I was raised by a single mom whose only post-divorce career path was cleaning houses, even though her prior education and experience surpassed this position. She then worked her way up to become a janitor at my elementary school and eventually was promoted to the school secretary. She ultimately saved enough money to become certified as a hospice caretaker. Her earning capacity and options were constrained by her obligation to her home, but she forged on to support her three children to her best ability.
In my professional life, I have worked with countless female attorneys that have seen their successful trajectory level off prematurely. To obtain leadership positions, senior-level titles, and career advancement opportunities in the legal industry, most everything hinges upon their book of business. The more money they generate is directly tied to their ability to architect their career mobility inside or outside their current firm. Realistically, there are so many factors that inhibit female lawyers before reaching even that level of success.
I share these two stories to illustrate where I believe my entrepreneurial spirit is rooted. It’s an understanding of how economic empowerment works at all levels for women. As the latest woman to step into entrepreneurship, I am driven by these guiding principles. I strive to create limitless options for myself in this world, and I aim to do everything in my power to enable other women to have as many options as they desire professionally.
Without a doubt, 2020 was an unforgiving year. COVID negatively affected women-owned businesses and female employees far more than their male counterparts through closures, flat revenues, staff reductions, and income loss. Women have been laid off and furloughed at greater rates than men and are “leaving the workforces at staggering rates.” Women are bearing the bulk of the adverse effects of COVID, both directly and indirectly.
However, in contrast, the economic disruption caused by COVID appears to be a spark for entrepreneurism. Early trend reports forecast more women startups than seen in previous years. Women are reorienting their relationship with “work,” and the outcome will be an increase in female entrepreneurs, freelance, and new category leaders. These new companies will apply the reflections, pain points, and inspirations gained from COVID-era global experience. The new initiative and direction will be purpose-led and have significant plans to scale.
Today’s startups will be the giants of the future. Growth is on the horizon, and my job is to prepare for what is next – this is the Prequal.
Here are a few articles and reports that tell our story:
- Special Report on Women-Owned Small Businesses During COVID-19 | U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Coronavirus’ Business Impact: Evolving perspective | McKinsey
- Report From Katie Porter Shows 1 In 5 Women Have Left Workforce Since Pandemic | HuffPost
- Nearly 2.2 Million Women Left the Workforce Between February and October (cnbc.com)
Here are a few articles that discuss our future: