When we began planning our companywide retreat to Nashville, one thing we knew we wanted to do was to support women-owned businesses in the area. We’re a small, woman-owned business ourselves, and we love championing other women on similar professional paths.
That’s how we found ourselves taking part in a grounding meditation session facilitated by Erin Sonn, owner of eat.YOGA.drink., then later enjoying a treat from The Cupcake Collection as we celebrated members of our team. Our photos at the retreat were taken by Nicole Taylor of Nashville Corporate Photography. And we took some time while together in Nashville to collect business clothes and write notes of support for the women who rely on Dress for Success, a workforce development organization that helps women find and retain work.
Supporting women-owned businesses isn’t a retreat-only strategy for our company. We do it every day. Our executive assistant comes to us from a woman-owned management agency, Don’t Panic Management. Our legal counsel is women-owned legal+creative. Our CPA and bookkeeper are independent female practitioners. Our longtime designer runs her own graphic design business.
Why do we work so hard to support other female entrepreneurs?
Investing in women-owned businesses means supporting economic equality and empowerment. Women lost more work hours and jobs during the pandemic than men, in part due to family obligations and a new need for homeschooling, and in part because work sectors that are primarily female-driven, like hospitality and retail, were hit hardest by the pandemic. The World Economic Forum reported in 2022 that, although wage equality has improved marginally over time, it will still take an estimated 151 years to close the global gender gap in economic opportunity.
Women started 49% of new businesses in the United States in 2021 — up from just 28% in 2019 — but they are still outnumbered 3-to-1 by male business owners. As entrepreneurs, women typically have less access to capital than their male counterparts, and these new businesses are still in their fragile early days, meaning they need all the help they can get to survive.
Besides being an issue of equity, it just makes good business sense to spend your dollars on women-owned businesses. The first-ever female Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, once said, “If you want something done, ask a woman.” And we couldn’t agree more. The women we know — including those on our own team! — are innovators, strategic communicators and community builders. We get the work done, and we get it done right.
by Tia Over