Female Representation Matters: Why I'm Proud to Call Myself a Female Founder
I’ve been wanting to start a blog to chronicle my founders journey for several months now. Finally, I was able to carve out the time to set things up and as a founder who has learned a thing or two about SEO, I decided to do some keyword research around the topics I wanted to write about. Topics specifically around being a female founder and building a successful business.
To my surprise, pretty much every single keyword I searched for on being a female founder, a female entrepreneur, a woman in business, a woman in tech etc, turned up with pretty low search results. Like disappointingly low. So I got curious.
Why are all keyword searches for female founders and female entrepreneurs so low?
I know for a fact that women talk about business. I talk about it all time with other female founders like myself. My instagram feed is full is posts from other women in business. I’ve been to the entrepreneurship meetups and participated in the Facebook groups. I even listen to podcast on business by other female founders.
Plus, if you are reading this, you are probably also aware of all the discussions going on about the disappointing statistic that the percentage of venture capital funding that goes to female founders is ridiculously low (2% of almost 90 billion dollars!). This, despite the fact that the number of women entrepreneurs has grown over 114% in the last 2 decades. Everyone one is talking about it. So what’s going on?
We just aren’t calling ourselves female founders or female entrepreneurs
So I started researching (ahem googling) and I found this article. It talks about how as women, we are just not using the titles of female founder, female entrepreneur etc to describe ourselves. And this got me thinking.
When I first started my current business, Clever Girl Finance, I described myself as self-employed. As matter of fact, when it came time to update the LinkedIn profile I set up for myself as a business owner, I was not entirely comfortable using the words CEO or founder. Looking back, I think it was part imposter syndrome and part feeling like those titles were only reserved for large super successful businesses.
Then I talked to another friend, who is also a business owner and she told me that on her LinkedIn profile, she also described herself as self employed. Dare I say, a lot more women might be doing this too?
Here’s why I’m proud to call myself a (black) female founder
As it’s been a few years since I started my own business, I’ve gained confidence in my title as a CEO and female founder for a number of reasons. Including the fact that I’m building a business of value that not only empowers other women but also positively impacts their lives.
In addition, my day to day role as a woman running a business and the responsibilities I have to keep this business running including being a leader to my team, setting the vision for my business and executing on growth strategies, is very much akin to any other CEO’s experience regardless of their gender and no matter how large and successful their business is.
And finally but also most importantly, representation in this space is key, especially to other aspiring female founders and young girls.
Female representation as founder and entrepreneur is so important.
Running a business, having a family and being a woman is not abnormal. We can do all of that and still be wildly successful. So many of us are already doing it anyway.
I have a daughter and I want her to know there’s nothing she can’t do.
I have young nieces and I want them to feel confident to step into entrepreneurship.
My business is tied to a community of incredible women, many of whom are aspiring entrepreneurs and I want them to know they are not alone.
So that’s why I’m proud to be a female founder and if you are in business, you should be too. Save the self-employed label for your government forms and wear your founder title loud and proud ladies.