Happy International Women’s Day! We couldn't think of a better occasion to share that Nook's founders are part of the Female Founder Collective. Started by Rebecca Minkoff, the Female Founder Collective's mission is to "enable and empower female owned and led businesses to positively impact our communities". Did you know that only 17% of start-ups have a female founder? We have some work to do.
Read about Yelp's newly announced partnership with FFC.
We celebrate today with some reflections on why we are here, and what it means to be female founders, creating a #BalanceforBetter .
I never gave the issue of gender equality much energy until I became an entrepreneur. I always knew my path would lead to starting a company. What I did not expect were the qualifiers that would be added to the title of “entrepreneur” and the disparaging questions that male colleagues ask of me simply because I hold the title of “mom” as well. I smile politely when the term “mompreneur” is thrown at me, silently questioning why the term “dadpreneur” doesn’t exist. When asked if this is a “fun project” that I “picked up” to “keep busy while the kids are at school”, I silently shake my head no. The louder response, I believe, will come from my work. The louder response will come from this community of strong women that I (hope to) inspire with this brand. The louder response will come from my daughters who already believe that all moms are bosses. The louder response will come from my son. In the future, when he meets a female entrepreneur, he’ll think of me and immediately know how strong she is. That she is a contender. No qualifiers.
I worked briefly in corporate law in NYC and saw all the ingrained norms and standards that create barriers and hardships for women. I knew it wasn't for me for a number of reasons. And frankly, entrepreneurship isn't an "easy" alternative -- it requires a lot of hours, it demands a lot of heart, and it pushes the boundaries of my comfort zone everyday. But I'm grateful that it is on my own terms, and in partnership with another fierce, talented woman who believes in the same principles. Starting a business isn't the only path to creating a #BalanceforBetter ... there are fierce women who continue to rise at older institutions like corporate law firms. But I feel empowered in this current role. I choose to work without pretending that I don’t have kids; I choose to parent without apologizing for my work. Achieving this wholeness feels like the ultimate success.