People often ask me, why I support women business owners the way I do.
To me, I find it an awkward and odd question. I have never thought about the “why” behind my support and advocacy for women, as it is a part of my DNA.
It did, however, give me a moment to pause and think about why I support women.
For those that don’t know, I am the visionary behind the One Woman National Business Conference and am a huge advocate for fairness and equality for men and women.
The reason that I am so dedicated to this cause, particularly women in business, is because I have seen the tremendous inequity that take place against women. For instance, women make 77.5 cents for every $1.00 that a man makes. On top of that, the more educational success that a woman achieves, the higher the pay disparity compared to men. These are glaring inequities that need to be addressed. However, in the midst of this inequity, women continue to shine and make tremendous strides.
For instance, an African-American woman raised by a single mother in a New York city housing project, broke the glass ceiling by becoming the Chairwoman and CEO of Xerox in 2009. Ursula Burns is the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company and in 2009, Forbes rated Burns the 14th most powerful woman in the world.
There are so many countless stories like this that are told and some that are never told.
As I have shared on numerous occasions, Harriet Tubman is one of my historical heroes, because of her leadership, boldness and commitment to her people.
Fortunately for me, I have had the privilege of seeing three phenomenal women exemplify that Harriet Tubman-type commitment to being all they could be.
The first is my wife. Upon graduation from college, she was making a wonderful salary working for a major company here in Houston. We found out we were going to have a child and had a major discussion about raising our child with a Godly focus and with care. She decided to leave her well-paying job for our daughter and started her own business from home. Nearly 15 years later, the business has grown tremendously and she was honored as one of the Top 25 Women of Houston a couple of years ago. Her Godly focus and sacrifice for her family paid dividends. She is a real woman.
Next on the list is my mother-in-law. Here is a lady who was rushed to the emergency room, doctors having found four aneurisms on her brain. Emergency surgery was performed and she survived. She had to take off of her job for some time to recover. She worked for that company for over 10 years and was rewarded upon her return with a pink slip, not too long after her return. She was devastated, but she transformed that setback into an opportunity to start her own business. She is a real woman.
Last, but definitely not least on my list, is my beautiful mom. She was the epitome of customer service professional and of servant leadership. She was always focused on doing more for others than for herself. My mom always sacrificed and gave her last to make sure everybody was good. She had a smile that would light up a room. One day, she got extremely ill and was taken to the emergency room. It was there that she slipped into a temporary coma, and transitioned after seven months. During that time, she continued to fight. She went from no movement to movement in her eyes and mouth and making noise. She was trying to communicate and let me know that she was going to fight until she got better and back to normal. Although that didn’t occur, I was motivated by the love, sacrifice and commitment that my mom had for her family. She is a real woman.
These real women are my personal motivators, but there are so many real women that have made an impact on my life.
But now, the next time you wonder why I do what I do and why I support women, keep this article and these real women in mind.