Image courtesy of Emedco

Women in the Workforce – Women Owned Businesses

Image courtesy of Emedco

Women are certainly making their mark in the workforce, and the number of female chief executive officers is growing all the time. There are also many financial benefits available for women owned businesses. It appears that while there is still a discrepancy between talent and opportunity for women, things are improving all the time. 

Bloomberg Businessweek posed the question in an article; did 2014 do anything for women at work? The conclusion was that while there has been progress in terms of women and men qualifying for the same jobs, women are still being paid less. The article also suggested that women are being hired by ‘diversity-loving’ companies but not necessarily for the most important jobs. 

The American Express Small Business OPEN forum report on women owned businesses finds that ‘an estimated 1,200 new businesses a day were started by women over the past year, up from an average of 740 a day the year prior.’ Women now start Four out of 10 new firms. Women owned firms are also expanding across many different industries, and are even leading growth in industries such as real estate, finance/insurance and the wholesale trade.

Growth of women owned businesses 

Source: 2014 OPEN State of Women-Owned Business report  

This is all positive news, but the report does suggest that there is more to be done, and more support should be offered to women owned businesses to enable them to grow to the next level. 

So what help is available? Specifically, the Small Business Association (SBA) has programs to help with funding, as well as a site dedicated to helping: The Office of Women’s Business Ownership, offering assistance in all areas of running a business and finding funding. Also offering access to federal contracting opportunities specifically for women owned businesses. Another great resource is the National Women’s Business Council, which advises on economic issues of importance to women business owners. While they may not cater specifically to women owned businesses, there are many small business financing options from the bank to alternative forms of funding such as invoice factoring. Since it is often necessary to have been in business for a period of time, and to have established collateral in order to qualify for more traditional forms of financing, accounts receivable financing may be an excellent option to optimize cash flow. This type of financing allows businesses to receive payment on invoices now that may not be due for payment for between 30 – 90 days. If your business has a healthy amount of outstanding invoices, this is certainly an option that is worth exploring. 

There are most certainly benefits when it comes to women owned businesses, from specific grants, low-collateral loans, help with federal contracts, and certifications, to name but a few. Women are becoming a stronger force, and the number of women-owned businesses is predicted to grow significantly in the next five years according to Stephanie Burns; founder and CEO of Chic CEO. Stephanie provides a free resource for female entrepreneurs looking to start a business. 


Image Courtesy of Emedco

Wage Gap Widens for Women in Poverty

Years ago I was sitting at my sister’s kitchen table listening to ideas for naming the family’s newly adopted female pup.  I challenged my young nieces to think about names of inspirational women they had studied in school; Anne Frank and Rosa Parks gained the top two spots.

The conversation continued on to women leaders, the working world and career choices.  When I mentioned that women get paid less than men even though they may have the same career, my young nieces laughed at such a ludicrous notion.   

Fast forward 20 years, and income inequality is a popular buzzword.  Some use it to refer to the widening gap between the upper class and the working, low-income class.  Income inequality also refers to the wage gap between ethnic and racial groups, as well as between men and women.  Actress Patricia Arquette gave a call to action for wage equality for women in her acceptance speech at this year’s Oscar ceremony.  Hillary Clinton praised Arquette’s comments, and in her own speeches hits hard with comments about the glass ceiling while decrying the gender wage gap.

There’s hard data to back up claims showing the gap still exists; in some cases, it’s wider than ever.  This year it will take women 15-1/2 months to earn what a man earns in just 12 months.  The three and a half months is the gap in income, which the U.S. Dept. of Labor estimates as 78% nationwide.  In Massachusetts, we’re at 82% overall, despite the signing of the Equal Pay Act in 1963.

That means that a woman earns about $49,000 while a male earns about $60,000.  It takes longer for a woman to reach $60,000 – 15-1/2 months, to be exact.

How does this happen?  According to American Association of University Women’s  publication The Simple Truth, it starts right after college.  Similarly educated and experienced men and women start out after college with an 18% gap in earnings, with women earning 82% of what their male counterpart earns.  Ten years later that gap widens, with women earning only 69%.  The difference in the first year post-college can be partially explained by the type of jobs obtained.  However, when college reputation, major, GPA, marital status and other factors are all accounted for and the field is level, there is still an unexplained difference of 7% between men and women one year after graduation, and that grows to 12% by 10 years after college graduation.

If academic achievement doesn’t protect against wage disparity, what happens at the lower end of the income scale?  The Bureau of Labor Statistics gives us a sobering view.  In food preparation and serving, and also in administrative office support positions, women earn 90% of what men earn.  Within healthcare support, women earn 87% of what men earn.  For building and maintenance jobs, women earn 79%, and in personal care and service occupations, women finish at 74% of what their male counterparts earn.  At every level of academic achievement, and seemingly at every level of the pay scale, women earn less than men.  

What, then, is a female head of household to do?  At Project Hope, a multiservice agency serving families from the Dorchester and Roxbury communities of Boston, the overwhelming majority of households rely on a female as the primary financial provider – generally a woman of color.  At least half struggle to survive on earned incomes under $15,000 per year.  Anti-poverty programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program do provide some relief for families.  According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, these types of programs help lift 1 in 7 children out of poverty, despite major cuts in other supports, such as state-subsidized child care, early education,  job training programs and access to reliable transportation.  But what about the other six children still living in poverty?

A proactive approach by the Baker Administration would be to call for transparency at the state level.  Job postings should publicize salary ranges for every position.  Gov. Baker could encourage the corporate community to adopt this same practice, and to conduct salary audits.  The issue of wage gaps can be used to influence public policy; one bill in play is called the Mass. Pay Gap Bill, which prohibits potential employers from seeking salary histories and requires them to disclose a position’s minimum salary.  Studies have shown that in hiring practices, employers offer higher pay to the candidate with a previously higher salary, thus perpetuating the cycle of wage disparity.  Publicizing the starting salary gives information to both candidates, thus putting them on equal footing, regardless of gender.

As for my nieces, they named their dog Rosa.  They are now educated and pursuing careers, and know firsthand what they are up against despite their academic successes and hard work.  As they start families of their own, how do they overcome an uneven playing field so that each of their children reaches his or her full potential?  

In poor families that have female heads of households, it is even tougher; they struggle with the basic economics of being poor, compounded by a wage gap that rewards men over women, simply for being the “right” gender. 

Elizabeth Zarrella Maglio is the Director of Sustainability and Outcomes for Project Hope, a multi-service agency at the forefront of efforts in Boston to move families beyond homelessness and poverty. Project Hope offers low-income women with children access to education, jobs, housing, and emergency services. 

Author Zachary Cohen

Women in Investment Banking

Author Zachary CohenWhile the past decades have seen a great advancement in the field of gender equality in the workplace, the title of James Brown’s classic song “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” still rings true when it comes to investment banking. Still, women have a lot to offer to the job and it seems that despite lagging behind other industries, Wall Street has finally started to realize it too.  

Women in Leadership

Women are 47 percent of the U.S. labor force, and 59 percent of the college-educated, entry-level workforce. They earn almost 60 percent of undergraduate degrees and 60 percent of all master’s degrees with more than 44 percent of the master’s degrees in business and management, including 37 percent of MBAs. Though these figures illustrate that women have the education to qualify for executive-level positions they are underrepresented with only 14.6 percent at the executive officer level, 8.1 percent of top earners, and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.

The majority of women executive officer positions are in Finance, HR and Marketing. Unfortunately, Procurement and Supply Chain is still predominantly male focused.  When SCM World did a manual count of top supply chain executives in Fortune 500 companies they found only 22 women among 320 businesses had a true supply chain function. Only 6.9 percent of supply chain leaders are female which is well below the 35 percent of women entering the procurement field from college. Another survey done by SCM World, polled 56 universities around the world found 37 percent of students in the supply chain degree are women and three quarters of the universities polled reported increases in enrollment over the pasted five years.

Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, sheds light on the root cause that has stalled women’s progression into senior leadership. Sandberg says women will undervalue their achievements more often than their male counterparts. They need to take credit where credit is due and assume roles in leadership that highlight their strengths as women; the ability to collaborate, to integrate views, mentor and multitask.

The modern supply chain is ever evolving as businesses integrate their global supply chains.  Leaders need to have the ability to make analytical decisions of business trade-offs than asset-centric optimization logic of the 20th century. Many supply chain practitioners recognized that women leaders in supply chain often excel in forming, motivating and leveraging teams to get work done. A supply chain leadership position is a stepping stone to C suite positions for women although from a board-level perspective companies need to build an environment to bring more women into the diverse world of supply chain.

Some executives believe a quota for women supply chain leaders would help. While other executives believe that recruiting talent and mentoring earlier in their career will build a robust pipeline of women that are able to step into leadership roles. Either approach will help change the current landscape of woman leadership and promote awareness.  Women must also lean in for the next opportunity.  As Sandberg has said, “We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests.” 

Jenna Cyprus

6 Things the New WOC in the Office Wants Employers to Know

Jenna CyprusBeing a woman of color in the workforce is no easy task—even going into 2015.

While the glass ceilings are getting cracks and there are unprecedented opportunities at the helm, that doesn’t necessarily make professional life “easy” for WOC who are new to the workforce or climbing up that corporate ladder. Sometimes you might feel like throwing in the towel, and that’s exactly when you need a little inspiration and motivation.

latest india news

India and Women: A Crippled Society

latest india news

The horrific and brutal rape of a 23 year old physiotherapy student in the national capital caused a stir. A stir that was seen all across the nation, which enraged people enough to seek a quick justice to the culprits and a world-class treatment. Well, the quick justice came around 2 years later, in 2014.

Newspapers and news channels are full of mishaps of rapes from all across the nation, there are innumerable to be listed here. West Bengal rape case, Sikar rape of a minor, Mumbai twin rape cases, Badaun rape case, rape case of a minor by teacher, Meerut rape and religion conversion are some that top our minds, making the top breaking news in India. There are several others where females of any age between 3 and 89 years are raped and dumped to die. There are several molestation cases being reported everyday. There are several acid attacks. There are several cases of girl kidnappings.

Yet there are several that go unreported, unattended, there still are some people who have accepted such incidences as part of their daily lives. There hardly ever hit the news, being a part of headlines in India is not even expected.

Then there are some who term these incidents not a major incident, some say this is because of chowmien, some say it happens because of scantily clad women though the incidences are reported about women who have been dressed in the most traditional Indian attires, some have rebuked women from pubs and bars, though the 6 year old school girl had never seen a bar till date. Some say its munni bandam hui or fevicol se or similar item numbers that arouse men to rape, wonder why these numbers fail to arouse women to have sex!

Sexual offences are now considered to be a common phenomenon, a part of our nation’s anatomy now. India news in Hindi and English and several other regional languages have been reporting about such incidences, however, these hardly come to notice now. And no, we are not merely talking rapes that are reported, the total number of reported rapes is way less than the actual figures of sexual assault. Here, we are counting eve-teasing, which Indian men consider to be their right, molestation, child sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, marital rape.

The recent reports have claimed that incidences of rapes have increased by many times. We get to know that in every 25 minutes is a woman raped in India. Going back to the year 2004-2005, National Crime Records Bureau, there were 318 women raped in Delhi, while in the year 2005 there were 600 rapes reported. NCRB also says that the bureau had tried around 18,100 for the charges of rape in the year 2003. India news in Hindi informs that there has also been a survey of all the girls of a single school in New Delhi, which said that of the total surveyed, 63% had faced sexual abuse during childhood by someone from their family. “Nearly one-third of the girls said the perpetrator had been a father, grandfather or male friend of the family.”

Didn’t we hear India as being the upcoming global power? Here we wonder how well does globalization of human rights compare with globalization of economic issues!

Breaking online news in India was when Nirbhaya died of the injuries she was left with after being raped; several don’t have the courage to report of rape or abuse because our society fails to accept the victim as a regular part of society, the families are ridiculed. The police also deters from registering the case, wherein quite a few victims of sexual assault say that the police suggests them not to register the complaint, some policemen are known to rape or sexually abuse. Long wait in the police stations, humiliating questions by the male police men in the absence of female police … aren’t we talking indirectly talking of the people in power backing them up? How do we sum up the frustration of a victim the trial of which goes on for years?

The trauma does not leave the victim after several years. Headlines in a particular part of India were hit by a case reported of a child pushed to epilepsy after being raped and severely assaulted by her neighbour. The culprit was arrested, and thus the court said justice was delivered. What happens to the girl 5 years down the lane? The girl is still epileptic. Justice delivered, you say?

Our law makers have now become the most toxic part of our nation. The women now need to get out of their cocoons to bring about a change. The very minute differentiation between the two genders needs to be dispersed. The society needs to accept the rape or sexual assault victims as part of the society and not condemn them. Our men need to realize that it’s not just the males who have the rights, women have equal rights. We need women who are strong enough to keep themselves safe, we need women who can speak for themselves and others. We need women who can face and punch back assaulters. News in India have hardly ever been of those who have fought back their assaulters

This is the time India as a nation, or at least the people who understand the importance of a woman, the educated class, come out of their shell of weakness. The current situation in the country is more like a cancer without a treatment. We need to put this cancer in front of all and rid the nation of this.

If the nation is considered to be a body, men, women, children, aged, etc., all are a part with equal importance. The body should realize that a part is in deep suffering and get it the right treatment.

Women and Social Media

Social media has become the new revolutionary tool of the 21st century and women are at the top end of this trend, following is an infographic presenting how infront are the women in this new race. This information is vital for entrepreneurs and for business in general, due to the fact that if you play your cards right and have a professional office space and a reliable online marketing strategy. The possibilities of success are huge. 


For more info,

Women are not weak

A Woman Turned Truck Driver- Courage Speaks It All

Women are not weak

Trucking is portrayed as an industry of men counterparts. With the toughness dripping along the tires of every truck, women truckers were not so welcomed in the industry. They were underestimated for all they were, for what they can do. And today, they have proved it all. The leadership emerged in early 1920s with Lillie Elizabeth Drennan took the charge. She just did not inspire women across the globe, but also introduced methods to survive at the time of need. No profession is gender biased, its all how well you are featuring yourself in it.

Name the industry, you will find women mastering it. They have spread their wings high and wide, astonishing the men with their inner power of mastering trucking as a whole. Those heavy rigs are purely integrated with toughness; however, women have learnt to blend with them. Gender discrimination is something trucking does not transpire so well with, and eventually, the roads of America started accepting women drivers. had conducted a marathon for women truckers to share their on-road stories, experiences and their uphill battle for life behind the wheels. And this is one of the letter we had received from our regular customer, Mrs. Day. This letter will make you love your friends and the profession you are in.

Rendezvous Trucking- The Beautiful Truth

Jane, the women of thrill and adventure, she was utmost up for anything and everything, any hour on the clock. Though she was in her mid 40s, she had the burning fire in her to relish every moment lived.

And I, totally contrastive in nature. I was contented with what life had to offer me. My 15-year-old son and a full time nanny were my only reason to live. I worked at the restaurant, made a living with the tip and wages. Life seemed contended. I had never called life for a serious encounter.

It started this way.

Jane and I were good friends from school. She was from a wealthy background, with the urge to go and look around the world, face the difficulties and learn new things. One day, out of the blues, Jane came to me at the restaurant. As there were not many customers to attend, I asked Mary to handle the chore for a while.

I took my seat next to her; saw a worried look in her eyes. I grew tensed. I asked her, “Is everything OK, darling? She held my hand and shot the very first question “Hey, have you ever thought about trucking?” I went numb, taken aback with her question. I was not sure what were her plans.

It was all too sudden for me. Actually, I was not sure myself about the question she had asked.

I knew what I had to do. Speak.

I explained my thoughts, told her that trucking is a man thing, and we are better off away from it. I tried to show the beautiful side of our lives, establishing ourselves with some food stall or selling art and earn for living.

Silence. Pin drop silence.

One eye contact, it explained me all.

I lost it.

It was her chance to speak. She disclosed her plans, how she got inspired with the thought that trucking would be the apt for us and we should surely try a hand. It was all adventurous to her and she expected me to be a part of this weirdo venture. Her excitement was high up in the sky and denying her offer was totally not me. She assured me if I did not like it, I can back out. Now can someone on earth make her understand I don’t know how to back out?

All I would do that moment is, buy time to think over.

Finally, that night I thought about it. I was all excited about the venture, something different. And Jane was there to support me. Oh, by the way, was I left with any other option other than accepting the offer? Well, no.

I had to inform my manager on a very short notice about my plans and I was sure, reactions were not so welcoming. He was stunned the way I was when I heard the plan for the first time, but he was left with no option than letting me go. Mr. Sam was not a bad person, after all. With final words, I realized that I was leaving my small world behind. Tears, emotions and excitement with a slight touch of happiness were entwined within, leaving me with the hope for better tomorrow.

Soon, we were on our venture towards trucking school, checked on CDL requirements, graphing our obligations and the three major classes of CDL. Everything was set and we got our CLP (Commercial Learners Permit). In another 14 days, we took our skill test and got the formalities done. In no time, we had our CDL in my hand. I was indeed a proud moment for both of us, and thought were exploded within.

And the day finally arrived, we were on our 53 ft trailer, making deliveries and setting our forte in the male dominant industry. We did not prove that we can handle huge rig, but also earned the place on the road with men. Equivalent.

I never felt any different with men drivers. When I was married to Jack, there were weeks without seeing him and there would be time when his time would be all for me. Safety, working conditions, pay and home time are just a few of the issues concerning all drivers. We were no different.

We sensed the independence, missed contentment and sometimes emergencies. We met millions of crooks, giving us a look when they were checking out who is on the driver’s seat. It was not so usual to see a female driver, controlling an 18 wheeled rig. I, for one, consider it a great testimony to the strength and determination of our country’s women to take the demanding career of truck driving. Yes, it is not the easiest way of life, yet, there is no harm in giving a try. When we were on our venture, we just did not come over our fears; fought for a different lifestyle, tailored our requirements and yet, maintained our feminine qualities.

When we return home after long hauling, people tell us, isn’t trucking boring to you?

We laugh our heart out.

Well, we have the reasons to justify. You know, its not just trucking all the time. We are on road 6 days a week and sometimes 10-20 days at a stretch. Our own set of chores is like a tagged along responsibility. If Jane is behind the wheels, I ensure the lunch and dinner is all set before we halt for the night or vise versa.

We go for a walk, sometime ride our foldable bicycle or simply read our fictional, mystery book we carry on our journey. And if we don’t have anything to do, we would simply sleep, snoring loud.

Though the trucking industry is male dominant, we noticed that women were paid more importance, more respect and better opportunities to explore. Though we started as amateur in this field, we did not take much time to master it and showcase women empowerment.

We experienced shade and shine during our journeys. Truck stops were the place where we usually encounter different things. Once near Indiana, we discovered a truck stop and parked our rig. We decided to call it a night. The truck stop honestly, didn’t look too promising. We were greeted by the most friendly mannered woman, Deb, who was engaged in mopping the floor for the umpteenth time that night. Jane asked her if she mind walking across the mopped floor. You know what she replied, “No honey, I just want to make sure you don’t slide down. Just be careful ok?” She completed with a million dollar smile. It was so refreshing to see someone really concerned about you at wee hours.

Ah, I missed the best point. Trucking gave us the opportunity to meet varied people, and say hello to wonderful people like Deb. Working late and going home in a bad weather is just so warming and fruitful.

Our days were mixed with emotions, work and responsibilities carrying on our shoulders with no real own duties to carry out. Of course, we paid our HVUT on time. We don’t like the penalties. They are too heavy on our pockets. With the growing time, we learnt that we have exposed every unlived in moment, did every adventure we thought before tying knots and learnt the new spectacular spirit of living our lives. This was our best accomplishment, ever.

Thanks to Jane.

Its been almost 35 years since we entered the industry and even today, if someone allows me to drive my old big rig I would risk it for a no. But what fun without Jane? Well, I missed telling you about her. Jane died in a truck accident 5 years back and I’m never over it. I dedicate this letter to her. She thought me how to live life. May be she was ought to.

What trucking thought me; I would treasure it for life.

Thanks for providing me the opportunity to speak my heart out.

Learn The Ropes

Always remember, women truckers are no less than men counterparts. Jane always told me:

  • You are a born a women, don’t think you are weak
  • You are professionally strong, prove it to the world
  • You don’t represent women, you represent the whole trucking company.

We would like to take a moment out and thank Mrs. Day for touching our heart with ardor, her hardship and fruitfully sweep the opportunity to experience anew. takes a moment in honor and salutes every woman behind the wheels. This initiation would stand hold as a tribute to women and their will power to do something for the nation. We wish and look forward for more women truckers joining the league and paying respect through taxes.

Dubai business woman

Women in business in Dubai, UAE – misconceptions and realities

Dubai business woman

When people think about Dubai they think about luxury, large-scale business projects and great business opportunities. And this is totally correct – this is what Dubai can provide.

However, when thinking of UAE as the place for women for doing business, there is often a misconception that this country is hostile to women in business life. And this is a clear misunderstanding.

There are a number of women on the very different levels and positions in business life in UAE – from high ranking management in different companies to owners of their own business in very different areas and of the business of very different size.

There are a number of companies in Dubai and other Emirates in nearly every business area which belong to women. Such companies can be, for example, industrial, logistics, service, etc.

A number of woman in Dubai are very successful with their companies providing different education services in UAE – various classes for kids and adults, language schools, arts and music schools, etc.

Clearly, there are some certain business areas where women dominate, for example, beauty industry – shops, beauty salons, spas and similar; boutiques or interior design studios. These are the typical areas where woman generally dominate in most of the countries, and UAE is very similar in this respect.

However it, as already mentioned above, does not exclude a large number for woman in UAE being the owners or managers in companies in other business areas. Such areas can be various types of industries, legal and auditing services, recycling and any practically any other areas.

There is also a great number of women working in different governmental authorities of UAE – starting from minor local authorities all the way to very high ranked ministerial positions.

Who are these woman and where are they from? Practically from any country and with very different business and education background. What makes them common – their willingness to be successful – and UAE gives great opportunities to fulfil this goal.

There is even a special “Dubai Women Business Council” which actively supports women who open companies and start their business in United Arab Emirates.

To find out more on how to set up a business / company in Dubai, UAE – visit very useful information source on Dubai as the place for business –