Articles by Dr. Sitterly
a Glass Ceiling for the Female Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs Emerge as Economic Force
Women Succeed As Business Owners
"Not a Glass Ceiling for the Female
Dr. Connie Sitterly/The Workplace Doctor©
Certified Professional Consultant to Management
Glass Ceiling has taken more than a few dings in spite of unequal pay,
discrimination, stereotypes, dated attitudes and decades of challenges.
Changing technology, labor availability, legal requirements, company
reorganizations, more emphasis on teamwork, innovation, and diversity
continue to enhance women's opportunities as their employers face competitive
Businesses need the values that women have been socialized to provide.
The values of caring, intuition and consideration for the world as a
whole are transforming organizations.
As Tom Peters, best-selling business author and consultant declares
in his latest book Circle of Innovation: women rule! John Naisbitt and
Patricia Aburdene concluded in Megatrends 2000: Ten Directions for the
1990's, "to be a leader in business today, it is no longer an advantage
to have been socialized as male."
Challenging old notions:
than half of the new jobs created in the U.S. since 1992 are attributed
to women-owned businesses.
control over half the consumer and commercial consumption that contributes
to growth domestic product
of working women now earn more than their husbands
are the 43% of Americans that account for assets greater than $500,000
women compose the largest national economy on earth, larger than
the Japanese economy.
to a recent study, Paths to Entrepreneurship, a report by the National
Foundation for Women Business Owners, Catalyst, and the Committee Of
200, has challenged old notions, concluding that the Glass Ceiling was
not the only motivator for self employment; more than 40% chose self-employment
because they felt bored and stifled by the corporate milieu, feeling
that their employers did not give them enough freedom to realize
their ambitions. The report also revealed that female entrepreneurs
are better educated, more experienced, better capitalized than ever
before and more likely to have an MBA and high-level managerial experience
than their predecessors. Their greatest challenge is being taken seriously
and biggest reward is the empowerment that comes with gaining control
over their destiny.
"Women's advancement is not a feel-good or even a do-good issue but
a bottom-line practicality," states Shelia W. Wellington, president
of Catalyst, Advancing Women In Business- The Catalyst Guide: Best Practices
From The Corporate Leaders. The Catalyst Guide, published by Simon and
Schuster provides proven examples from leaders such as:
Bank of Montreal, which enjoyed four years of record profits after instituting
a corporate strategy makeover with an emphasis on attracting women managers
and maximizing their potential and
Morrison & Foerster, the prestigious San Francisco law firm, which
stopped a costly talent drain by developing alternative models that
made work/life quality a central component of the firm's culture.
What Does it Take from Organizations?
According to Catalyst, the nonprofit organization that works with business
to advance women, numerous other organizations have tuned into the advantages
of a woman-friendly environment including, but not limited to Avon,
Dupont, Eastman Kodak, Marriott, McDonald's, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard,
3M, Sara Lee, Texas Instruments, Xerox and demonstrate it through measurable
results such as:
leadership willing to commit long-term resources
between the advancement of women and the larger strategic direction
of the company
realization of the business imperatives implied by new demographics
in the workplace and marketplace
open to genuine change and willing to learn from those around them
belief in equality, even when the main impetus for change is the
of the value of linking business goals to wider social issues.
developed this guide based on 36 years of experience. For those organizations
and leaders who aspire to develop their own woman-friendly environments,
it is essential reading to learn what it takes to tap the creativity,
skills and abilities of women.
Other NFWBO studies reveal than women and men business owners think differently,
manage differently, and define success differently. Women owned-firms
are more-likely than all businesses to offer flex-time, tuition reimbursement,
and profit sharing as employee benefits. Among firms with 10 or more employees
that lack retirement plans, women business owners are discussing the issue
of retirement more than men business owners,
The growth of women-owned enterprises is faster than the economy, a major
force in our marketplace, and increasingly on the international front.
Women-owed firms increased by 89% nationwide, outpacing overall business
growth by nearly 2 to 1.
More organizations are awakening to the fact that women form a core part
of their intellectual capital and the need to either leverage that capital
-or compete with it, their former employees, the new female entrepreneurial
Connie Sitterly, CPCM, is an international management consultant, trainer
& author of:
The Woman Manager, The Female Entrepreneur,
A Woman's Place: Management.
Her company, Management Training Specialists,
provides training, consulting on numerous workplace issues.
She can be reached at
P.O. Box 470695,
Fort Worth, TX 76147
or email firstname.lastname@example.org