At HerMoney, we love uplifting female entrepreneurs and helping listeners follow in their footsteps. The only problem is that there just aren’t enough of these women out there. When it comes to rising to the top in business — whether that means founding a successful company or breaking into the C-suite — there are still far too many barriers for women. Only 8% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and that number goes all the way down to 1% if you’re looking at women of color. Last year, just 2% of venture capital funding went to female founders. When women do get that funding, it’s less than half the amount that male founders raise, and they’re often grilled by investors about their skills in a way that men just don’t have to worry about.
But it’s not only women who suffer when we face these barriers. It’s men. It’s corporations. It’s the economy. When women aren’t given a chance, the world loses out on new ideas, better products, and bigger profits.
Our guest for this episode saw this over and over again in her career as a reporter, and she wanted to set the record straight on women in business. Julia Boorstin is the Senior Media and Tech Correspondent for CNBC and a regular host of the network’s TechCheck program. She’s also the creator of the CNBC Disruptor 50, an annual list that highlights private companies transforming the economy, and she helped launch the network’s Closing the Gap initiative, which covers people and companies who are working to close gender and diversity gaps.
Over the last few years, Julia has been on a mission to shine a light on women business leaders. After looking at the data and interviewing more than 60 female executives, she found that, despite all the challenges women face, we make great managers, decision-makers, and innovators. Julia put everything she learned into her latest book, “When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn from Them.”
We dig deep into all the research that highlights women’s leadership strengths — like our tendency to express greater empathy, vulnerability, and gratitude. Julia found that these three skills were crucial for keeping businesses afloat during the pandemic.
“These [qualities] may seem like things that have nothing to do with leadership, nothing to do with power in business,” she says. “But in fact, I believe they are absolutely essential to connect with your customers, to connect with your employees, and to motivate people in these crazy times.”
We also talk about why female business leaders are good at navigating stressful situations, building collaborative environments, and instilling their companies with a strong sense of purpose. And Julia argues that the obstacles women have to overcome cause their companies to become more flexible, more creative, and more resilient.
Julia shares some tips for building that resiliency so you can also rise above any obstacle in your career or personal life. She also talks about the discrimination she’s faced in her own career as a reporter, and how learning about gender bias has helped her stand her ground.
In Mailbag, we hear from one listener who’s had difficulties purchasing I-bonds. Another listener wants to know how individuals can help decrease systemic wealth inequality. And in Thrive, everything you need to know about writing cover letters.
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