrepreneurs or CEOs. Some studies have the female number less than 20 percent. Some may argue that a glass ceiling still exists. Maybe, but many women entrepreneurs are now breaking through and demonstrating how women do it better.
Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of Hint Water, is among those women CEOs setting great examples for female entrepreneurs. Goldin was an executive in various media and internet companies. She created Hint Water because she couldn't find a healthy water that tasted great without sweeteners. Hint Water, which has 0 calories, 0 sugar, and 0 diet sweeteners, is the fastest growing flavored water in the United States.
Goldin, a member of YPO, has now built Hint Water to more than $70 million, gracing the shelves of major markets such as Whole Foods. Her products do their part to curb the growing obesity epidemic.
Kara doesn't waste time and energy lamenting about the female plight. She prefers to simply demonstrate how to be successful. In our interview, she shared her tips on how women can take steps to have it all. I acknowledge that even as a man I certainly have a lot to learn from successful women like Kara.
1. Make time for yourself.
Being a mom is another full-time job, but you don't have to be on all the time," noted Goldin. "Make time for yourself! Of course I love my family, and they mean the world to me, but making time for yourself is very important for one's well-being and sanity! This doesn't have mean a vacation; it could simply mean a little 'do not disturb time' for you and your favorite book of the moment."
2. Let dad change some diapers too!
Even today, women are largely expected to do most of the nurturing activities when it comes to taking care of the kids. Goldin noted, "Recent research has shown that the hours moms and dads spend on childcare have been shifting, with dads around the country taking on more hours, and evening out the parental workload." But, she cautioned that there needs to be a greater shift overall. "This is encouraging, but women still work the longest when it comes to housework. This rule should be broken--why should mom be the only one to handle the dirty diapers?"
3. Embrace the chaos.
Women are often turned to be the organizer and stabilizer in the household. But Goldin thinks that women should not be so obsessed with being organized all the time. "When running a business and a home, why are we expected to have everything perfectly in order? A little chaos is okay and normal!!" she emphasized. "One-third of working women never even make their bed!"
4. Go where you need to go.
"Women often hear: 'Stay in your place.' If you are encouraged to follow this rule at work, it's probably not the right environment for you," stated Goldin. "You should definitely do what you were hired to do, but that doesn't mean that is the ONLY thing you can do! See any opportunity to do something more? Go for it!"
5. Don't live in your office.
"Working hard, doesn't mean working long! If you are doing the best work you can do and getting the job done, don't feel like you need to stay in the office just for appearance-sake, that's a waste of your time and everyone else's," Goldin explained.
6. Be the boss.
"As a woman, this is a particularly tricky area to navigate, because for some reason powerful women who go for what they want are categorized as 'bitchy.' Why don't men get the same rap? Absolutely do what you need to do to get the job done and break this rule!"
7. Ignore social norms.
One old norm that women are often expected to embrace is to behave in a "lady-like manner. Goldin's response to that? "This is an archaic saying, that quite honestly shouldn't exist any more. What does being a 'lady' mean anyways? Be yourself!" she attested.
8. Do your own thing, regardless of trends.
No need to follow the zeitgeist, especially when it's counter to your interests. Goldin encourages people to express themselves as they need, regardless of societal direction. "Don't follow trends or only do something because everyone else is doing it--if other people don't agree with your idea, who cares?" questioned Goldin. "If you believe in that business idea or outfit, that's all that matters."
9. Don't let rules define you.
"Can you name a successful person who achieved his or her dream by staying in his or her lane?" asked Goldin. "Obviously there are exceptions, and necessary rules to follow, but don't let 'rules' define you!"
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