3 Women-Owned Businesses That Are Changing the World
SAN DIEGO ( MainStreet) This week in San Francisco, nearly 400 people gathered at The Intercontinental Hotel for the second annual 3% Conference.
The goal of the conference, and the growing 3% Movement started by Kat Gordon, is to bring together members of the advertising world for a national conversation about how to increase the number of female leaders in advertising agencies.
In April, in New York City, 150 people filled the 3 West Club for the first annual Mom Gets a Business conference, which former banking executive Patty Lennon founded to help mothers create wealth through starting their own businesses from home.
The New York event is just the latest offering from Lennon, who in 2011 began Mom Gets a Life to help mothers increase their financial power and learn to make taking care of themselves a priority.
"Women and their relationship to making money is one of the most powerful shifts that needs to happen right now," Lennon says. "Voting was initially how power was created among women, because it was the politicians who decided things. Money decides things now. So if women are going to have power in the decisions that are affecting our world, we must have money."
Gordon and Lennon are just two examples of women entrepreneurs starting businesses aimed at helping other women move into positions of power or earn more.
Women helping other women is hardly a new trend. But the ways they find to help each other is evolving, adapting to the times and the challenges women face in 2013.
Women are trying to juggle motherhood and careers. They are trying to run successful businesses of their own, keep up with technology and address problems plaguing the planet in ways that feel meaningful to them, and many are still trying to break through the corporate glass ceiling.
In fact, with all the progress women have made, female executives and female board members are still by far in the minority. Catalyst.org reports that women's representation at Fortune 500 companies has stagnated in recent years, with women making up only 14% of their executive officers and holding only 17% of board seats.
Gordon, a longtime advertising industry executive, started the 3% Conference because only 3% of creative directors in the advertising industry are women. For years this bothered Gordon while she waited for someone to come along and effect change. Finally, Gordon realized she was that someone.
"Advertising has not evolved in terms of women in top leadership. And nobody seemed to be addressing that," says Gordon, during an interview from San Francisco as she prepared for the start of her second conference. "I also felt female consumers are not being really well marketed to as a result and that the consumer marketplace needed more intelligent advertising."