Beyond Women’s History Month: Keeping the Conversation Going for Women Entrepreneurs
March is Women’s History Month, a celebration of great women who made courageous strides forward and paved the way for the next generation. I can’t wait to read more about inspiring female entrepreneurs and talk to women business owners throughout the month.
What happens when March is over? Subsequently, Women’s History Month ends and society collectively turns its attention to new seasonal topics like tax filing deadlines in April. Women entrepreneurs will still be discussed, of course, but there will be a little less hype than there was before.
As a woman entrepreneur, I think there’s more than a few ways we can recognize women year-round. Not sure where to start? Follow this quick primer and check off each area you and your business can contribute to the conversation.
Remember: awareness doesn’t have a designated calendar day.
The trouble with Women’s History Month, or holidays like International Women’s Day, is their designation. Yes, we are encouraged to speak up about equality and inclusion then, but what happens on the non-holiday calendar dates? How much do we continue to make an effort then?
It’s fine to celebrate women entrepreneurs on holidays, but don’t stop there! Lifting the voices of women and championing their ideas and abilities is an ongoing, daily effort. It does not take days off.
Take the lead.
How do you behave with a cause that is close to your heart? My guess is that you find a way to be its active participant—even if you’re going it alone. Take the lead and lead by example. Others will take notice of what you’re passionate about, drawing them to ask you questions and learn more.
Reexamine your company’s core values.
What’s your startup’s mission again? How is the company culture shaping up? It’s not a bad start for a small business to talk the talk when it comes to inclusivity efforts. Just don’t forget to walk the walk. If you’re not already walking that walk, start strategizing on how to begin with your team.
Publicize and empower women across all departments.
Whenever an employee does a great job, highlight these accomplishments and share them with the team. #Humblebrag about it, too. Recognize the value that women bring to business day in and day out, even if it’s means sending a simple thank you email.
Give women opportunities to raise their voices.
Seek out opinions, thoughts, and ideas from women in your company. Listen to what they have to say and implement their ideas. Do this on a regular basis, too. Much like awareness, feedback doesn’t take days off.
If you know a cool woman who could be a great mentor to another cool woman, make the introduction today. Make mentorship with women, whether it’s one-on-one or in mentoring groups, an ongoing initiative.
Put women in forward-facing roles.
Look for ways that your business can put women in roles as the fact of the company and allow them to take the lead on projects. This means employing, promoting, and training women from all backgrounds and ages within your company. Make every day a day you can work towards prioritizing gender balance and female representation.