Women In Charge
A study by Babson College’s Center for Women’s Leadership a number of years back said that when it came to business priorities, female CEOs differed from their male counterparts by putting customers and employees first rather than profitability and shareholders.
Today, with more women than ever leading companies, it will be interesting to see if the results they produce are any better or worse than those achieved by men.
Bloomberg News reported that women are behind many new technology companies in areas such as food and fashion “where the female perspective is seen as vital.”
Aileen Lee, a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, told Bloomberg, “Women are driving most of the consumer activity on the Web today. They’re the majority of users on Facebook, on Twitter, on Zynga. That gives websites that figure out how to harness social media early on an advantage because they can grow more quickly.”
Among the retail sites founded by women are One Kings Lane, Plum District and Rent the Runway. Perhaps the most high-profile of the businesses started by women is the flash sales site operator Gilt Groupe, co-founded by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilson.
Ms. Maybank said the secret of success remains in staying true to self. “Often when you think of women in positions of power, they’ve got to be bulldogs,” she told Bloomberg. “I don’t try to appear less feminine. I allow that to be something that helps me and marks who I am, not something that’s a liability.”
- Stilettos Invade Startups as Niche-Shopping Sites Attract Women – Bloomberg News
- Customers and Employees Top Female CEO Priority Lists – RetailWire
Discussion Questions: What is behind the apparent rise in female entrepreneurs? Do you think companies being founded are more likely to succeed because they operate in categories “where the female perspective is seen as vital?”