While progress has certainly been made by women in the business world, some statistics are still truly astounding! Audrey Gelman, who was the first visibly pregnant CEO to be featured on the cover of a major business magazine, has shared some of her thoughts on the subject. Despite the growth of her company, due in large part to her guiding hand, and even positive press coverage, she has faced a number of challenges.
She explained that women entrepreneurs typically receive less than 3 percent of venture capital funds that are available. She also noted that this percentage is even lower for women of color. Of course, statistics don’t always reveal the true story of any situation, but those numbers are particularly telling.
Another issue Audrey Gelman noted was the spotlight put on the personal lives of women leaders. Just think about a successful male CEO for a moment. What’s he known for? Likely, the business he is spearheading. What do you know about his personal, or family life? Perhaps not much. That’s not the case for women CEOs. Not only is focus put on her activity as a business leader, but also her personal and family life. Particular emphasis is often put on mothers, and she is expected to manage all these elements of her life without complaint or issue. Any seeming crack, any perceived imbalance is seen as failure. That’s a heavy load to carry.
Audrey Gelman is bringing these issues to light because ultimately, understanding challenges and addressing them is the key to empowering women in business. There is still a long way to go, but we have started to see positive results, and the determination of leaders like Audrey Gelman is helping to promote real change.