Woman, and especially enterprising women, are the backbone and spine of society. Without enterprising women; society could not stand, it would collapse. The vast majority of households, communities, organizations and businesses are sustained by the labor of women. Too often, that labor goes unnoticed and uncompensated. The first example that comes to my mind, are the hours mothers devote to their children. Single mothers and stay-at-home moms both share tireless toil for their children that is not recognized as labor with a monetary value. The bulk of the burden of caretaking for the sick, disabled and infirm is carried by women. When that labor is compensated, and most of it is not, the pay is too low and the benefits too skimpy. Archeologists have observed that the success of the human race is directly linked to the presence of grandmothers. When grandmothers are present, infant mortality decreases, across the globe. The tender love and watchful eye of a grandmother are vital to a child’s ability to survive and thrive.
In the business world, there is no longer a dispute that women are underpaid for the same work that men perform. There is a pervasive culture of women being overlooked and counted out. Most employed women carry the additional weight of managing a household. Men often have a woman to take responsibility for their household chores and to raise their children. Thus, the playing field at work is not level. The man has one primary job, while the woman has two or three.
In the midst of all this work without pay, from the dawn of the ages, enterprising women have carried an extra load for the prosperity of their households. More than two thousand years ago, women supported Jesus from their private means. The trend continued. Women stepped up during World War II and took the place of men in the workforce. After that, women stayed employed. Just think of all the side jobs and side hustles that married women invented to supplement their household income. There are 23 million businesses in America today. Women own more than 12 million of them. Solo is the business form of choice for women. Today, when I read over any list of influential people: the Forbes 400 or Time 100, women make the grade and must be counted.
As I work on my ventures, which are tiny in the world of wealth, I know I am joined by millions of women figuring out how to improve their lot in life. I am not alone in thinking my small idea can become a dream, and then the reality of a business, with a plan. I am not alone in experiencing a venture that costs too much, takes too long, and yields so much less than I had hoped. The one thing I can count on, proven over many generations, is that enterprising women will not stop looking toward the horizon, trying again and creating something new.