Amidst a global pandemic and growing research which suggests women are severely affected by COVID-19, it's an opportunity to make big strides in our effort to address larger societal issues such as equality and justice, reproductive rights, poverty and domestic issues like financial abuse, as well as income security and retirement. It is estimated that 46% of women are "not too confident" or "not at all confident" about their ability to live comfortably after retirement, compared to only 31% of men who feel that way.
Nearly a decade ago when I graduated and was about to foray into the professional world, I was very clear on the end goal: social impact. Having grown up around the globe and being exposed to the acute circumstances of the developing world, I was always aware of "the bottom billion."
It was blood, sweat, tears and plenty of "cheekiness," as she says, that propelled Dermalogica founder, Jane Wurwand, to create a multi-million dollar skincare business available in more than 100 countries around the world.
They say when one door closes another one opens, and for me the reality of that is more than just a catchy phrase. When I moved to London I had nothing with me but my ambition for an exciting career and the desire to live out the dream of 19-year-old me, who hoped one day to become an international, successful businesswoman.
New parents re-entering the workforce are often juggling the tangible realities of daycare logistics, sleep deprivation, and a cascade of overwhelming work. No matter how parents build their family, they often struggle with the guilt of being split between home and work and not feeling exceptionally successful in either place.
I feel I'm at my most productive when I am free to travel, learn, and create without the constraints of geography, an office, or a time card. So, when I founded Final Straw just over two years ago, I sought to develop a company culture that inspired people to approach everyday problems with ingenuity, and was determined to create a team that was 100% remote. Initially, there were people who pointed out all of the reasons that a company operating remotely couldn't be successful; however, I knew that I could make the model work.
In recent weeks we have been seeing a string of articles praising the exemplary ways that women political leaders of various nations throughout the world have been handling the COVID-19 crisis. Some of these articles suggest, overtly or tacitly, that women are simply better leaders, period.
Dr. Roshawnna Novellus is the Founder and CEO of EnrichHER, a financial platform that connects female entrepreneurs with lenders who want to earn a eturn on their investment while fueling the growth of women-led businesses. Dr. Novellus is a gender equality advocate who believes in economic empowerment and inclusive economic growth. Dr. Novellus holds a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering, with a Minor in Finance, a Masters of Science in Information Technology emphasizing Information System Engineering, a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management Economics, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering – achieving Summa Cum Laude in each. Roshawnna served on the Commission on Women for the City of Atlanta and was honored as one of the Women Who Means Business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, one of the 40 Under 40 by Georgia Trend, a Halcyon Fellow for Social Impact, one of the Top 25 Disruptors and Innovators in Tech, one of the 27 Black Founders and Investors to watch in 2019 by PItchBook, and LinkedIn Top Voice in Technology.
Cloe Luv is a born and bred Brooklyn, New York entrepreneur, philanthropist and renaissance woman. Luv's Brooklyn co-working space, Cloe's Corner, offers a professional space where female entrepreneurs can thrive through community and sharing entrepreneurial skills. Her 501c3 non-profit organization, Women With Voices, works to empower women through teaching business and financial skills and creating networking opportunities. Cloe's New York City music production company, Brook Brovaz, scores music soundtracks for thousands of television and film projects. The Brook Brovaz debut album, A Brooklyn Summer, is out now.