It’s women’s history month and there are a few things we think you should know about how to support women in 2023.
“While on average, women in the United States are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, Latinx women earn 54 cents, Native American women earn 57 cents, Black women earn 62 cents, and AAPI women earn 90 cents on the dollar of a white man.”(1) In addition, “U.S. startups with all-women teams received 1.9% (or around $4.5 billion) out of around the $238.3 billion in venture capital allocated, according to the latest PitchBook data. That percentage is a notable drop from the 2.4% all-women teams raised in 2021.” (2)
What does this data mean? Far too often, women get the short end of the stick – all puns intended. Ironically, Women are also statistically known to be a better investment overall. Society is many things, but it’s never been fair. So, if you have a friend that is both a woman and business owner, there are some very real ways that you can support them during women’s history month and beyond.
1. Encouragement Goes a Long Way.
65% of small business owners struggle with anxiety and 52% struggle with depression. Most entrepreneurs need very high level of positivity around them just to get out of bed, let alone to building. In the world of social media, there are a ton of people selling the idea that business owners don’t know what they are doing — which we don’t, but trying to learn everything all at once is impossible.
Our advice to you is to celebrate the entrepreneur ladies in your life with lots and lots of encouragement. Share an encouraging word, like ” Hey girl, I just want you to know that I see you and I admire you. Keep going.” Send a small gift, like a gift card for coffee or a random lunch. You can even send a bigger gift (if you got it like that), like a branding session or a new website. A little positivity and encouragement can go a long way. And we absolutely need it from those closest to us.
This also goes along with the previous statistics around mental health and entrepreneurship. Supporting the boss chicks in your life can be as simple as listening to them. There are a lot of challenges to being an entrepreneur or small business owner that can’t always be shouted from the mountain tops like we want to. Finding the right solution is also something that a lot of us already have within us. We just need to talk through it to find what’s right for us.
Listening is a delicacy in this space. Being more of a listener than a “fixer” can make a woman entrepreneur feel seen and understood. It’s therapeutic and many times, it’s exactly what we need to make our next big move.
3. Share on social
This is a no brainer. Women-owned businesses need more visibility, so help amplify the women in your network by promoting their businesses. Whether you patron with them or not, people are more likely to buy things that they hear about from someone they already trust. If she’s already doing the work by creating the content, make sure you like, share, and comment.
It may not seem like a big deal but engagement on social media can directly lead to increased credibility and increased sales. So, to you, the like may not mean a whole lot but to the business it can impact their bottom-line.
4. Refer Business
Hopefully, this goes without saying, but referrals are everything. I can’t tell you how many times, someone says, “my job is looking for someone to complete a website so I mentioned your business.” Well, thank you! This is exactly what it looks like to support women-owned businesses in a practical way. Put on your sales hat and broker the sale, when she can’t physically be present.
Even if you make a referral and the sale doesn’t go through, you’ve still done something that she couldn’t have done without you. You’ve introduced her brand to someone who make need services in the future or another potential referral.
5. Spend Yo Money
Last but not least- Cut. The. Check. “If you got it, flaunt it, Boy I know you want it.”
I’m going to say this in the only way I know how: The best way to address the wage gap is to pay women. Don’t say you want to support women and then decide their services are not worth it. Don’t say you want to support women and then try to get them to do more than what is fair. Spend your money, just like you would do with any man.
Any other suggestions? We’re all ears. Leave some more in the comment section below.