WOSB certification is one of the ways to support women on their way to the top. TRUiC is one of the companies providing information on how women can make it happen.Below are examples of women founders of some of the finest businesses worldwide.
Spanx – Sara Blakely, USA
Spanx was founded by Sara Blakely, a former fax machine saleswoman that turned a moment of frustration, when she didn’t have anything to wear under a white pair of pants, into an idea to build a shaping undergarment that was different from anything out there on the market.
The now billion-dollar business was self-funded and began with only $5,000 that Blakely had saved from selling fax machines door-to-door. She then went on to write her own patent and incessantly searched for a buyer for her product, finally winning Neiman Marcus over by literally showing off the pair of Spanx that she was wearing to the company’s buyer. Her company has since grown exponentially expanding her brand with a focus on everyday underwear as well as the initial patent that helped make her who she is today.
She believes in “hiring your weakness” and allocating the tasks that you don’t enjoy and that you are not good at to people who can do them better than you basically. Her goal is to use her success to help other women fulfill their full potential and see women treated equally in business.
Huffington Post – Arianna Huffington, USA
Huffington Post was co-founded by Arianna Huffington in 2005 and is one of the most successful online news platforms worldwide and a top 300 website. She started out as a journalist and decided to create an online blog as she believed that the conversation was shifting to online news platforms. When launching the Huffington Post website, she wanted it to be accessible to everyone from paid staff writers and reporters to students or people from all walks of life that had something interesting to say. Her goal was to elevate blogging, launching from day one with posts by celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, John Cusack and Walter Cronkite.
One of the most important things she learned is if you want to be successful you need to delegate by hiring great people and stop micromanaging. Entrepreneurs sometimes want to control everything and learning to let go is imperative for your company to evolve and grow.
Freelance Programmers – Dame Stephanie Shirley, UK
Freelance Programmers was founded by Stephanie Shirley in 1962 and started out from her dining room table with today’s equivalent of merely £ 100 – financed by her own efforts and a second mortgage on her home. Freelance Programmers was a pioneer company – one of the first high tech software companies in the UK created by a woman that employed women, giving them the opportunity to work from home in software programming. She also implemented co-ownership of the company –selling a quarter of the company to her employees.
She changed her name from Stephanie to “Steve” in order to survive in a male dominated era and sector.
Her company of at home part-time working women managed to secure the programming of the black box flight recorder of the supersonic Concorde.
By 1975 the company had over 300 programmers, 297 of which were women. Eventually the company went on to employ 8,500 people. At some point the company was valued at 3 billion dollars and 70 of the staff members were millionaires. In 2001, the company was renamed to Xansa and then in 2007 was delisted from the London stock exchange and became a private subsidiary of Steria Group.
HTC – Cher Wang, Taiwan
Cher Wang is the co-founder of HTC which was founded in 1997. HTC started out designing and manufacturing laptops but then soon switched over to smartphones. In 2020, the company is now focused on virtual reality, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain technology that can be combined and implemented in various innovations that strive to have a positive impact on society.
As a mother herself she believes that a work-life balance is crucial and companies need to cater to the needs of working mothers even more, creating an environment that promotes inclusivity and empowers women in tech companies. She also encourages women to study predominantly male subjects such as engineering and mathematics and not to feel intimidated of pursuing careers in tech.
Broadband TV – Shahrzad Rafati, Canada
Broadband TV is a digital media and technology company founded in 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia by Shahrzad Rafati. The company works with other companies helping them claim and monetize on content that is uploaded by their fans. BBTV also helps individual content creators monetize on their content and help them become more successful online. They work with all video platforms such as youtube and snapchat, building scalable solutions. They are the 2nd largest video property in the world after Google. Some of their very well-known clients are Sony pictures, Freemantle Media and the NBA.
Sharzad Rafati is a female entrepreneur in a male dominated sector and has made it her sole goal to lead a company that has a zero gender pay gap, 43% of employees are female and 46% of managers are also female. Proving that you can achieve gender parity in a tech company and make it one of your strengths.
Feeling inspired? Why not start your own women-owned business?
The rate of women-owned businesses is steadily growing each year, 35.8% of all US companies are owned by women according to the U.S census bureau survey of business owner data. Many women-owned business do face quite a few hurdles and one of them is that they don’t have the same access to financing and venture capital. They basically cannot get men to invest in their businesses. Although this might be disheartening it is by no means a valid reason to quit. TRUiC can help you on your journey to starting your own women-owned business. Their state specific guides on how to get a women owned business certification are worth looking at along with the benefits of becoming a certified woman-owned business.