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    5 Ways Women Business Leaders Can Supercharge Their Businesses

    I have often blogged about feminism versus femininity – underscoring the need for women to embrace their femininity and all the characteristics that are inherent in our gender. I would like to think that we are operating on level playing field where respect, humility and human kindness transcends the gender gap. Am I dreaming?

    While I feel women have equal opportunities in business, I do think there is always room for improvement. Here are some ways women can ramp up their business acumen from another female entrepreneur, Geri Stengel:

    1. Women need to take more risks
      When women start businesses, they opt for career paths that seem safer and more flexible than running a major corporation. Liz Elting, CEO and founder of global language service provider TransPerfect, advocates another tack: Go for broke when you are young and have nothing to lose. Don’t worry about what your life will be like in 10 years. Dream big and follow your dreams. When your business grows, so do your options for work/life balance.
    2. Women need to get tougher
      Nice girls please people. CEOs have to make tough decisions, from firing people to cutting services. In a man, that’s being strong; in a woman it is seen as being bitchy. “If you want everyone to like you, you will have a hard time doing what is necessary,” Elting says.
    3. Men need to get over themselves
      At home, men must share in household responsibilities, recognizing that their partner’s career is as valuable as their own. At work, men need to be more inclusive. Networking events shouldn’t be just guy things. Deals are done in informal settings after the conference or out of the office — on golf courses and in the corporate box at the ball game. Yes, some women like sports, but a lot are left out of that schmoozing and dealing.
    4. Women need to get over themselves, too
      Whether in peer groups, such as the Women Presidents’ Organization or through mentoring women starting out, women need to support and mentor each other. As Sheila Lirio Marcel, CEO of Care.com says, “We must lift as we climb, bring others along with us and collect talented people as we rise.”
    5. Everyone needs to build more flexible businesses
      Let’s start firms that don’t follow the same old business model; let’s build a model that can accommodate the differing needs of GenY, parents, Type A workers, and those who want to work reduced hours. You can retain and grow talent by being flexible — flexible about taking a year off for family without losing a rung on the career ladder; flexible in working hours; flexible about telecommuting.

    Changes now, in attitudes, awareness, and culture could end the stagnation of small women-led businesses and make them into the economic drivers we need.

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