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Many studies on the state of women in the workplace seem to reinforce the doom and gloom of modern women's experience. They tell us something we already know – that you're going to have to speak ten times louder to be heard half as often, and there's no amount of leaning in or wearing shoulder pads that can fix that. A recent report conducted by Babson College and Bank of America found that female business owners don't feel like they're being taken seriously, which is pretty much old news at this point. But the report also explored the specific barriers women business owners feel like they're facing so we can jump over those barriers, no shoulder pads needed.

Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 30 women who own businesses that make more than $5 million in annual revenues, and the discussions were very revealing. "[W]omen who have built successful companies had to navigate significant gender-based obstacles. In doing so, these women created alternate paths to success for themselves, and for other similarly unstoppable female entrepreneurs," Bank of America said in a release. The study found that there were three main misconceptions: market misperceptions, network exclusions, and managing expectations while underfunded.

RELATED: Women make better leaders despite lack of representation, study finds

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It's easy for an alpha female to bear the negative label of "intimidating." The line between being respected as someone who stands up for her beliefs and being called a bitch is so fine you can't even walk it in a stiletto. However, women have natural advantages when it comes to leadership, and in many ways, outperform men.

In 2012, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman looked at over 7,000 360-degree performance reviews, which revealed female leaders outranked male leaders in nearly every one of 16 leadership competencies.Yet men are more likely to occupy C-suite positions. A study conducted by the University at Buffalo School of Management found that women still struggle to be placed in leadership positions. "We found showing sensitivity and concern for others — stereotypically feminine traits — made someone less likely to be seen as a leader," Emily Grijalva, who was on the research team, said. "However, it's those same characteristics that make leaders effective. Thus, because of this unconscious bias against communal traits, organizations may unintentionally select the wrong people for leadership roles, choosing individuals who are loud and confident but lack the ability to support their followers' development and success."

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When Aimee Allison was 14, her mother took her to see civil rights leader Jesse Jackson speak — and something changed in her.

Growing up black and biracial in a predominantly white community, Allison regularly experienced incidents of racism. And while she worked hard in school and wanted to someday attend college, it was hard to imagine herself as a leader. After all, she hadn't seen anyone in government who looked like her.

But listening to Jackson changed her whole idea of what her future could entail.

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Every year, the winning NFL Super Bowl team gets to visit the White House and meet the president. It's supposed to be a great honor.

The champion New England Patriots got their tour on April 19, 2017 — only this year, there were some notable absences from some of the team's big-name players.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

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