It’s International Women’s Day today, and these amazing women entrepreneurs are sharing with us how they face their challenges in business with boldness.
Satia Sa Dias – Founder of Melanin Millennials
Being a woman in podcasting means understanding the power of being a content creator and the responsibilities that come with it. Therefore, I will solemnly, work to listen, empathize, uplift, question, laugh, love, reflect, represent, guide, celebrate, include, challenge, embrace, respect and break down my womanhood in all it’s glorious beauty and messiness to those listening, in the hopes that they’ll do the same.
Vivian Ngwodo – Founder of www.chopstreets.com
Being a woman in tech means I have to work twice as hard to be taken serious. You need to always put in that extra effort to be recognized and appreciated for what you do. Because the tech industry is male-dominated, there is the tendency for women not to be taken serious no matter how good they are. But this doesn’t deter me, as it only spurs me on to keep pushing to be the best I can be.
Marverine Cole – Award-winning TV News Journalist & Broadcaster
I’ve experienced the cut-throat, ‘watch your back’ nature of working in TV Journalism throughout my whole career. Where everyone wants to get ahead at any cost. I’ve been very aware of the people trying to sabotage my career because they didn’t like my very existence in the newsroom.
I’ve witnessed others want to sneak off with my story ideas and my hard-earned contacts just so they could bypass me to the place I wanted to reach, without them having to put in the work.
The only reason I didn’t sink under all that pressure is by living and breathing my Mum’s Jamaican values and ‘do unto others, as you would have them do unto you’. And also by being true to myself, believing in my own abilities, acknowledging that ‘no woman is an island’ and it’s not a weakness to ask for help or to collaborate with others, and remembering to choose my moments on when and when not to pushing back when people are being divisive.
Sadia Sisay – Founder of beingU Lingerie
Being a black woman in business is not believing I am still discussing being a woman and black in business in 2017! Being a woman in business still means less access to finance but that can also be due to I have less time to chase the finance I need! As I am carer for a mother and a daughter. Being a woman in lingerie means being patted on the back like it is a side business. It is very difficult to get the serious conversations going, harder to move the conversation from the lingerie. Even in lingerie, men still have the way onto finance. So I want to change that. Only way I can do that is being successful in my small business and then walk my walk in helping other women with small business!
Mariatu Turay of Founder of Gitas Portal
In a field that’s predominantly non-black and in which the established preference has been for textiles and aesthetics that are recognized and accepted as mainstream; I am an African woman determined to celebrate African prints outside of its preferred context.
The biggest challenge is access to industry wide support to mainstream African fashion, designers like myself are mostly on the fringes of the fashion industry. The industry is quite close-knit, with a preference for celebrating well-known brands that dabble with African print in one-off collections; and designers who have worked their way through traditional access routes. We live in a global economy, where brand America, brand Europe and brand Asia have had good head starts; while brand Africa is still tangled in persistent generalizations and perceptions of ‘poor quality’ and racial bias. These big picture issues impact women like me in the fashion industry, making it challenging to grow fast, and get the credit for our contribution to fashion.
Imriel Morgan Founder of www.shoutoutnetwork.co.uk
Being a female CEO and commentator in what I consider the peripheries of the media is challenging. My identity as a woman in my field becomes inextricably linked to my identity as Black. As a personality, I meet the same challenges and stereotypes as any of woman in any other field. There is the expectation to speak on behalf of my entire demographic, but also the expectation that I should be silent and not complain. Being a woman in this field is to be underestimated while simultaneously being met with surprise when you succeed.