It should come as no surprise to anybody that in 2017, our economy is being led in many areas by women. The only issue is, we tend not to hear quite as much about the innovative female entrepreneurs in the marketplace as we do about some of the men. Now, there’s nothing wrong with studying the career and work ethic of men like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or even Bill Gates or Steve Jobs—they’ve all contributed greatly to shaping the world around us. But we would do well to seek out some of their female counterparts in order to provide a more well-rounded view of what entrepreneurship can, and should, look like.
As we study female entrepreneurs, not only can we provide great role models for girls in the younger generation, but we can hopefully weed out ingrained biases in our system that make it just a bit more difficult for women to be successful in starting their own businesses.
Perhaps most of all, though, is the fact that all of us really can stand to learn something by broadening our horizons a bit and taking a page out of the playbooks of some of the most successful women in the world. The following four women are leading their industries and most definitely have something to teach us all about entrepreneurism.
#1 Julia Taylor Cheek
Julia Taylor Cheek founded the in-home lab testing company, EverlyWell. Her idea takes all the tedium and confusion out of lab work, leaving you with a streamlined and intuitive process that eliminates unnecessary paperwork, and perhaps most of all, lost time spent waiting in offices.
Previously the youngest VP of her old company, MoneyGram International, Julia found the perfect niche and pursued it, perfecting her product and meeting a genuine need for people around the country.
#2 Christina El Moussa
Christina El Moussa was not only able to become a reality TV star through her and her former husband, Tarek El Moussa’s show Flip or Flop, she’s also gone out of her way to empower those who want to follow in her footsteps.
She and Tarek founded SuccessPath, a business designed to teach anybody who is interested how to get involved in real estate marketing and flipping houses. Although one of the messages they convey through the organization is that anybody can get involved in real estate marketing, the truth is, it takes extreme levels of hard work and tenacity, something Christina has demonstrated throughout her time in the public eye.
#3 Cher Wang
As the founder of mobile technology company HTC, Cher Wang has a net worth of nearly $2-billion. Having founded HTC in 1997, she’s created a product line that counts Apple and Samsung as its main competition.
Having previously founded tech giant VIA Technologies, Cher Wang has clearly carved out a spot for herself among the tech industry’s elite. She’s shown, through her supreme level of knowledge and education, that STEM fields aren’t just for the guys.
#4 Sheryl Sandberg
As the COO of Facebook, a board member of the Walt Disney Corporation, and an important member of the Center for Global Development and Women for Women International, Sheryl Sandberg isn’t just one of the wealthiest female entrepreneurs out there with a net worth of $1-billion, she’s also one of the most powerful and influential women in the world.
As mentioned above, in addition to being one of the top minds at Facebook, Sheryl Sandburg has used her success to advocate for female empowerment and has fought to help more women become successful entrepreneurs. Without a doubt, we could all certainly stand to learn something from her.
Something we should all agree on is the fact that the marketplace should present equal opportunities for men and women. While there may be some contention as far as how close we actually are to that equality, it shouldn’t be controversial at all saying that we need to learn about the women who are succeeding as entrepreneurs just as much as we should be studying their male counterparts.
Ultimately, one thing we all know is that we’re in this together. By learning about and trying to emulate the success of the women listed above, we’ll provide a more equal view of the economy to future entrepreneurs, and we will without a doubt become more well-rounded ourselves.
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Nathan Resnick is a serial entrepreneur who currently serves as CEO of Sourcify, a marketplace of the world’s top manufacturers. In the past, Nathan has brought dozens of products to market, been a part of campaigns on Kickstarter raising a total of over $1mil, used to live in China, and knows the ins and outs of how to turn ideas into realities. He currently writes for Entrepreneur and the Huffington Post.