Women In Business Are A Hot Topic - InformationWeek

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5/28/2008
04:01 PM
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Women In Business Are A Hot Topic

Yesterday, on bMighty a businesswoman was front and center. Today, on SmallBizResource you'll find the third installment of Wednesday's Woman. A coincidence? Hardly. Women and business are hot and not likely to cool anytime soon.

Yesterday, on bMighty a businesswoman was front and center. Today, on SmallBizResource you'll find the third installment of Wednesday's Woman. A coincidence? Hardly. Women and business are hot and not likely to cool anytime soon.Our bMighty Midmarket Hero story features Cyndee Sugra, the CEO of not one, but two tech companies who counts big names like Fox and Fisher Price among her clients. How did Sugra make the leap from lead guitarist in an all-girl band to tech CEO? Click and read.

Meanwhile, the new series on SmallBizResource, Wednesday's Woman, focuses on women and business issues each week. Already, chief blogging officer Gayle Kesten, who created the series, has dug into the details of a report that half of women working as technologists, scientists, and engineers abandon their careers sometime between their 35th and 40th birthdays and profiled the CEO of TodaysMama. In the latest installment, Naomi Grossman shares tidbits from her conversations with the aforementioned Rocker Girl Cyndee Sugra.

Beyond bMighty, our colleague at InformationWeek, Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, has some insights into another study about women and careers that concluded, "Women prefer careers working with living things, rather than "inorganic matter."

The focus on women is hardly limited to the TechWeb Network. Last week, Forbes announced it will launch an Executive Women's Network, a social network for female execs modeled on Forbes.com's CEO Network. That comes on the heels of Forbes' latest list of billionaires -- yes, still dominated by men with the usual dance between Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Carlos Slim for the top slot. However, 99 women (almost 10 percent) now rank among the billionaires led by Liliane Bettencourt and her $22.9 billion at #17 ahead of an assortment of Wal-Mart heirs and household names such as Oprah Winfrey (#462 $2.5 billion) and J.K. Rowling (#1062 $1 billion).

Forbes is not alone, in March Yahoo announced Shine, a women's site designed for women ages 25 to 54 offering content from Yahoo and a host of syndication partners, including Hearst, Conde Nast, and Time complete with a Work + Money category (though the Sex and the City promo is getting the best placement this week).

Meanwhile, the other half of fabled MicroHoo recently sponsored a multicity event for women in smaller business. The Microsoft Office Live Small Business "Vision to Venture" series set out to address issues unique to women in smaller businesses. Did it? See for yourself, it's all available as an archived Web cast.

Not to be outdone, American Express (OPEN) is throwing down on Microsoft's Seattle turf with the latest installment of Make Mine a Million $ Business (albeit with an assist from other sponsors including Cisco, Dell, and AIG). Rather than targeting the businesswomen of today, Make Mine a Million $ Business is reaching out to the businesswomen of tomorrow with a slate of events (Washington governor Chris Gregoire is headlining) and the titular million-dollar contest for the best two-minute elevator pitch.

Why all the interest in women? Basic math is a big reason. According to the "Survey of Business Owners: Women-Owned Firms," a report from the U.S. Census Bureau report, women-owned businesses grew 20 percent between 1997 and 2002 -- twice the national average for business growth. The survey estimates that in 2002, women owned 6.5 million U.S. businesses (30 percent of non-farm businesses) generating $940.8 billion in revenue and of that 5.6 million had no employees, indicating that the majority of entrepreneurial women are familiar with the challenges of running a smaller business.

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