Women as Entrepreneurs | National Entrepreneur Day


Oprah. Reese. Jessica Simpson. Beyonce. Recognize these names? Beyond a show, a movie or a song, they are all HIGHLY successful FEMALE entrepreneurs.  Let’s go slightly less ‘Celebrity’ shall we? How about: Spanx, Huffington Post, Mrs. Fields Cookies, PepsiCo and YouTube. All HUGE brands and companies that are either founded or run by women!

This article is being written by a female entrepreneur, writing for a site founded by a female entrepreneur, and staffed/supported by other female entrepreneurs.  We are everywhere! And most of us do it while holding down a household and family. Although I’m sure my household looks a tad different than Reece or Beyonce’s.

Now when I first went to write up something about Women Entrepreneurs, in regards to National Entrepreneur day and month, I wanted to talk about some local women run businesses. Then I found myself not wanting to leave out or miss someone. Plus: there are a TON!

Then I found my direction. 

While watching a recent binge worthy show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I was caught off guard with how “crazy” the concept of a married woman having a job was.  Or the idea of a woman holding a job that a man traditionally held; even something simple like an elevator operator. This hit decently close to home, as I am an entrepreneur working in a field that is still primarily filled with male roles.

Now if you are not familiar with the show, it is set in the late 50’s, early 60’s, time period. When I first started watching, I fell in love with the idea of the “simpler life” and the dresses they rocked.  But I was quickly taken back as the realization of the role of females presented itself throughout the episodes.

The main character’s family is mortified when she finds herself divorced and wanting to get a job. They feel a husband, or her family, should provide for her. A woman working: it was embarrassing to them.

And we aren’t talking Titanic days. This was during the time our Grandparents were starting to enter the workforce.  Which means, not too long ago!  It was a man’s role to provide, and at most a woman held a side job such as clerical, cleaning, sewing, or telephone operators. Nothing of significant “importance.”

So as we get into the celebration of National Entrepreneur Day, I specifically want to highlight Women entrepreneurs.  Because when it comes to women in leadership or entrepreneurial roles, we have a pretty short timeline in relation to men.

Stats and historical events

  • In the early 20th century, only 20 percent of women were gainfully employed outside of the home, and only 5 percent of married women.
  • By 1970 that rose to 40 percent of married and 50 percent of unmarried worked outside the home, but they were still considered secondary carriers to their husband counterparts.
  • 1974 women gained the right to apply for credit without a male co-signer (only 46 years ago)
  • 1978 the Pregnancy Discrimination act helped women in the workplace (only 42 years ago)
  • 1990’s the prime working age of 25-54 years old took up 74 percent total to the males 93 percent

It is important to note that there is also still an average of 10 percent wage discrepancy between males and females with equal positions. But one important thing to note is women tend to not hold some of the highest level positions in their fields for one main reason: those positions likely hold longer hours and limited time off. With women still bearing the bulk of child rearing, they tend to not be offered, or turn down those warranted positions.

So during this observance of Entrepreneurs, specifically Females, let’s take a moment to pat them on the back for all their hard work.  Better yet, when searching for the perfect gift, or great service: do a quick search for not only local, but a female owned business. Let’s help raise them up and support them in taking that leap and working for something of their own. For taking ownership in something that 2 generations ago seemed “silly” and unheard of.

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Jennifer Rhoades
Jen Rhoades is a 33 year old Sylvania resident and has worked in Fitness and Nutrition since 2008. Through her own experiences with disordered eating, extreme dieting for Figure Competitions, and now needing to balance life as a busy gym owner and mother, she has become driven to demonstrate the importance of training smart and eating to fit your lifestyle and goals. There is no “one size fits all”. After the birth of her 2 daughters, Madison and Mia, she saw the need for more specialized attention to moms pre/postnatal in terms of support both in the gym and outside of the gym. Jen holds a Certification in Personal Training, Nutrition and Habit Coaching, is a Certified Pre/Postnatal Coach as well as a Post Natal Training Specialist. Fun Fact: Jen went to College for Sign Language Interpretation, as she comes from a Deaf family. You can follow her on social media at @jlift0923.


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