Hudson Valley Magazine Names Its Top 10 Women in Business in 2013 (Editor’s Letter)
A word from Hudson Valley Editor in Chief, Olivia J. Abel
Stacie Laskin, one of our 2013 Women in Business
Photograph by Michael Polito
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women now make up nearly 47 percent of the national workforce (find more statistics here). Of course, this is nothing new; we all know that women have been bringing home the bacon for decades now. Still, in recent years the number of working women — as well as women starting their own businesses — has grown dramatically.
That’s why we are thrilled to present our second annual Women in Business cover story. Here, we introduce you to 10 one-of-a-kind women, from a bank CEO to the self-professed Queen of Steel (above). We hope that their amazing success stories will inspire and educate you.
But what special challenges do women entrepreneurs face? To answer this, we checked in with Katie Hellmuth Martin of Beacon, the co-founder of Tin Shingle, an online community that empowers and educates entrepreneurs and small business owners. Here’s what she told us.
Perfection. Women are natural organizers and can multitask very well. These are ingredients necessary for success. However, women who can quickly foresee the success of a business venture can easily be let down or disappointed in themselves if things don’t go exactly as planned. It’s important for women to forgive themselves when they are working their hardest and sacrificing personal time for the pursuit of their business.
Guilt. Women are consumed by guilt, and it’s a really hard habit to break. There is no room for guilt in business relationships. Guilt about having a negative conversation with someone when a situation needs improvement can often lead to no conversation at all, and thus no improvement in the situation.
Family. Women are nurturers, and in business this can work very well: They listen to their business needs, and shift accordingly. But the pull of family responsibilities is strong. Women often take care of household tasks — cooking, cleaning, watching the kids — which is time-consuming and thus leads to time away from growing their business. On the upside, however, unplugging in this digital day and age has become increasingly difficult, so a forced unplugging when spending time on family or household tasks can lead to a recharged brain and fresh ideas.
Networking. It can be difficult to find a networking group that gets to the core of your business needs. But once you find one, you'll realize that women are great at sharing and like to help each other.
Being “Worth It.” Entrepreneurial women have created something from scratch. There is no boss telling them to stay after 5 p.m. or work during a family vacation. Entrepreneurs decide to work extra hours, to not take personal calls during the day, and sometimes to say no to personal invitations, in order to work on their business. Women sacrifice for others, but rarely for themselves. And as a business owner, a woman must believe that she and her business are “worth it” in order to do what needs to be done.
While Katie’s tips and thoughts are certainly worth pondering, don’t forget to take some time out to enjoy the holiday season. If you’ve been working so hard that you don’t know what’s going on, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. From holiday houses to caroling concerts, your seasonal go-to guide starts here.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief