BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Women Business Ownership Changing the Rules of the Game

Posted by ptanji on April 18, 2011

I just listened on National Public Radio to Donald Trump’s quasi announcement of his intention to run for president in 2012.  He says and I’m paraphrasing: “I know business people in New York.  They are ruthless, cutthroat, and I want them negotiating for this country.”  He says America is too soft when it comes to negotiating.

Oh dear lord, help me to love Donald Trump and all business people who run their companies this way.  If women want to change the way the business world works we have to start our own businesses.  Imagine our own workplaces where we recognize the needs of men, women and their children by embracing their whole selves at work – by recognizing that women breast feed and care for their children and sometimes the children just might have to come to work with us (cutthroat – I don’t think so).  The marketplace is not run by hearts — its run by heads like that of Donald Trump, who view employees as pawns in a chess game.   Manipulating employees every move — using a paycheck as a carrot — to ensure a winning strategy.  And, let there be no mistake.  Business is a game.    A game that women did not create and were not invited to when the wheels  of free market, trade, etc. were put into motion hundreds of years ago.

Its going to take guts to change the rules.  And, its going to require women (and men too) to do business together to change the rules. Trying to sell products to the status quo isn’t going to cut it. Asking the status quo to hire more women in leadership, to place them on boards isn’t going to cut it.  I just read the  The Women in Leadership, April 2011 report which notes:  “stalled progress and missed opportunities. Only eight of the Minnesota’s top 100 publicly held companies experienced a net gain in women corporate directions in 2010”.   Gee — I think we’ve heard that song before.  Time to change the tune.

Women have to take the lead of business owners like Tami Simon of Sounds True, Colorado, Ni Suphavong, of Jade Logistics, Minnesota, Kim Jordon, New Belgium Brewing Company, Colorado.  These women are game changers! At Simons place of business you will find infants, and dogs!  At Jade Logistics, you will see a business model where the community is very much a stakeholder in the success of the business.  At New Belgium Brewing Company you will find a culture that is passionate about the environment.  These women and their companies are not intimidated by the “‘cutthroat, ruthless” dealings of the Donald Trumps of the world.

In the 1980’s, we business women, donned our business suits and floppy bow ties.  Today, we wear flamboyant scarves, 5 inch heels, and low necklines.  But, its going to take more than a costume change to move women into the corporate suites.  Its’ going to take a movement of brave, beautiful, strong women ready to bring their hearts and sometimes even their children to work.  Let the new games begin!

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