Tech Solutions Can Help Employees Struggling With Caregiving Burdens

Tech Solutions Can Help Employees Struggling With Caregiving Burdens

By Joanna Drake, Co-Founder of Magnify Ventures; C200 Member since 2012.

Three-quarters of the adult population identify as the “sandwich generation”—caring for both kids and elder family members. Juggling these responsibilities can lead to serious stress issues over time – burnout, emotional overload, and mental fatigue. 

In this recent article for Forbes, C200 Member Joanna Drake shares how some startup entrepreneurs, inspired by their own lived experiences as working parents and caregivers, are delivering tech-enabling tools and services that will transform the $650B antiquated Care Economy. 

Read the full article here. 

So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur? Four Tips to Help You Get Started

So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur? Four Tips to Help You Get Started

By Kimber Maderazzo, C200 Chair Emeritus; C200 Member since 2011.

For most of my adult life, I have been working hard for other people, businesses and company goals. As a corporate executive, I had a team of people behind me, access to large budgets and great experiences, but it just wasn’t fulfilling anymore. So after twelve years running Proactiv, I took a hard look at my life and realized I could do this on my own. With some hard work, determination and a little help along the way, my makeup brand, Milli Rose, was born. 

It wasn’t an easy journey, and although I have a successful career now, it didn’t start out that way. Going from working in a corporate job to striking out on your own and being successful requires a total mindset shift. Instead of having a team behind me every step of the way, I had to find the resources I needed to make my company work with my own two hands. I had to establish myself as a trusted brand that people wanted to buy products from. The weight of my company was all on my shoulders. 

Many female entrepreneurs have stories just like mine. They wanted to work for themselves, create something they could be proud of or shake up their industries. Finding success on your own can be a daunting task, but there are four important things every entrepreneur can do now to skyrocket their success in the future. 

Build a Strong Network and Use It 

Becoming an entrepreneur can sometimes seem lonely because it’s just you to start. Building a strong network of other entrepreneurs who have been in your shoes before is crucial. They can provide you with resources, be confidantes when you need support and become the role models who inspire you to continue to shoot for the stars. 

It was my C200 sisters who exposed me to new areas of business and encouraged me to find joy in other areas of my life. That advice helped me look inward and improve myself, which led me to eventually start my own business. 

Finding that network can be tough, especially for women leaders. It is proven that having a mentor can boost your confidence, teach you new skills and help build a network, but research shows only 37% of women actually have a mentor. As entrepreneurs, there is no built-in mentorship program at your company, unless you eventually plan to create one, so joining groups like C200 is a great place to start. 

Make sure you are building a network that spans many different industries. You never know when you may need to call in a favor or ask for advice. Maybe you are in the beginning stages of starting a business, but you aren’t as well-versed with the licensing you need. Someone in your network could be an expert and might have advice from when they started their own business. Through C200, I learn from the experiences of the women around me. They exposed me to new opportunities and new business avenues. 

Ask Questions 

Now that you have your network in place, don’t be afraid to ask for help. When I first started my business, I interviewed friends and business owners within the beauty industry to ask how they reached success. However, I didn’t always ask all the right questions. 

One of my biggest failures when I first started out was not realizing how much I would need to spend to build my business. When I worked with other national brands, I had a $200 million dollar marketing budget to work with. In my first month of marketing my own brand, I had to spend $50,000 of my own money. It was a different experience, and I wish I had asked people around me so I was prepared for what I would realistically have to spend. 

It’s also important to continue to ask questions, even if you’ve been running your own business for years. Your network could know about a new way to innovate or streamline your business. Your employees might see inconsistencies that you don’t because they are involved in day-to-day tasks. Always stay curious. 

Do What You Love 

The best piece of advice my friends and business companions in the industry gave me was to do something I loved. That’s the first step to finding success. I have loved makeup since I was 14 years old and am a self-proclaimed “beauty junkie.” Making my way into the beauty industry just made sense, because it was my passion. It also helps if you come from the industry. I had to lean on a lot of my relationships with suppliers to be successful. I knew them and how they worked and what they could do for me. 

Make sure you create your business for yourself, not for anyone else. People around you may tell you that you are getting into a niche market that isn’t as popular or that other avenues are generally more profitable. Take that into consideration, but go with your gut. Remember, this is something you are going to be doing every day and if you don’t do what you love, it won’t make you happy. 

Believe You Can Do It 

It’s hard to believe that just 50 years ago, the U.S. Census Bureau started including women-owned businesses in their data. Then, there were only about 400,000 women-owned businesses. Now, three decades later, there are more than 13 million women-owned businesses across the U.S. and 9% of Fortune 500 companies have a woman at the helm. 

Female entrepreneurs have come a long way in the past 50 years, and if they can do it, so can you! If you are looking for a group of female executives and entrepreneurs who will help you get to the top of your business, consider joining C200 and send in an application at c200.org

Women Innovators: Intrapreneur or Entrepreneur?

Women Innovators: Intrapreneur or Entrepreneur?

By Rani Yadav-Ranjan, Global Head of Ericsson SnapCode.ai; C200 Member since 2016.

Inclusive innovation is good for business. C200 member Rani Yadav-Ranjan makes the case for female intrapreneurship in this recent article for Forbes.
She explains that for women’s leadership (and the company) to grow, organizations must provide the infrastructure for new ideas through intrapreneurship.

Read the full article here. 

How Women Are Moving the Gender Equality Needle in the Business World

How Women Are Moving the Gender Equality Needle in the Business World

By Kimber Maderazzo, Chair at C200

For women in the business world, we know all too well how slow and distressful making progress can be. Despite that, women continue to push for more equality as business leaders because we are seeing great strides being made. It takes time, determination and hard work to move the needle slightly forward toward your goal. This is why we do the work we do, this is why women need to be intentional about advancing other women forward. 

Through C200, I had the pleasure of helping create the third annual Women CEOs in America Report alongside Women Business Collaborative, Ascend and Catalyst to show just how far we’ve come. The number of women in C-suite positions across the country has hit historic highs, which is impressive considering just 34 years ago, women couldn’t get a business loan without a male co-signer. 

While this is great progress, there is still work to be done, and transparency is the key to making that happen.  

What Does Progress Look Like? 

“This report highlights what we’ve long known about women’s advancement to the top job in the C-suite: The progress is slow, but it is possible,” said Lorraine Hariton, president and CEO of Catalyst. When this report was first written, 8.8% of women were at the helm of Fortune 500 companies. That number now sits at 9%! 

For a broader view of the state of women in business, we look at the Russell 3000. This index, unlike the Fortune 500 or S&P 500, includes a wider group of companies listed in the stock market that aren’t included on other indexes. There are 3,000 publicly traded U.S. companies included. In 2021, there were 158 companies that had a woman as CEO. This year, there are 186 female CEOs of Russell 3000 companies like Sirius XM Holdings, La-Z-Boy and Sally Beauty Holdings. As for private companies, 14.2% of companies have at least one woman on their board and in 2021, one more woman was appointed CEO of a privately held company.  

Diversity is Key 

Progress is slow in corporate America, but we are seeing a lot of growth in the number of women starting businesses, especially women of color. Women own 40% of all companies in America, but it is women of color who have been a driving force in pushing that number higher. Black and Latina founders are starting businesses in record numbers. According to data from ProjectDiane, the number of Black and Latina women-owned startups doubled between 2018 and 2020 with over 650 startups across the country. More of these businesses are receiving funding too. 

This progress is something to be celebrated, but there is a lot of work to do. Right now, women of color only make up 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs. 

We created this report to hold companies accountable. To keep moving forward, executives need to make sure women, especially women of color, have equal access to leadership opportunities, networks, funding and continuing education for advancement.  

 Keep Moving Forward 

To keep up this momentum, we are calling on companies across the country to help us. By 2025, we want to see women make up 15% of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 CEOs and women of color make up 10% of CEOs.   

The best way we can continue to shift perspectives and make changes is by leaning on each other and demanding more women get a seat at the table. 

At C200, we strive to be a force of change and give women a network of like-minded female business executives and owners to help push them to new heights. If you are looking for a group of female leaders who will help you get to the top of your business, consider joining C200 and send in an application at c200.org. 

Why Women Need a Professional Network

Why Women Need a Professional Network

By Kimber Maderazzo, Chair at C200; C200 Member since 2011.

Many women struggle with business networking—but studies show that building a smaller inner circle of contacts provides even greater benefits.
 
In this article for Forbes, C200 Chair Kimber Maderazzo shares her personal story and recommendation for cultivating your own ‘advisory board’ to exchange ideas with, seek advice from, and to lean on for support.

Read the full article here.