Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire
Past Statewide President and Current Board Member, National Association of Women Business Owners-California (NAWBO-CA)

There’s a rising tide of women today who seek to achieve their full potential.  Today’s women graduates of business schools, colleges and universities believe that empowering women as a global population, one tribe, actually works. Women today see the benefits of treating each other as colleagues, not competitors. It is women who provide other women with tools, mentoring and networking needed to succeed.  Through support networks and micro-loans, it is women who are helping women produce income in other societies.

By the numbers

Even though women college graduates in the U.S. equal or outnumber male graduates, fewer women make it to upper management, and many choose to leave corporations. On this 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s book, “The Feminine Mystique,” it’s shocking to see there are still only 21 women Chief Executive Officers among the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. Still only 16.6 percent of corporate board seats of the F500 are held by women (Catalyst, 2012).  The number of  women in C-suite positions slightly lower.  But women corporate directors today are reaching back to bring other women into the board rooms.

It is women who provide other women with tools, mentoring and networking needed to succeed.

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) reports about 8 million women own companies, 1.3 million of women who own business are in California.  They provide jobs for employees and for themselves, helping to rebuild the economy.  NAWBO is the platform where women entrepreneurs help others grow their companies.  

Thanks to women, other women have motivation and access to resources.  Companies have created women’s affinity groups to retain women and stem the exodus.

A call for all women

"There’s a rising tide of women today who seek to achieve their full potential."

Madeleine Albright said there’s a special place in hell for women who do not help other women, and women have realized if we are going to enjoy the fruits of our labors, we must help other women do the same.  Yes, there are cynics, newspaper articles and  voices trying to convince us that the overarching Queen Bee competition between and among women is alive and well.  But women today are tearing down and pulverizing that former roadblock.  Empowering Women Leaders calls for women to light the way for other women, for the sake of the economy, the country and the world.

Statistics: Businesswomen by the numbers

  • 21 women CEOs among the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S.

  • 16.6% of corporate board seats of the F500 are held by women.

  • 8 million women own businesses.

  • 1.3 million of women who own business are in California.