Women Leading Business
March 2018 marked a watershed moment for women in the workplace. So many social movements converged to support and encourage women professionally and personally from supporting those in the #MeToo movement and honoring #TimesUp, to celebrating International Women’s Day and even connecting with our local women’s entrepreneur community. At Ballyhoo we are proud to take part in these movements and to be a creative outlet for our team members to use their voice.
When we founded the company we were looking to do things differently than a typical visual communications firm. We knew as women we brought a unique perspective to our approach with our clients, our projects and our workplace.
There is exciting growth momentum for female entrepreneurs:
- Between 2002 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms increased at a rate 2.5 times the national average (52% vs. 20%)(1);
- Employment in women-owned firms grew at an impressive rate: 4.5 times that of all firms (18% vs. just 4%)(1);
- Women are starting more than 1,140 businesses a day.(1)
On a local level, in 2015, Missouri was in the top five states for women-owned businesses – 23.9% – or 24,437 firms.(1) We’re proud Ballyhoo has helped to grow that number.
Often women become entrepreneurs due to necessity, starting a business to meet basic and immediate economic needs for survival. However, many female entrepreneurs are starting their businesses for reasons beyond basic necessity. Available employment options don’t give them the work-life balance that meets their needs. Overcoming societal deterrents specific to women can be critical motivators for them to start their businesses. These deterrents can include:
- child care challenges,
- pay inequities,
- restrictive workplace policies around maternal leave or sick leave situations,
- and limitations to desired financial outcomes.
While there has been legislation at the state level to address family and medical leave, there are no nationwide policies in place. It is typically dependent upon the employer to create those policies that align with their values and mission, and account for staff recruitment and retention.
These challenges were whole reason we started Ballyhoo. We wanted to create an agency where you can have it all. Family first is our model. We’ve created a workplace that honors the men and women that have joined us, as well as their personal and professional goals in balance.
Countless studies have shown enthusiastic employees are more engaged and make more meaningful contributions to their employer’s success. It is in a company’s best interest to create a workplace that paves the way for the success of their team. We feel our experience as professionals, as parents and as community members helps us create a balance at work that keeps our team happy and thus creates success for our clients.
We also know there are challenges facing the next generation of women entrepreneurs and we are committed to engaging with our community to help address the issues and create solutions that lead to the success of all women.
As of 2012, there were 1.3 million millennial women entrepreneurs and in 2015, there were 83.1 million millennials in the United States. By 2025, millennials will comprise 75% of the American workforce; many will become business owners who contribute to innovation, job creation, and economic growth.
It is our duty as women entrepreneurs to help them along: push for policy and legislation change governing business and lending, fight for pay equity, mentor the next generation to share your wisdom and perspectives, offer help and assistance by participating on a board of directors. These are just some of the ways that we can continue to guide the next generation of women entrepreneurs and push for change in our society.
As we have grown our business we have faced the same challenges that most female-owned companies do as they work to start-up and grow. We’re excited to see the changes and possibilities that are on the horizon due to these social movements.
(1) Accelerating the Future of Women Entrepreneurs: The National Women’s Business Council 2017 Annual Report