Baltimore, the leading location for women in business

Women in business are said to be more successful in Baltimore

By Lawanda Johnson

Digital Content Manager

The ongoing battle for women’s equality in the world of business has been a tough battle to fight, especially within the United States. Historically speaking, men have been more likely to obtain a white-collar job inside of the workplace, than women. Even today, that is still, sadly, the case. You have female candidates who have effectively shown qualities that could very well be beneficial to a company, but, instead, they are pushed to the wayside, solely due to their gender. Though men are culturally expected to lead, where does that leave the women? Overshadowed by the stereotype that men are generally more equipped to adequately drive the wheel of business? Are we saying that a woman doesn’t have the ability to get ahead in the corporate world? What are we basing that on? So many questions are going unanswered. Both socially and politically, women face a level of injustice, and, unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for a lot of women in today’s business realm, as well. Thus, restraining them from the potential of actually successfully running or even, possibly, owning a business.

However, according to recent reports from ShareFile.com, Baltimore has been deemed the leading location for women in business. The city ranked number one in ShareFile’s Businesswomen Power City Index observation—which evaluated cities’ percentage of women-owned businesses, the amount of executive positions held by women, and, also, compared the wages of men and women, along with the cost of living for women.

 

     Statistics of top cities in America for Businesswomen /ShareFile.com

During the findings, it was discovered that Baltimore holds a high percentage of women-owned businesses and everyday businesswomen who are occupying executive roles, 23% of which are the women-owned businesses and 31% of women holding executive jobs, in the area. The high buying power for women, also, solidified the city’s first place, creating a great milestone for the Charm City and its business professionals.

Baltimore’s ranking exceeded other major metropolitan cities, such as Tampa, FL and Washington, D.C.—with Tampa following in second and D.C. in third. This poses the question, “Why are we number one?” Well, it’s simple; traffic for businesses in Baltimore is considerably rapid. With both D.C. and New York being its next-door neighbors, the possibilities to network with others around the business community—migrating throughout the area, and grow the efficiency of a business are endless.

“Baltimore is a great city to work in because, although it is a smaller ‘big city,’ it is centrally located to other larger metropolitan areas.” Owner of Garnering Change Psychotherapy, Heather Garner, explains. “In two hours on the train, you can be in New York City, forty-five minutes and you can be in Washington D.C., and in an hour, you can be in Philadelphia. With a smaller population than cities close by, and so many unique communities and groups here in Baltimore, networking is super easy, and word-of-mouth referrals are often the bread and butter of small businesses.”

Surprisingly, though one would assume that the working grounds in a city like Baltimore are extremely competitive, Garner says that the business community is actually very supportive and close-knit, which has contributed to the amount of businesses that are still active and why we are carrying the leading title.

Women are entrepreneurs

Celebrating Women’s History Month with local business owners

By Sakina Stamper
Contributor

Unless you are a business owner, you probably haven’t completed an external environmental analysis recently. In other words, in case you haven’t been looking closely, women as entrepreneurs are certainly on the rise. What better way for Women’s History Month than to discuss the impact Baltimore women are having in the business world.

Three Baltimore women are doing their part to make history not only for their families, not only for their children, but for the greater good of the world. These Baltimore women are role models for other women who are budding entrepreneurs. Proving that it is possible to be a mother and an entrepreneur, Tammira Lucas, Shantell Roberts, and Carmin Coates are successful business owners, each on a mission to make their own history.

Though people decide to take that leap from employee to entrepreneur for different reasons, it is important to know what some of those reasons are because they may resonate with many other people. “What drove me to want to be an entrepreneur is not having the capabilities to work for someone. Wanting the freedom and to be able to control what I make and how far I go, and not having someone dictate those things for me”, said doctoral candidate Tammira Lucas. One of the common qualities of entrepreneurs is the general feeling of not being satisfied working for someone else. Carmin Coates, owner of Soiree Conceptions, LLC. said that “not wanting to work for someone for the rest of my life and building their legacy” lead her to entrepreneurship and having “the opportunity to do things [her] way.”

For others, entrepreneurship may come a little differently. Shantell Roberts, founder of Touching Young Lives, Inc. speaks of her road to entrepreneurship a little differently. “It just kind of happened after the death of my daughter. One of my good friends told me that I should start a foundation in the honor of my daughter. I started doing a lot of research and realized there was a painful problem in my community that I needed to address” said Roberts. There are so many life events that can lead us to realize the many issues and problems in this world that need resolution. Something that can be the one of the worse life experiences can lead to one of the greatest experiences if one sees the opportunity presented between the darkness.

Tammira Lucas is known for seeing an opportunity and immediately taking it by the horns. Twenty-nine years old and already involved in various businesses (The Business Dr. a consulting company, MAE, and the nonprofit RISE). “I always see opportunities out there that I have a passion for. I just see opportunities. I see a problem and it’s bothering me so I need to start a business to solve that problem” said Lucas. Starting a business is all about solving problems. If your business does not solve a problem that many people are impacted by, your business will not survive.

In business ownership, one can never truly be prepared for the highs and lows it presents. For every high, there will be just as many lows, whether silent or loud. Coates describes her one of her lows as business being “a consistent learning process and every lesson is not going to be one that you are going to enjoy. You have to be able to distinguish what’s good for your business and what’s not”. Her business, Soiree Conceptions, LLC is an event planning business, thus one of her highs is “having your client appreciate your work and show their admiration,” Coates says. Customer appreciation always goes a long way to the longevity of a business. However when it comes to operating a non-profit such as Touching Young Lives Inc., securing adequate funding is the key to a successful organization. Roberts speaks to one of her main lows when she says “financially if you are not able to carry out your mission or programming that is a major setback. I hate when I have to compete against another program for funding. Programming can only be as good as its funding”. Lucas has experienced this as well with her non-profit RISE. Both ladies have great non-profit organizations that aim to change lives in Baltimore and are not going to allow lack of fluid funding prevent them from working their missions.

There is so much more history to be made in this world and it starts with more women taking the leap of faith from employee to entrepreneur. Many women dream of it, but doubt if they can actually achieve it. The best advice for women out there is to get out of their own way and make it happen, because you can. Roberts says, “If you have a dream, do something every day to make that dream happen”. Being an entrepreneur is a dream that can become a reality with hard work, dedication, and “surrounding yourself with other people that help uplift you and take you to where you want to be” Coates adds.

You may be scared, but turn that fear into fuel. As Lucas says, “If you don’t do it, how will you feel ten years from now? At the end of the day you can’t be scared to fail”.

For more information on these women entrepreneurs and their businesses, like their businesses on facebook and their websites are below:

www.soireeconceptions.com
www.tamthebizdr.com

Is feminism dead?

By Belinda Sacco
Contributor

National Women’s History month is upon us once again and, while many U.B. students continue to celebrate how much progress has been made towards gender equality, some still struggle with exactly how to define “equality” and “feminism,” and whether there exists any further need of either. They are not alone in their confusion.

Every March the internet floods with articles from news sources like The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and Forbes debunking the concept of the wage gap between men and women based on discrimination. These articles assert that men make more money because statistically they choose to enter more lucrative fields and work longer hours than their female counterparts. “5 Feminist Myths That Will Not Die” by Time contributor Christina Hoff Sommers further dissects conflated poverty, sexual assault, and domestic violence statistics, ending with the line, “My advice to women’s advocates: Take back the truth.”

What is the truth? Is feminism dead? Should it be?

An entire internet movement says yes. Over the past three years, anti-feminist men’s movement Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) has cropped up on social media sites while promoting masculism and disparaging women. Their website currently lists 13,207 members.

Feminism’s choice of battles has garnered some critique as well. “I’m all for equal pay, equal treatment, and equal expectations professionally,” says U.B. junior Sierra Thompson.

“But some things I just don’t get- like the fight for women to go topless

[legally]. Sure, breasts shouldn’t be sexualized, but they are. And when there’s women getting stoned to death for wearing pants in Baghdad, is the right to be half-naked really what [women’s advocates] want to focus on?”

When asked if and why feminism was still needed in first world countries like the U.S., UB student Alexis Jeter stated, “I think the question of whether it’s needed in first world countries boils down to the question of legislating sexual assault and domestic violence against women. Feminism has always led the fight on these issues. Think back to Take Back the Night and the Riot Grrrl movements… I believe feminism should stay around as [a] means for women to advocate for women.”

Many point to the debunked wage gap myth and lowered sexual assault rates as an indication that sexism no longer poses a threat. When asked about this argument and her experience with it, UB graduate student Ann Margaret Zelenka said,

“There is a strong emphasis on male pride both in Europe and in America. I experienced this particularly among the Catholic and Christian denominations. I have been told on several occasions I should not work hard and get into law school, but instead stay at home all of the time and be with a spouse. In America, we should be rid of misogyny, but that is simply not the case.”

Arthur Magida, UB Professor and author of The Nazi Seance, says of feminism’s value, “I don’t think [feminism] is dead. I don’t think it’s dormant. I think it’s changing because expectations are different.”

Challenge accepted!

By Jessica Greenstein

We’re still searching for my male counterpart. Do you know a guy who likes trying out new stuff, isn’t afraid to voice his opinions, and can string a couple sentences together? If so, have them apply at editor@ubpost.org.

Since we don’t have our male voice yet, I’m giving you two box reviews this month and they are all geared to- ward women this month (sorry guys).

SwaagBox is a discreet time-of-the-month box that includes makeup and jewelry every month
SwaagBox is a discreet time-of-the-month box that includes makeup and jewelry every month

SwaagBox (TOM)

SwaagBox is a time-of-the-month box that I decided to try out this month because they had a coupon to try the service for only $5 with free shipping (regular price is as low as $14/month with a six month sub- scription or $16 per month). I was pleasantly happy about the fact that I got to choose between Tampax (Pearl and Regular), Playtex (Gentle Glide and Sport) and Always (pads), plus they promise to send you jewelry, makeup, and sweet treats to help get you through the week. It’s mailed in a discreet box, right to your door. For an additional $6, I was able to double my makeup and jewelry and since it was a trial, I figured, why not.

Upon opening the box, I immediately noticed it was packed full; that’s a good sign, right? Well, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. I looked at the makeup first. It was mostly Hard Candy brand eye shadows and eyeliners (valued at $30 since I doubled the makeup) with a Maybelline Color Show (Spring color) nail polish (value $4.99) and a Revlon Luxurious Color Shadow (value $5.99). It was all bright tones or glittery, something I could probably only get away with on Halloween or at a theme party, but perfect for someone in their late teens or early twenties.

The jewelry was also disappointing. I received a Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet (value $19.95) and for doubling up a Breast Cancer Awareness Bangle (value $19.00). It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, so I’ll wear it with pride, especially since they donated a portion of their profits to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, but I was hoping for a something a little more generic that I can wear anytime and with almost anything. My box included an 18 count of Tam- pax Pearl tampons (value $4.99) and some much needed TOM chocolate.

I will use a couple of the eyeliners and I want to try one of the eye shadows (I think I can pull off the team color if I use it sparingly for smoky eyes and accenting; the rest I’ll be swapping on one of my favorite subscription box blogs. I’ll probably do something with one of the brace- lets too because I’m just not the type of person that can wear advocacy 24/7/365. Although I’m going to swap more than half of the box, the value (according to the product card inside my box) was phenomenal—$84.92 and I only paid $11.00 for it!

SwaagBox
Cost: $14.00/per month with a 6 month subscription.
FREE SHIPPING!
Website: Swaagbox.com Introductory Offer: $6.00 for your first box at http://www.swaagbox. com/tombox/1/?SSAID=669014 (Make sure you type it correctly)

 

Wantable Intimates

Wantable Intimates box includes four to five items for $36.00; free shipping
Wantable Intimates box includes four to five items for $36.00; free shipping

I’ve been subscribing to Wantable Accessories for about six months now and absolutely adore it, so this month I decided to branch out and try something new—Intimates. While my intention was to still review the Accessories box, my October box still hasn’t arrived, so as if we haven’t been intimate enough with a TOM review, welcome to my bedroom!

I have to say, I have never been disappointed with a Wantable box yet. I have loved every single thing that I have ever received and the only minor issues I’ve had, they’ve made it up to me in a huge way. Their cus- tomer service is incredible! I once received a ring where the stone in the corner (very tiny; barely notice- able) had fallen out; they let me keep the ring and instantly sent me a scarf (worth double the value of the ring) to replace it!

Wantable is truly customized. They ask you a series of questions to get to know your likes, dislikes, and style preferences. They ask about sizes and types of intimates prefer- ences. You can change it every month so that you can focus on more of what you like or need at that time. For example, when we get further into winter, I will probably only change my preferences to reflect that I love loungewear, but right now I have it on dislike so that they don’t send me any as I have plenty for this season.

Wantable costs $36.00 with a sub- scription or $40.00 for a one time box. You can skip months, so honestly, just sign up for the subscription and save yourself some money. They promise four to 5 pieces every month and shipping is always free.

My Preferences

Love

Shapewear
Soft Bras
Fun & Flirty Brights

Like

Panties
Camis
Pretty & Polished Neutrals

Dislike

Loungewear

Hoisery Accessories

Tanks Tights/Leggings Socks

Inside my box:

•Nana Soft Bra in Grey by Miel (value $34)

•Lace Trim Boyshort in Bright by Fleur’t (value $35)

•Royal Ribbon Thong in Rose by Sophie B (value $12)

•Hot Pink Seamless Sports Bra by an undisclosed designer (value $18

I love everything in my box. Everything fit and I will wear it all. Particularly, the bright pink sports bra is one of the softest things I’ve ever felt in my lift—think bunny rabbit! I was really hoping for ACTUAL bras, you know, with support, but the grey, soft, bra without underwire fit perfectly and provided just enough support for me. The total value of my box was $99 and I only paid $36, so it’s also not too shabby!

Wantable (Intimates, Accessories, or Makeup)
Cost: $36.00/per month with a subscription. FREE SHIPPING! Website: Wantable.com

Introductory Offer: Unfortunately there isn’t one available at this time; you’ll just have to fall in love with them at full price!

All photos courtesy of Jessica Greenstein for the UB Post