International Women’s Day 2023
International Women’s Day is a great time to reflect. I read an article the other day about why more women apply for remote jobs. The Orca Communications team has been remote since our company was founded 21 years ago, and I have to say, this opportunity basically saved my career. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a creative individual. Being remote gives me the freedom to work independently and build a career while also maintaining a healthy balance for my family.
According to LinkedIn, women apply for remote roles at a higher rate than men. That’s likely because women are, more often than not, the primary caretakers of their households. We want a fabulous career and a fabulous family – a healthy remote work experience allows us to have our cake and eat it too. My colleague, Tammy Marino, and I chatted about this a bit. She compared herself to a willow tree saying, “working remotely allows me the structure to put in my prescribed hours each work day, while also allowing me the freedom to care for myself and my family so that I can bend, rather than break, in the wind.” It’s a great analogy – the willow tree that bends but doesn’t break.
A recent chart from the American Center for Progress shows that having children lowers women’s employment rates. I was almost one of those women. I had an in-office job that required brutal hours. My schedule would sometimes change without notice. I felt like I was missing out on my son’s first years of life and I knew that feeling of “mom guilt” would only get worse as he got older. I wanted to be there for him, but I also wanted to work. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy work. And a lot of caregivers feel the same way. In fact, studies suggest that women are better workers than men and that mothers are often the most efficient at completing tasks! Tammy uses her experience in the busy PR industry as an example, “public relations is a career that demands you to be plugged into trends, news, and the economy at all times. In an office 9-5 environment, that kind of constant need for connectivity can easily exhaust and/or exasperate even the best PR professional.” Working remotely affords our team the time and energy to service clients with clear heads and less burnout.
So – that brings us to the elephant in the room: the pay gap. It’s certainly getting better, but more work is necessary. The American Center of Progress looked at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found not only do women still make less than men but that women’s incomes tend to plateau mid-career. And that wage gap grows even larger for Women of Color. When it comes to startups, women-owned businesses receive less funding. Yet, women are starting new businesses and becoming business owners every day.
My point with this blog wasn’t to ramble the same statistics that everyone else shares about genders in the workplace. I really want to highlight the incredible achievements of women. Women are powerhouses. So, in honor of International Women’s Day, check out these Woman-Founded Small Businesses that you can support today and every day:
Celebrating Woman-Founded Businesses:
Kahawa 1893 is a sustainable and premium coffee brand that brings the rich flavors of Kenya directly to coffee lovers in the U.S. with a selection of aromatic blends and roasts that will satisfy everyone. The coffee is grown in Kenya and roasted fresh in San Francisco by Margaret Nyamumbo, a third-generation coffee farmer. The brand offers whole beans, ground, and convenient, eco-friendly single-serve coffee packs— compostable coffee bags that steep within five minutes. Nyamumbo, a former Wall Street Investment Banker and Harvard graduate, created her company as a means of providing premium, traceable Kenyan coffee to consumers while helping to empower female African coffee farmers with sustainable wages.
Rainy Day Boxes
Two sisters founded Rainy Day Boxes when one of them lost their husband. Jess Brecker wanted to leave her sister, Kate Seamons, a gift when she was having a “rainy day,” one that she didn’t think she could get through. Together they created Rainy Day Boxes to change the way we support our loved ones going through difficult times. As a female-run company, they buy their gift products from other small, female-based businesses. Rainy Day Boxes include four handpicked gifts, paired with an encouraging note. They are individually packaged and designed to be opened over time. Inside each one is a message that acknowledges that day’s struggle but conveys strong and inspiring words of hope and love.
Lisa Ellis started The Macalat company as a small business for her organic sugar-free sweet dark chocolate. Macalat is a new creation for those serious about their 70% dark cacao quality and real, nutrient-dense food with no sugar and/or hidden sugars (like coconut sugar) without adding artificial or “phony” substances to take their place. Now, you can enjoy smooth organic 70% organic dark chocolate without the onslaught of sugar or the bitterness that sugar seeks to hide. Macalat is certified organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, stevia-free, soy-free, and, most importantly, bitter-free. This is perfect for people who have to monitor their sugar intake.
The Happy Bird Watcher
Susan Vandergriff founded The Happy Bird Watcher. The company delivers a simple way to get thoughtfully blended, high-quality seeds tailored to your backyard. It is perfect for birdwatchers that have more than one seed feeder and want to attract a greater number and diversity of wild birds.
Molly Bz Gourmet Cookies
Molly Bz gourmet cookies were created by Molly Blakeley, a single mom in Alaska who found herself down to her last $150. So, she borrowed a friend’s food trailer & started a halibut taco truck. It was going great, but customers were asking for something sweet. So, Molly B. made cookies, but not just any cookies–gourmet cookies. They were a hit! She started selling out before noon every day. At the end of the food truck season, Molly kept baking, using tasty alcoholic extracts without the alcohol. Molly knew her cookies were in demand and, thus, Molly Bz gourmet cookies were born! These gourmet cookies are sweet and savory oversize cookies made with fun, imaginative, and explosive flavor combinations in eight scrumptious flavors. These delicious cookies are now in 2,000 stores!
Shrada Divri is the co-founder of Designer Dram, the world’s first luxury online distillery that allows customers to create a one-of-a-kind bottle of whiskey! A fun, bespoke experience, Designer Dram enables you to craft and design every element of your custom bottle of whiskey—from the barrel selection to the alcohol strength to the personalized, custom bottle label—all online. Perfect for both whiskey aficionados and beginners. You can personalize your beautiful whiskey decanter with a unique label with your monogram, name, and almost anything that’s personal to you. Or, purchase a gift card, so you can gift someone the experience! Master distillers and a design team execute your final creation. The whiskey arrives beautifully packaged in a stunning 750 ML glass decanter made in Italy– a keepsake forever.
After suffering from incontinence after childbirth, biomedical engineer Gloria Kolb was frustrated and disappointed in the lack of treatments to help women properly do their Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and reduce or eliminate leaks. So she founded ELITONE, an FDA-cleared, easy, external, and EFFECTIVE option that was engineered by a woman. ELITONE is the first external, wearable, over-the-counter incontinence treatment and the ONLY external incontinence TREATMENT that can be used discreetly while going about your daily activities, ELITONE does your Kegel exercises for you, longer and stronger than you can on your own, all while dressed and doing whatever you need to do. 95% of women who used ELITONE successfully reduced (or eliminated) urinary leaks and pad use!