Articles by Dr. Sitterly for Women

Not a Glass Ceiling for the Female Entrepreneur

Women Entrepreneurs Emerge as Economic Force

Women...... Excel!

More Women Succeed As Business Owners


"Not a Glass Ceiling for the Female Entrepreneur"

Dr. Connie Sitterly/The Workplace Doctor©
Certified Professional Consultant to Management

The 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 challenges.

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:

  • More than half of the new jobs created in the U.S. since 1992 are attributed to women-owned businesses.

  • Women control over half the consumer and commercial consumption that contributes to growth domestic product

  • 20% of working women now earn more than their husbands

  • Women are the 43% of Americans that account for assets greater than $500,000

  • American women compose the largest national economy on earth, larger than the Japanese economy.

According 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:

  • Top leadership willing to commit long-term resources

  • Synergy between the advancement of women and the larger strategic direction of the company

  • Clear realization of the business imperatives implied by new demographics in the workplace and marketplace

  • Leaders open to genuine change and willing to learn from those around them

  • A belief in equality, even when the main impetus for change is the bottom-line

  • Awareness of the value of linking business goals to wider social issues.

Catalyst 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 force.

Dr. Connie Sitterly, CPCM, is an international management consultant, trainer & author of:
The Woman Manager, The Female Entrepreneur,
and co-authored
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

817 737-2893
or email

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