Women, the way that we are going to have more power is through financial strength. I totally agree that there needs to be equality in the workforce and we need to continue to fight for that. But, we need to find alternative ways to earn significant incomes that are outside of our current corporate system.
Frankly I find companies branded as “relaunching” women into the workforce to be condescending, and I don’t truly believe that startup pitch competitions for women are actually getting real money to female founders. I have friends who own and run both of these types of organizations, and I love them dearly. I believe that they have every good intention, and I hope that they can prove me wrong by commenting and telling me what a jerk I am for writing this. Until then, read on…
On a related note, I used to be part of the supplier diversity world. “Supplier Diversity” is basically big giant public relations campaign so that Fortune companies can say that they support minority-owned businesses. But, all that organizations such as WBENC do, in my opinion, is profit from the small businesses who pay to get certified for the promise of getting in front of diversity procurement managers. Managers, who it turns out don’t really have any authority to chose vendors in the first place.
It’s the same with this “relaunch” thing. If you are in this world, and you have case studies of women who have been through your programs, or courses, or e-courses; or if you are a women founder who has secured significant “man” sized funding through a women-focused VC; please comment and prove me wrong. Otherwise, women of a certain age who are in need of making money, need to find alternative ways to do so. It won’t be by starting out in an entry-level job to prove yourself all over again, and it won’t be by becoming a Lulu Lemon Educator at the mall.
What I have learned during the last 5 years of on-the-street research, is that scrappy women are reinventing what it means to work. There are tons of women out there doing it: women who you would not expect; women who started something for themselves instead of putting together a resume and applying for jobs that they do not want to do; women wearing pajamas.
During my last 8 years of being a divorcee, I have spent countless evenings over wine participating in conversations about ex-husbands and what they do or do not pay to support their children and their ex-wives. I have also been on the end of single men complaining about women who don’t work. The reality is, most women haven’t learned the skills to do something outside of finding a job, and most would not be hired should they actually go and try to do so.
While privileged white women are