Women generally face professional obstacles that most men don't quite understand, so when a woman harnesses her power and faces such challenges with the strategic command of a five star general, community curiosity is naturally piqued.
It wasn't so long ago that it was considered tragically unfeminine for a woman to aspire to be "Ms. Boss Lady." Beginning in the late 1960s, the gender divide in the L.A. workforce narrowed swiftly as women modified the collective definition of accomplishment to include successful integration into the world of work. Gone are the days when women were viewed as being authentically disadvantaged in the professional realm. Ideological accuracy has forced both men and women to take a step back to get an accurate portrayal of the big picture.
A 1992 U.S. Census Bureau study revealed that women entrepreneurs are critical to long-term economic growth and that increasing the number of women entrepreneurs is vital for a nation's enduring financial standing. According to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) Kyser Center of Research, over 265,000 L.A. area businesses were owned by women in 2002. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that California had the most women-owned businesses in the United States in 2002 at 870,496 or 13.4 percent, with receipts totaling more than $137 billion. In a period of 5 years between 1997 and 2002, California experienced a 9% increase in women owned businesses, with 37 percent of the increase concentrated in the Greater L.A. area.
Few can deny that there is something inspirational about L.A. women who advance the evolution of business by building pathways to power that pepper the cityscape with permanent kitten heel prints. These unique guideposts for leaders of tomorrow create enduring reminders that women are now poised to create wealth and influence corporate policies that safeguard feminine interests more than at any other time in recent history. In today's professional arena, independently scaling the rungs of an industry ladder can provide proof that professional jurisdiction is a justifiable right that a woman can, if she so chooses, refuse to forfeit.
Sisters (in L.A.) are doing it for themselves and as we usher in this new decade, one thing is clearly evident: Our numbers are up and the force is with us.