These women run multi-million dollar companies. So why are they still saying they feel like they're not being taken seriously?
Pexels / Christina Morillo

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


Many women felt that they "had their leadership position questioned due to their gender." Raegan Moya-Jones, co-founder of baby products manufacturer Aden & Anais, said the fact that she was a mother was a positive in the eyes of the consumer, however she found that business people weren't taking her seriously because of it.

Other female business owners found that some people had misconceptions as to why the woman founded her business in the first place. "When a woman starts a business, some potential backers may assume that she is running the business out of her home, for fun, or just to supplement her family's income," the report said. "Backers may then fail to see the business as growth-oriented and worthy of investment."

RELATED: Jameela Jamil wants women to stop apologizing for 'being ambitious'

More importantly, the report laid out how women can bust through the barriers to success. The report recommended we "capitalize on personal insights and experiences," because the female experience is actually an advantage. "Women entrepreneurs have an opportunity to leverage their personal experiences and serve the emerging needs and trends for female consumers," the report said. "Because they understand the market, they are well suited to communicate their value proposition and reach their target clients." In other words, being a woman isn't something that has to hold you back — it can propel you forward.


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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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