International Women’s Day and the entrepreneurial spirit

I wrote a post on my Facebook page recognizing the business women in my life and, particularly, my mom. I was asked to share those thoughts (with a bit more detail) here on the Engen blog. I hope you enjoy!

In honour of International Women’s Day I wanted to recognize the female entrepreneurial role models in my life, particularly my mom.

In my other day job, the one where I am not writing fiction, I own a business with my mom. We started out from almost nothing to build a business that employs over a dozen full and part-time employees (not including ourselves) and deals with over one hundred clients a day. But this isn’t a blog about our awesome business skills, this is a blog about getting a seat at the business table.

One of the most important lessons I got from my mom is that if no one will give you a seat at the table, then you need to build your own table. There are more men building tables, and often they get better seats at the table and that’s the more reason we need women to get involved. Especially minority women and women on the fringes either because of age, social standing, or other factors.

I feel like starting a business is a highly creative endeavour. And like other creative pursuits, it’s a richer experience when there’s a greater diversity of voices.

But starting a business is hard and I am not trying to make it sound easy. There are all sorts of barriers. I guess all I am trying to do is recognize the good work the women around me are doing and hope we can all support each other. Even if it’s just to say: “Good job!”

I don’t want it to be business as usual anymore, not when, if we all have a seat at the table, it can be business as extraordinary.

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