Should Women Brag More? Either Way, We're Bragging About These Women-Owned Businesses
45 small, women-owned businesses for you to support this holiday weekend
Just last week I talked about — or rather, complained about — how women are often told to do things more like men in order to succeed in a male-dominated world, while men are rarely told to act more like women (stereotypically speaking, of course).
And then this week, I stumbled across yet another article suggesting just that: "Women's Key to Business Success - Bragging More."
"Why?!" I wanted to scream internally — when it comes to self-promotion vs. humility, I'll always side with the latter. Surely, we could write a different article suggesting that men who are too confident in their business ideas for their own (or society's) good should brag less. Or perhaps more practically, we could suggest that other evaluation criteria be used in order to allow women's accomplishments to stand for themselves, rather than simply rewarding whomever is best at talking themselves up.
But alas, I know that's not how the world works (at least not yet), so I decided to actually read the article to better understand the author's point. Lisa Curtis is herself an entrepreneur and she thinks a fear of self-promotion is holding women back in business. The Self-Promotion Gap surveyed a nationally representative group of 1,000+ adults in the U.S. and found that:
- A majority of women avoid talking about their strengths and accomplishments.
- 69% of women would rather minimize their successes than tell people about them, even though 83% of women reported being inspired by hearing about other women's accomplishments.
- Older women are 20% more likely to want to downplay their accomplishments than younger women.
Curtis contends that, "While humility is a trait with many virtues, it is not a helpful one in the field of entrepreneurship... Most investors, particularly at early-stages, are investing more in the founders than the idea or product. The more impressive the founder makes herself out to be, the more likely she'll be successful in raising the money she needs to scale."
She goes on to argue that this is likely one of the reasons women start companies at a rate 1.5 times higher than the national average, but male-owned businesses receive 23 times more VC funding. Woah. Serious food for thought.
There will always be a fine line between humility and self-deprecation; self-confidence and arrogance. But wherever you come down on the great bragging debate (and the self-confidence and self-promotion gaps), it's clear that we need to do more to support female founders.
If that means encouraging women to feel more comfortable talking (or "bragging") about their accomplishments, then great. But I think it should also mean supporting other women by lifting each other up. If you're talking with someone who seems to be uncomfortable sharing their accomplishments, try saying something like, "I'm really interested in hearing more about your career and successes. What's something you've done lately that you're really proud of?"
And, perhaps most importantly of all, brag about all the amazing and impressive women you know! After all, it's not really bragging if you do it for somebody else — it's called giving a compliment. And it's wonderful.
So in the spirit of women bragging on behalf of other women, we're sharing 45 small, women-owned businesses for you to support this holiday shopping weekend. Ditch the big box stores and give these small businesses a try on Cyber Monday! (And don't forget to share your favorite women and minority-owned businesses in the comments!)
45 Small, Women-Owned Businesses to Support This Holiday Season
For foodies, winos, and coffee/adult-beverage enthusiasts:
For personal, unique, and affordable holiday gifts:
For the kiddos:
For clothing/accessories to help you look and feel your best:
- The Hook Nook https://www.thehooknooklife.com/shop
- Rooted Soles https://www.rootedsoles.com/
- Teressa Foglia https://teressafoglia.com/
- Feminist Apparel https://www.feministapparel.com/
- Bandolier https://www.bandolierstyle.com/
- Rebel Soul Collective https://rebelsoulco.com/
- Williamokpo - https://www.instagram.com/williamokpo/
- Made By Malyia - https://www.instagram.com/madebymalyia/
- Melanie Marie - https://www.instagram.com/_melaniemarie_/
- Kahmune - https://www.instagram.com/kahmune/ - https://www.instagram.com/carmenjamdiego/
- Lost Queens - https://www.instagram.com/lost.queens/
For skincare, healthcare, and self-care:
- Petal and Hive https://petalandhive.com/
- Lauren Napier Beauty - https://www.laurennapier.com/
- Beauty By Africa Miranda https://beautybyafricamiranda.com/
- Rubylipsllc - https://www.rubylipsllccosmetics.com/
- MischoBeauty - https://www.instagram.com/mischobeauty/
- Litbklyn - https://www.instagram.com/litbklyn/
- The Lip Bar - https://www.instagram.com/thelipbar/
- Laid Hair Accessories - https://www.instagram.com/laidhairaccessories/
For all your home decor needs:
- Homies - www.homies.la
- Homegirl Collection - www.homegirlcollection.com
- Kennedy Rose Interiors - https://kennedyroseinteriors.com
- Eclectic Goods - https://eclecticgoods.com
- Gunn & Swain - https://www.gunnandswain.com
- Collectiv Co - https://collectivco.com
- Loom & Kiln - https://loomandkiln.com
- Ebb and thread - https://ebbandthread.com
- Norwegian Wood Online - https://www.norwegianwoodonline.com
- Rug & Weave - https://www.rugandweave.com
- Laylo Pets - https://www.laylopets.com/
It's been six years since Sarah Cooper graced us with her 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. But how on earth can we appear smart in our new virtual world, in which for many of us, going to work is just sitting in one long series of probably-not-necessary Zoom meetings?
1. Dial in.<p>Dialing in rather than joining via the link instantly boosts your credibility. Who calls into Zoom meetings? People who are still busy and important enough to be leaving their houses! But you needn't actually be one of those people, or even more than a foot away from your computer to pull off this maneuver. (Remember, this article is called *seeming* smart, not being smart.)</p><p><strong></strong><em>Bonus: </em>If it's a large meeting at which attendance will be taken, the person running the meeting will inevitably ask, "Who's calling in from 443-322-2121?" That's when you raise your metaphorical hand, jump off mute, and say "[Your name] here. Really looking forward to hearing your perspective on [meeting topic]." And voila! You've stolen the meeting spotlight.</p>
2. Don't come on camera—ever.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODU5OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjMwNjI3OX0.4fLyq2CvkZAJ7n_03esZepY37mOdyGdDdTEUYt5XEU0/img.png?width=980" id="bc7e6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fbbf21cc5d8c863b30654ae6993b04f5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>Much like the "dial in," this technique works because it makes you appear aloof. If <em>The Crown has </em>taught me anything, it's that the key to maintaining a sense of mystique and prestige is to keep people at arm's length—and if you absolutely <em>must</em> touch them, wear a glove.</p>
3. Only communicate via chat.<p>Once you've mastered the art of staying off camera, you can level up by communicating exclusively via the chat box. Don't come off mute at all, even if the speaker asks your opinion. You are the elusive chatter and you will not be forced into actually participating in said meeting.</p>
4. Ask to share your screen.<p>Being aloof is great, but it's all about balance. Sprinkling in some active participation will really shock and impress your colleagues if you catch them off guard, so save this technique for when you've strategically <em>not </em>participated in a string of meetings.</p><p>Spend a few minutes prior to the meeting prepping a few inspirational slides with words like "synergy," "optimization," and "redefining 'culture'", or spend a few minutes poking around in Google Analytics. </p><p>Then wait for the opportune moment to say, "Can I just share my screen for a moment? I have some really interesting data I'd like to share...." and BAM — brilliance established.</p>
5. Show off your Zoom-saviness.<p>Try saying, "You know you can mute people, right?" to the host when they beg whoever's got the lawn mower and crying baby in the background to put themselves on mute for the nth time.<br></p>
6. Create an alter ego.<p>This tactic requires commitment, but the pay off is certainly worth it. Join the Zoom meeting from your normal account + name, and then join it again on a second device from an alias. Have your alter-ego ask some probing or stat-based questions in the chat and have the answers ready ahead of time. It should work something like this:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Your alter ego Charlene</strong><strong>:</strong> "Does anyone know what percentage conversion rates increased by in Q2?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Real you</strong>: *doesn't miss a beat* "It looks like Charlene has a question in the chat. That would be 36%."</p><div>Never mind that no one on your team knows who Charlene is or why she's at this meeting, they'll be too blown away by your brilliance to notice. (Bonus points if you use this strategy in conjunction with techniques 1, 2, 3 or 4!)</div>
7. Place an obscure object in your background that exudes intelligence.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODYxOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzk5Njg2Mn0.V9_-3Ij3v_QndseqlrXRt5Nn39EJ97-itjls5zzYPf8/img.png?width=980" id="a369d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="604a2f04b53c2e3bc801bfa5256f367b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>We're talking a telescope, or perhaps a hardcover copy of <em>War & Peace </em>(no one need know that its only purpose in your life is as a makeshift yoga block).</p><p>If you don't have any suitable props at your disposal, do not despair: download some screenshots of Sheldon's apartment from <em>Big Bang Theory </em>or the chalkboard in <em>Good Will Hunting </em>and use those as a virtual background.</p>
8. Ask "Is this really the best course of action given the current climate?"<p>Economic collapse, COVID, racism… No need to specify whether you're referring to one or all of the above; just sit back and watch your boss squirm amidst the ambiguity.</p><p>This strategy pairs very well with techniques 2 and 3. You can prep additional vague-but-probing questions ahead of time and pepper them into the chat box throughout the meeting:</p><ul><li>How will this scale?</li><li>Do we really have the bandwidth for this right now?</li><li>What's the value-add here?</li></ul>
9. Remind everyone that you have a paid Zoom account.<p>"Oh, it looks like we're getting the 40-minute warning. I have a paid account, do you want to switch to my room?" It's helpful, with just a touch of condescension. Everyone knows condescending people are smart. And everyone knows that people with paid Zoom accounts are super important.</p>
10. Tell everyone you have a hard stop.<p>When pressed for details, share your philosophy on "work-from-home" balance and how committed you are to getting up once an hour to walk to your refrigerator.</p>
11. Ask the screensharer/host to "pull something up" for everyone.<p>Ask the presenter to navigate to a screen that only you know how to navigate well. Laugh maniacally while they suffer from crippling performance anxiety. Let them struggle for as long as is tolerable before saying, "Oh you know what? I can just share my screen if you want. That would probably be easier." BAM you're the hero. Don't worry, no one will even pause to consider that you could have proposed this course of action from the start.</p>
12. Say Zoom fatigue as many times as possible.<p>If you're too tired to employ any of the other strategies, just say "I know everyone is experiencing a lot of Zoom fatigue, so we can keep this meeting short." Then hang up as quickly as possible. Meeting averted! </p><p>After all, there's no better way to demonstrate your intelligence in a virtual meeting than to demonstrate why it wasn't really necessary in the first place. </p>
I sat in front of my CEO to discuss several complaints of racism. I was new to my role as a Culture Director. I was nervous about his reaction to the complaints. But I also knew he strongly supported developing this new department; I knew that he would take the right steps. So I was shocked when I heard him say sheepishly, "I don't know, Noelle...all of this stuff about racism. I just don't see it. I don't even see color. I'm pretty much color blind."
A five-step framework for addressing systematic racism at work
The world has changed in the past few weeks.
We're watching corporations and organizations across the world come out in support of Black lives in droves. Many of those organizations are doing so for the first time in their history.
Living in the midst of a pandemic has brought about a whole host of changes and challenges for workplaces and employees. One of the most notable? Virtual interviewing. With most on-site interviews on hold for the foreseeable future, it's important that you be prepared to make a great first impression—virtually.
Women Founders & CEOs Share Their Tips
If you're anxious about looking for a new job right now, you're not alone. We've talked before about how you can land a job in the midst of COVID-19, but today we wanted to share advice from some of the experts who spoke at our inaugural Diversity Reboot Summit.