3 Simple Secrets To Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg & Spanx Founder Sarah Blakely’s Success

sarah-blakely-sheryl-sandberg-arianna-huffington

Women today are making professional strides at an unprecedented level. Women are starting businesses at 1.5 times the national average, a 20 percent increase over the last decade. Women are also pursuing higher education in record numbers; women now hold more bachelors and graduate degrees than men.

There is still a disparity in earnings and leadership titles across genders, but there are more outspoken advocates of professional women than ever before. Notable leaders like Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Rachel Sklar, and Sarah Blakely help fuel this conversation in the media and champion for the advancement of women everywhere. Some common themes in the conversation:

  • Confidence: Media pioneer Arianna Huffington cites lack of confidence as a killer to success for women.  In order to advance their careers, women need to be comfortable seeing themselves as qualified leaders and risk takers.

Fact: 40 percent of large companies have no women on their boards and only 5 percent of startups are owned by women.

  • Inclusivity: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and “Change the Ratio” blogger Rachel Sklar are vocal about female inclusivity and encourage women to support each another at all levels.  When organizations actively consider women as key stakeholders, the results often prove to be beneficial for all.

Fact: Companies with more equalized gender distribution have 30 percent better IPOs.

  • Knowledge:  For innovators like Spanx founder Sara Blakeley, it’s not just about what you know, but what you don’t know that can set you apart. Women need to understand their strengths and how to leverage what they don’t know as their greatest assets.

Fact: Women pursuing MBAs are at an all-time high. Women now make up one-third of all MBA candidates. There are also a wide variety of MBA scholarships just for women.

But what about the generation of millennial women who want to start a business who may not want to go down the path of traditional education? The good news is reaching the status of Blakely, Sandberg, Huffington and co. is more possible than ever.

Thanks to the thriving culture of female entrepreneurs who are forging new paths and creating unique opportunities based not only on talent or education, but also on innovation, the field is ripe with role models for whatever path you choose.

A new documentary being released in the fall of 2015 called ‘Dream, Girl’ from New York-based filmmaker Erin Bagwell showcases a group of badass women who have created their own successful businesses in a range of different industries.

In the trailer they share the statistic that women are starting 1200 businesses a day. For some, starting a business sounds like the most daunting and foreign thing to do. But entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes and come from a range of different backgrounds. Often it can help seeing the path that other successful women having taken and hearing how they overcame their barriers.

So why do we care about sharing this with you? Because the world needs female leaders and entrepreneurs, it needs you! It’s not too late to dream big and to start making that vision a reality.

If you’re interested in exploring the state of women at work, take a close look at this infographic that is full of statistics about this topic.

Women-at-Work-Infographic-MBA-at-UNC

Republished with permission from MBA@UNC.

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