Your Weekly Round Up: Women in Business Edition

Who run the world? Regrettably, not girls.

A recent tally revealed that just 6.2 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO at the helm. In 2015, there were fewer large companies run by women than by men named John.

Sure, we have seen signs of progress. If current patterns hold, that 6.2 percent is projected to grow to 50 percent by 2056. But economists and business leaders agree – progress isn’t happening fast enough, nor does it come close to the rate at which women are starting businesses.

Today, we’re sharing what is and can be done to recognize, reward and ready women as leaders in their industries. We hope you’ll read on, spread the word and take action.

First, a celebration. The H&M Foundation recently released a list of 500 female entrepreneurs from around the world that will make your jaw drop. The Foundation 500, a counter to the Fortune 500, honors and shares the stories of business women of color from rural or developing areas. In addition to running successful companies, the women improve their communities through education, employment and the advancement of equal opportunity. Explore the list.

From Dakar to D.C., female entrepreneurs face unique challenges when starting their own businesses – access to affordable child care, male-dominated culture, and lack of seed funding to name a few. But some cities are better than others when it comes to supporting the growth of women-owned businesses.

Dell, in partnership with the Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities), recently evaluated a how well cities across the globe attract and foster female entrepreneurship, ranking the top 50. Live in New York City? You’re in luck! It’s the best city in the world to be a woman business owner. Take a look the other top cities.

Did you see that six of the top 10 cities are in the U.S.? It’s encouraging – especially considering the role women-owned businesses have played in our latest economic recovery. Since 2007, women have started businesses at a rate five times faster than men – despite the fact that female entrepreneurs are awarded just 2.19 percent of venture capital funding (read: big investment).

How can women overcome funding obstacles when starting a new businesses? Consider crowdfunding. News broke last week that women have better success than their male counterparts when seeding their company via crowdfunding – 32 percent more successful to be exact. And the results hold true across all industries, even among those traditionally dominated by men.

We’re thrilled to see fellow female entrepreneurs capitalizing on the power of community through crowdfunding. But how can we support female entrepreneurs and future business women in other ways?

As with all meaningful progress, change must come from within. A fellow agency pro dishes out five pieces of actionable advice for improving the workplace for ourselves and other women. We also suggest the following:

  • Create a collaborative environment that fosters growth for all employees;
  • Take on opportunities for mentorship, both as a mentor of young women and as mentee;
  • Introduce female leaders to helpful networks and resources;
  • Invest in women-owned businesses you believe in.

Perhaps through these and other actions, we’ll have as many CEOs named Janae as we currently do John before 2056.

Empowering women and other ambitious professionals is central to our purpose here at Montage. Are you interested in learning more opportunities for mentorship, internship or employment? Contact us.