Let’s talk. In the women’s issue of Utah Valley BusinessQ, the ladies weigh in on what it’s like to be a woman in business in 2016. Here are 10 reasons it’s never been better to be a working woman.
1. Open table.
“I love that the business world is recognizing that having women at the table — on the executive team and at the top — drives revenue and profit,” says Cydni Tetro, founder of 3DPlusMe in Pleasant Grove. “The culture is starting to include and value multiple perspectives. Women have more opportunities than ever to start companies, raise capital, become CEOs and change the world.”
2. Strength in numbers.
“There are more women-owned businesses than ever before,” says Kim Flynn, founder of Entrepreneur Simplified in Orem. “There are now 45 percent more women-owned firms in the nation than there were in 2007. But starting a business is just part of the picture. To really see what women are doing, you have to look at revenues the businesses generate, as well as how many people are employed by them — something called ‘economic clout.’ A piece of good news for Utah is that for women-owned businesses, we are No. 9 in growth of economic clout. We are seeing an upward trend of women-owned businesses in Utah that are increasing revenues and increasing the amount of employees.”
3. Attitude is altitude.
“I grew up in Provo, and I’ve seen the culture change,” says Amy Osmond Cook, founder of Osmond Marketing in Provo. “What used to be regarded with suspicion, fear and disgust is now admired and appreciated by many.”
4. Influential voices.
“I have been at Nu Skin for 30 years. When I first arrived as a new college graduate, apart from Nu Skin’s female founder, Sandie Tillotson, I was the only female director,” says Jodi Durrant, VP of events for Nu Skin. “I was often the only female voice in meetings and learned quickly how influential my voice can be during a conversation or discussion. Today, being a woman in business is amazing. There are more strong, independent, creative voices that are being heard on all levels of an organization. I love working alongside these beautiful women. They inspire me to look at things in new ways.”
5. Shifting expectations.
“The heightened expectations of mothers are shifting,” says Chari Pack, owner of Persnickety Prints in Orem. “Our culture tends to place expectations on women in the home as the only acceptable way. Is it not OK for a woman to have an identity and passions outside of child rearing? Balance in all things is healthy.”
Adds Amy Osmond Cook: “There are still those who fear that the children of women who work will become degenerates, dropouts or druggies — but that sentiment is decreasing.”
“What used to be regarded with suspicion, fear and disgust is now admired and appreciated by many.” — Amy Osmond Cook, Osmond Marketing
6. Support system.
“Men and women have equally been rooting for me to succeed,” says Megan Perry, owner of TrailTalk in Provo. “There is also a special camaraderie amongst women, in which I’ve observed extra efforts to try to propel each other.”
7. Taking control.
“Each situation in the workplace is different,” Pack says. “There will always be obstacles for both men and women. For me, I have boundaries and I know what I bring to the table. If I allow anything less, it’s on me.”
Adds Mary Crafts-Homer, founder of Culinary Crafts: “The place where things improve is within ourselves. Some people — both men and women — are not comfortable with a dynamic woman. I can’t change someone, but I can change with whom I choose to surround myself. We have to know when to stand up, when to step forward, and when to move on.”
8. Landing opportunities.
“I’m fortunate to be part of an organization that respects the contributions of all of its employees, male and female,” says Kimberly Page, COO of Keystone Aviation. “As a result, I’ve been able to do things I never anticipated, such as helping to design the TAC Air terminal at Provo Municipal Airport. That facility now serves over 8,400 people each month. The opportunity to have a positive impact on an airport and, subsequently, a community is not something afforded to every person, let alone every woman.”
9. Getting with the program.
“There are a lot of great resources available to women in business, especially in Utah County,” says Allison Lew, business development coordinator in the Provo Mayor’s office of economic development. “In 2016, Mayor Curtis officially placed a priority to get more women in leadership roles across the board.” (Check out the Utah Valley Chamber’s Women’s Business Network, the Braid Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs, and the Women Tech Council.)
10. Rock on.
“I feel like a rock star!” Crafts-Homer says. “There has never before been so much focus on women’s success and leadership. I feel I stand for all those women in decades past who would have loved to develop their skills and spread their wings. I pave the way for those yet to come who will find the world a more welcoming place because I was here.”