Empowered Women, Empower Women: The Importance of Supporting Women-Owned Businesses

Cedar Rapids Women Lawyer

Forbes just published a great article detailing how women who support other women professionally are more successful themselves. The article focuses on research from the Harvard Business Review that shows that women in particular benefit from having relationships with women peers. The article was great, but this “news” is not at all surprising to me or my women colleagues and friends who know that their tribe has been a big reason for their success.

When I was growing up, girls were often taught to compete with one another; when I started practicing law, that message was reinforced by the idea that there was only room for a few women at the top. Because of this, women professionals felt like they had to compete to get the one seat at the table, the one partnership, the one spot on the Court reserved for women. But that idea was a lie because THERE IS ROOM AT THE TOP FOR ALL WOMEN! This brings me to one of my favorite Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG for the hipsters) quotes. When asked when she believed the Supreme Court would have enough women, she responded with “When there are 9!”

I love celebrating the success of other women. I love helping other women work through professional issues, and I seek out other women when I need help and support. Earlier this year I tried a case against a woman lawyer. When my client and I came out on top, she called to congratulate me, and I had the chance to compliment her trial advocacy skills. Last month when settling a tough case, the woman defense lawyer and I were able to have meaningful, honest conversations about the case that led to its resolution. After it was concluded, I made sure to tell her what I believed she did well in handling the case. Developing these relationships has made me much more successful, better able to represent my clients and . . . happier.

One big way that women can support other women is by supporting women-owned businesses. As of 2018, there are 12.3 women-owned businesses in the U.S. that employ 9.2 million people and generate $1.8 trillion in annual revenue. I had tremendous support from other women when I opened my firm and it meant the world to me. Another way to connect with local women professionals and women-owned business is the Professional Women’s Network. Check out their website here.

One way that I am hoping to pass on the support that has been given to me is to feature local women-owned businesses on our social media. We are calling it “Women Wednesday” and will feature local women-owned businesses to help spread the word. Check it out starting next Wednesday.