Its fascinating to watch the dynamics of interaction between women business owners at the WBENC conference in Las Vegas this week. Even business owners who compete in their areas of business try to find some areas of synergy to be able to collaborate and help each other out. Its a different dynamic to the behaviour that I usually see in networking events.
Everywhere I look, there are groups of women businesses sharing their challenges, trying to find synergy, offering help to each other and offering to mentor.
I’m humbled at the resilience that these women have, facing rejection day after day from corporates that prefer to work with men owned businesses. They show tenacity and courage to secure the deal. There are women at this conference that run constructions companies, sell abrasives, manage call centres across the world as well as the more traditional types of women owned businesses selling health food, beauty products and recruitment services. There’s a massive spread of skills, talent and ability.
In the US there’s a process for a woman owned business to work with a corporate. US companies like to make sure that their procurement process includes diverse groups such as ethnic minorities, women owned business etc. So certification here is a big thing. It means that the corporate can justify to the board that they have a diverse set of suppliers. Cultural diversity in business is important to make a sustainable business and keep it agile. Large companies like Chubb already recognise the business case for diversity. Other companies less so…
Being certified as a women owned business circumvents all of the checks and measures that companies need to put in place to ensure that they have procurement services from all types of businesses. It benefits both sides of the connection – and the case studies show this time and time again. For example the company that cleans out the lions cages at the MGM grand is run by a woman who runs other janitorial services in Las Vegas. The job wasn’t too attractive to other cleaning companies, but her company established that the lions wouldn’t be out of their cages when she was cleaning them out! A simple question that secured her the contract..
Having a diverse workforce really benefits business. Hiring outside of your comfort zone give you a competitive edge to innovate. There are 5000 women here who would give you a competitive edge in business and innovate for you.
Spend some time getting to know them and see that they have to offer your business…
Image credit: Flickr
Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.
Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.
This helps them to innovate more effectively than with a homogeneous group of suppliers, They can stay agile and focus on their core business