According to one study from the Center for Women's Business Research, approximately 40 percent of private businesses in the U.S. are women-owned. And many of these women are thriving beyond their careers. They're having children, getting married, taking family vacations, and redefining the art of 'having it all.'
Any woman entrepreneur will tell you, however, that the journey to success is far from glamorous. According to Women 2.0, only 3 to 5 percent of women-led startups receive venture funding. Sometimes by choice and sometimes out of perceived necessity, women lag behind their equally talented male counterparts.
For men and women alike, the business world is tough to maneuver. What is the role of the female leader, and how can she reach her goals? What obstacles will she face? The following reads can help answer these questions.
Finding a Mentor How does a woman identify role models, and where should she find them? Why are mentors valuable, and who are they? Managers? Men? All of the above?
1. Q&A: What Should I Look for in a Mentor? According to YEC Women co-founder Natalie McNeil, compatibility, accountability, availability, honesty, passion, communication, and accountability are core values that the best mentors share.
2. To Close the Gender Gap, Focus on Assignments In the Harvard Business Review, Herminia Ibarra writes that mentoring programs and women's groups should be small parts of a bigger picture. Professional assignments are #1 for encouraging success.
3. How to Find a Business Mentor Inc. Magazine provides a breakdown of where emerging leaders can find mentors: professional networks, family friends, and even strangers.
4. Women and Leadership: How to Find a Mentor Demographer, author, and entrepreneur Maddy Dychtwald reminds her audiences that no leader is 'too busy' or 'too important' to be a mentor. Never feel intimidated.
5. Why Women Need Mentors at Work -- and How to Find One For women, having a mentor is a necessity rather than a luxury. According to Amanda M. Fairbanks, a good mentor is invaluable at any career stage.
Becoming a Mom Are baby/business trade-offs finally obsolete?
1. How Are You Going to Do It? Renee Warren, founder of startup consulting firm Onboardly, is building her new venture while six months pregnant. Both parents are entrepreneurs, so how is she going to do it? 'We'll figure it out,' she says confidently.
2. When Babies Become Taboo (Work/Life Balance) According to blogger Melissa Fudor, 'balance' is the keyword and stems from family support, spousal support, timing, and passion.
3. Raising Money While Pregnant and Launching My Startup -- With a Newborn Brayola CEO Orit Hashay reminds women that they 'don't need to choose between professional greatness and having a baby.' It's possible to have both. Read one woman's story about building a site, raising seed funding, and getting pregnant — all at the same time.
4. CEO and Pregnant: Piazza's Pooja Sankar and Yapp's Maria Seidman These two pregnant CEOs are setting strong examples for family, balance, and dedication at their startups.
5. Pregnancy Inspired Alt12 Apps BabyBump, Pink Pad Even the experience of pregnancy can inspire entrepreneurship, according to Alt12 Apps CEO Jennifer Wong.
Stay tuned for Part II of Roundup: 20 Reads for Women Entrepreneurs, which will be released next Monday, June 11th. You can look forward to more great articles on the topics of growing into a leader and defeating stereotypes.