March is Women’s History Month, presenting G & G Law, LLC with a perfect opportunity to celebrate the legal maneuverings of some bad-ass entrepreneurs. Shall we call them Lady Bosses? Femmepreneurs? She-E-O? Boss Ladies? Boss Babe? #girlboss? Do I see some mommy-preneurs out there?
Sorry, I know we just raised the hackles of a lot of people with those terms. Also sorry for saying “sorry.” I’m trying to be better about that.
Our preferred terms for “women entrepreneurs” or “female business owners” around here are:
- “Entrepreneur” or
- “Business owner”
It always surprises us when someone asks, “Is your law firm mostly for women business owners?”
Our answer: “Umm, no?” We don’t have official numbers (we don’t think about it, because it doesn’t matter!), but probably half or more of our clients are men.
So why do people assume we’re a law firm for ladies? Because two-thirds of our team identifies as female?
You guys. Other law firms are winning awards for gender diversity, even when over two-thirds of the partners are men.
Let’s take a well-earned moment to celebrate women who built amazing businesses. While we don’t want to diminish them with cutesy nicknames, sometimes these gendered terms help me realize I’m not alone when things are more difficult because of my gender. Without a doubt, women face challenges when building businesses that men don’t. Women of color and underrepresented groups have an even harder road. But still, women persist. It’s inspirational.
Women are boxed into a black-and-white world of being “good or bad,” “nice or bitchy.” Men are allowed to be “complex.”
The most likely result when a man in power is credibly accused of sexual harassment? Sensitivity training. But have you seen the number of hit articles about a “lady boss” “being mean” to her employees? Some are immediately fired for it. (We’re not including the link. She should be known for more than this.)
This month, we’re highlighting some of the entrepreneurs who inspire us. Their savvy business and legal decisions propelled their rise to the top, and there’s so much that we can learn from their good ideas and power moves.
Each of these mega-successful business owners has been called a bitch. Every. Single. One. The stream of hate that flows their way is real and powerful, and it keeps me up at night. I constantly struggle to overcoming my own culturally ingrained desperation to be perceived as nice at all costs. My biggest fear is that people won’t like me, an anxiety diametrically opposed to the enormous, expansive vision I have for my business. As I get more successful, more people out there will dislike me. Accepting this is necessary to achieving my goals.
All that said, we are NOT acknowledging the ways in which some might find our heroes “problematic.”
They are complex. They are cool.
Check out our first entry in the series, spotlighting Shonda Rhimes, on Women Belong’s blog. Here’s the list of the articles you can look forward to this month:
- Bethenny Frankel & Dolly Parton
- Barbara Corcoran
- Taylor Swift
- Shohreh Davoodi
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*Mad props to G & G Law attorney Catie Eubanks for coming up with the idea for this series, inspiring me to finally revisit a months-old article I wrote about celebrity entrepreneurs, and for taking the initiative to coordinate the postings with the rest of the team. Thank you, Catie!
*I love this article and leaned on it for this post.