As a small business owner, it can be challenging to keep the pace of business during a crisis that has now shut-down about 1/4 of the country. Many companies are struggling to maintain momentum, or worse, closed completely as we strive to flatten the curve through social distancing.
While even large businesses are bearing the burden of this shut down, small companies have the additional challenge of having a smaller footprint, and a lower budget for marketing activities.
So how can a small business maintain a customer relationship and prepare to ramp up again when the "stay at home" orders are lifted?
Women of Denver has a network of thousands of women in business. Connect with us by joining our Facebook group, becoming a member and attending virtual events, or use us as a platform for marketing and PR support by becoming a Power Woman.
We're excited to showcase the newest member of the Power Women of Denver, Lisa Lewis, CEO and Founder of Career Clarity, a platform that has helped over 500 people get clarity and make bold, exciting career changes.
Connect with Lisa:
What unique impact do you make on the world through your work?
I help people who don't love their jobs to find the work that lights them up. We spend so many waking hours at work every single week that it's a huge honor and privilege to help people map a pathway to work that better aligns with their values and fits their needs.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment you're proud of?
I just learned how to crochet and successfully made my first baby blanket for a friend! I'm the kind of perfectionist who can't just have a hobby for the sake of it -- I need productive, creative hobbies where I get to have fun outputs at the end!
What actions do you take to support and empower other women?
My business tends to skew towards supporting women identify who they are, what they value, and find the work that suits them, so I support and empower women in their careers every single day!
How did your career take off, and what do you attribute your success to most?
My career took off when I started to get courageous and calculated in my decisions. After spending about a decade working in digital marketing, I knew I was done, but didn't know what was next. Over the course of 2 years, I took baby steps to explore different directions, and started up my career coaching business on the side of my full-time job. One year later, I had started generating enough business to take a leap of faith and leave my full-time job -- and if I hadn't been willing to do that, I would have never been able to serve and have an impact at the scale that I do today.
How do you keep yourself passionate and driven regardless of how busy you are day to day?
Taking breaks every once in a while to recharge and re-ignite is important! The passion comes from taking care of myself and my needs while also remembering the bigger mission I'm serving. (I'm a woman on a mission to help people truly enjoy their work!)
What do you see as the future of your industry?
The coaching industry is in a fascinating high-growth stage right now, because typically high growth means a lot of regulation is coming (look at Uber or Lime scooters!). I think the future of the industry will be incorporating far more coaching into companies, so that you won't have to be an entrepreneur to build a satisfying career as a coach.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
When I worked in grassroots communications consulting in Washington DC, my boss Bill noticed that I was very smart and also very quiet. He told me never to leave a room without making sure the people in it heard my voice and knew why I was there. That encouragement changed the trajectory of how I was showing up professionally and using my voice for good.
What's been inspiring you lately?
New music has been inspiring me lately! Loving groups like American Authors and Magic Giant.
What do you love most about Women of Denver?
It's exciting to find a community of ambitious women who are focused on building community!
What else would you like our readers to know about you?
I’m an obsessive learner, recovering perfectionist, passionate traveler, INTJ, English breakfast tea lover, perpetual dreamer, a cappella singer, overachiever, raw cookie dough enthusiast, and a definite Ravenclaw.
By Andrea Sarow, Denver-area Small Business Banker with Bank of America
As we celebrate women this month, it’s an ideal time to focus on the outlook for women in small business. Denver was recently ranked as the top metro area for women looking to start a business, ranking above 49 other cities across the country. With 29% of business being woman-owned and operated and an unemployment rate of 4.2% for women, Denver is leading in economic and business mobility for women in business.
To better understand this thriving community of business owners, Bank of America surveyed more than 500 women across the country to gain insights into their aspirations and concerns, as well as similarities and differences with their male peers.
Bank of America’s 2019 Women Business Owner Spotlight found that women entrepreneurs are increasingly confident in future revenue growth (with that confidence reaching a four-year high), and 73 percent of women business owners plan to expand their business in the next 12 months. Additionally, 25 percent are planning to hire, compared to 21 percent in the fall of 2018. Women entrepreneurs are taking action, but not without facing difficulties in several areas.
This year’s report examined women’s perspectives on barriers to establishing and financing a small business – including the extent to which gender bias may play a role. More than half of women entrepreneurs say they don’t have the same access to capital as their male counterparts and approximately a third say it will take some time — about 14 years on average — to achieve equal access to capital. Nearly a quarter say they believe women will never have equal access. Business.org found that while women on average make $10,000 less a year than men in Denver, this is “one of the better pay gaps across metros in the country.”
When reflecting upon positive influences on their business, more than half of women business owners identified external factors like experiencing adversity, obtaining a college degree and having a mentor have helped them achieve success. When asked for the single character trait that has had the greatest impact on their business success, women entrepreneurs identified integrity (23 percent) as the top personality attribute, closely followed by perseverance (22 percent).
When looking to factors that could have the greatest impact on women business owners over the next five years, strong majorities of both women and men business owners believe achieving work-life balance, pay equality and equal access to capital will be important milestones to achieve at a national scale. Looking to the future, business owners agree that having more women in positions of influence would be the most impactful in paving the way for the next generation of women in business. At Bank of America, we recognize that women play a vital role in driving economic growth and we have formed partnerships to connect women entrepreneurs to mentoring, capital and other tools that will help them have the power to advance their businesses and make significant contributions to our economy.
For more research findings on the 2019 Women Business Owner Spotlight, please click here.
Contributed by Deborah Radman, Chairman, Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, CoGreatWomen.org
The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing and preserving the history of accomplishments by extraordinary women with strong ties to Colorado. Since 1985, 162 diverse women have been inducted.
These inductees represent our 2020 class, and the next group of contemporary and historic women to be recognized for their exemplary contributions to their fields and for opening new frontiers for women in society.
These women will be recognized in a formal ceremony on March 18, 2020.
Katherine Archuleta Growing up in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, Katherine Archuleta has had an extraordinary and influential career, including a position in the Obama administration as head of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, that has changed the landscape for what is possible for women and, specifically, Latina women.
Lupe Briseño As the organizer of the Kitayama Carnation Strike, Lupe Briseño demonstrated the strength and power of Latina leadership in Colorado’s Labor Movement and helped set the stage for the Colorado Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and ‘70s.
Rosalind “Bee” Harris Rosalind “Bee” Harris has dedicated her career to elevating communities of color by providing a platform for their voices and their stories with the founding of the Denver Urban Spectrum newspaper in 1987 and the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation in 2000.
Velveta Howell Velveta Howell has made many contributions as a life-long champion for social justice and advocacy. She was the eighth African American female graduate of the University of Colorado Law School and the first woman of color appointed as Colorado’s Deputy District Attorney.
Marianne Neifert, MD, MTS Colorado’s earliest physician breastfeeding champion, Marianne Egeland Neifert, MD, MTS, has devoted more than 40 years to improving maternal-child health. She helped re-establish breastfeeding as a community norm and advanced the nascent discipline of breastfeeding medicine.
Gale Norton Gale Norton was the first woman Colorado Attorney General (1991-99) and the first woman to be appointed as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (2001-06) under President George W. Bush. On behalf of Colorado and 45 other states as Colorado Attorney General, Norton helped negotiate the most extensive legal settlement in history: a $206 billion national tobacco settlement.
Mary Lou Anderson A passionate advocate for cultural arts and arts education, Mary Lou Anderson was an influential leader across Colorado and the nation through her development of programs that engage millions of students, educators, and business leaders in the cultural arts. Anderson founded the National Parent Teacher Association Reflections Program and the Arts Business Education Consortium.
Dr. Alida Cornelia Avery A graduate of the New England Female Medical College of Boston in 1862, Dr. Alida Cornelia Avery was a professor of Human Physiology and Hygiene, and a Resident Physician at Vassar College from 1866-1874. In 1874 she moved to Denver, Colorado, and is credited as Colorado’s first woman to practice medicine while also serving as the Superintendent of Hygiene.
Elizabeth Piper Ensley Elizabeth Piper Ensley was an African American educator, political activist, and suffragist. Her leadership was instrumental in Colorado’s victorious campaign for full voting rights in 1893. Ensley dedicated her career to organizing for women’s rights, especially for African American women.
Carolina Gonzalez Carolina Acuña Díaz González was a Colorado Renaissance Pioneer, renowned for her welcoming home, her active support for the arts and culture, and her uniquely authentic restaurant, Casa Mayan, a “Mutalista” or refuge for 40 years for immigrants in Colorado. González provided accommodations and a safe haven during the Depression for countless youths “riding the rails” to Colorado.
Imagine a world where every woman-owned shop is filled with customers from open to close, and women-owned products fly from the shelves in a frenzy of women supporting other women. This beautiful reality is possible, but only with our help!
This year, we’re providing a listing of a few woman-owned businesses and products you can consider for your holiday gift-giving. These [lightly edited] recommendations were submitted by our community, either the owners or valued patrons of the brands mentioned here.
Use this resource as a starting point to learn about opportunities to support women in business, but being a great advocate doesn’t end with a one-time visit. Seeking out opportunities throughout the year will help these companies thrive, grow, and scale to new heights.
Adventure: Your Passport to Inspired Living
Submitted by Susan Golicic; Written by Susan Golicic
Like the Phoenix, Adventure provides the fire through which you transform to live the life you desire. Adventure gets you out of your comfort zone and enables you to learn more about yourself as you shift your boundaries. Because it stretches you, it moves you forward on your journey. It helps you be the leader of your own life! So how can you get more of it? All of this is explained further in this easy to read book, available electronically on Amazon, or in signed hard copy from the author (www.UW.coach).
From what adventure is to its risks and rewards, you can begin to imagine how fulfilled your life will be with more adventure. It makes a great gift for you and/or someone you love!
Get it at: https://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Your-Passport-Inspired-Living-ebook/dp/B07TDLX8HC/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=golicic+adventure&qid=1574275832&sr=8-1
Submitted by Rhoda Johnson; Founded by Rhoda P. Johnson
The products focus on developing a personalized style for women, to authentically expresses their personality and skill set with classic and contemporary beauty and fashion elements informed by wellness for self care.
Each gemstone jewelry design is a one-of a-kind, created by Rhoda Johnson and named affectionately to describe what she experienced in the design process. Clients often receive compliments when wearing the jewelry designs. These designs are created with classic and contemporary styling to be versatile for casual to dressy outfits for years to come.
You will be self assured to show up with a personal brand embodies your signature style to help increase your social and financial capital. Great gift for women who like distinctive jewelry!
Get it at: https://rhodadesigngroup.com
Everyday Mindfulness From Chaos To Calm In A Crazy World
Submitted by Holly Duckworth; Written by Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, LSP
There are good days and bad days. Then, there is every day. This daily reader book invites us each day to apply mindfulness practices. Whether you read once each day or pick up this book from time to time, the experience will leave you calm and inspired.
From the host of the Everyday Mindfulness Show, Holly Duckworth.
“Holly has exceptional high energy, thoughtful insights, and a dynamic stage presence. Her willingness to truly understand the client’s or audience’s needs makes her stand apart from most. She is a pleasure to work with.”
Megan Denhardt- Denhardt Group
Get it at: https://hollyduckworth.com/books-by-holly-duckworth/
Copper Door Coffee
Submitted by Hannah Ulbrich; Founded by Hannah Ulbrich
100% Woman Owned Coffee Roasting Company. With a variety of roasts and origins, Copper Door Coffee Roasters sources a majority of coffee from Woman Producers around the world.
Since its inception in 2006 by Sinjin Eberle, up until 2014, the café had been solely a wholesale business, roasting coffee out of a garage. In 2014, Hannah Ulbrich took over the business, fostering a vision of expansion and community mindedness.
We are extremely proud to be Denver's only 100% female owned coffee roaster. In a male-dominated industry, we are proud to support females doing amazing work in the Denver coffee community.
Our purpose at Copper Door Coffee Roasters is to provide you with the best possible fresh roasted coffee--coffee that reflects tradition and craftsmanship practiced around the world over hundreds of years.
Get it at: www.copperdoorcoffee.com
The Gratitude Connection: Embrace the positive power of thanks
Submitted by Amy Collette; Written by Amy Collette
Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul. The stories and practices in this book help you connect to the positive power of gratitude every day:
May you embrace the positive power of gratitude!
Get it at: https://amzn.to/2r9USR1
Serein Naturals: The Sampler Box
Submitted by Angela Wells; Founded by Angela Wells
Serein Naturals offers a collection of vegan hair, face, and body care products for women, men, and children. The Sampler Box allows you to try almost everything Serein Naturals offers while saving $50 versus ordering individually.
We’re all about the good stuff here at Serein Naturals. That means no nasty chemicals, no synthetic fragrances, and no ingredients that require a fancy science degree to pronounce. We keep our products clean and natural, using mostly organic plant-based ingredients and pure essential oils that nourish your hair, face, and body.
Serein Naturals; where hydration reigns, naturally. You will feel great as you use these body care products every day.
Get it at: www.sereinnaturals.com
Bella Envie Clothing
Submitted by Karen Kirkland; Founded by Karen Kirkland
Welcome to Bella Envie Clothing! Bella Envie is the destination for women’s apparel. We offer clothing with affordable prices and amazing quality. We receive new merchandise weekly and offer impeccable customer service.
Customer satisfaction always comes first.
Our mission is to make every person feel comfortable in who they are.
We offer a wide variety of clothing for women.
Get it at: www.bellaenvieclothing.com
Submitted by Lynn Clark; Founded by Raven Faber
EngErotics is short for “Engineered Erotics” and their mission is simple: We aim to bring high-quality, well-engineered intimacy devices along with expertly formulated CBD (cannabidiol) infused intimate body care products to market. The founder and scientists behind the products are women!
“I adore EngErotics' CBD products, and specifically their Soaking Sand Bath Shots. The scents are delicious. And even more importantly, there is enough certified CBD content to provide tremendous relaxation and pain relief. I've also used their Salve Stick both for sore muscles and for intimate use, and it's terrific.”
The products are hypoallergenic, heat resistant, and completely inert causing no reaction with a person’s natural body chemistry.
EngErotics, bringing you pleasure derived from Science.
Get it at: http://engerotics.com
Rsport Athletic Apparel
Submitted by Shauna Armitage; Founded by CJ Riggins
Plus size women move, sweat, chafe and abrade differently than any product currently available on the market supports. Big brands will size up the designs they already have instead of designing their clothing specifically for plus size bodies. With unique product features like a crossover waistband, abrasion panels in the thighs, and opaque fabrics, Rsport gear was designed specifically for plus size women.
Rsport is building athletic apparel like capris, tops, and jackets for active plus size women who the industry has left behind. We believe that all women are strong and deserve products that focus on performance, craftsmanship, and style that fits each unique female form, which is why Rsport is dedicated to building an inclusive brand that supports women in more ways than one.
Get it at: www.RsportLife.com
Submitted by Celeste Ferro; Founded by Celeste Ferro
Mala necklaces are beautiful pieces of jewelry, but did you know that they are tools to help you in your meditation practice? Each mala I make is unique and comes with an intention tied into each knot. Every step of the process, from creation to the tassel, it is done while chanting a Sanskrit mantra specific for that Mala. Your necklace will come with instructions as to how to use it during your meditation practice through Japan mantra meditation.
“Celeste is an extremely gifted massage therapist. Her healing touch and intuitive sense allows for the deepest parts of my physical body to experience healing while in her care. Her knowledge and wisdom as a conduit for the Reiki Ki energy is an extra added bonus, as is, the medicinal oils she uses. I highly recommend her to all my friends and clients.”-esteemed client.
Get it at: www.wholeheartedlywellbeing.com
Pony Pondering Daily Inspiration Cards
Submitted by Kami Guildner; Created by Kami Guildner
Pony Ponderings© is a deck of 50 beautifully illustrated daily inspiration cards bringing positive, thought-provoking guidance to your soul path. Inspired by the heart and wisdom of horses, the messages provide a pathway to your deepest inner knowledge, playfully engaging your mind, body, emotions and spirit. Written by Kami Guildner and beautifully illustrated by Diana Lancaster of Lancaster Arts these cards will breathe new meaning into your life and inspire your deepest aspirations!
Kami Guildner believes women’s voices matter. She helps her clients raise up their voice, their brand and their business so they can make the impact they desire in the world. Kami weaves soulful-inspiration into mindful business strategies, helping her clients succeed in business and worldly impact.
With a passion for leading change-making women to their purpose, she helps her clients “Live Out Loud” and step into intentional action fueled with vitality and courage.
Get it at: https://www.kamiguildner.com/product/pony-ponderings-inspiration-cards/
Works of Heart
Submitted by Holly Duckworth; Founded by Gina DiPalo
Looking for that special one of a kind gift, book, or card? The Works of Heart store is full of inspirational items for home or office. Here you will find statutes, quote signs, books, and more hand selected by the team to connect heart to heart.
We honor and support fair-trade artisans, and by purchasing these products you have a hand in directly supporting our brothers and sisters. Our Works of Heart store stocks fair-trade products, inspirational books that promote positive living and socially conscious gifts, jewelry, apparel and home décor. We also carry a wide array of spiritual icons. We strive to keep prices low, and our inventory is constantly changing to keep you coming back.
Take a break from your busy day and experience our peaceful, loving environment while you shop.
Find us at: https://www.milehichurch.org/Store
Submitted by Erika Righter; Founded by Erika Righter
Hope Tank is a woman-owned gift store in the heart of the Baker neighborhood that sells gifts that give back. We partner with small local nonprofits, raise awareness about their impact in the community, and get our customers activated. We sell everything from baby gifts, jewelry, menswear, to local art.
Hope Tank opened in February of 2012, and we started off selling handmade products by local artists who joined us in donating a portion of their sales to a charity of their choosing. We have expanded our inventory to include all kinds of awesome products from companies all over the world that we use to connect our customers to our local nonprofit partners.
Contact us to host your private shopping party, podcast recording, workshop, pop-up or to assemble a custom gift basket.
Find us at: www.hopetank.org
Submitted by Maureen Patterson; Founded by Maureen Patterson
Stitch Boutique has a love for fresh and effortless style and enhancing your closet at an affordable price. We bring statement making pieces to Denver and will. Since its inception in 2012 by Nicole English and Maureen Patterson, Stitch Boutique has become one of the admirable stores in the woman's fashion scene in the Denver Metro Area.
Opening their first location in the bustling, trendy, chic neighborhood known as The Highlands, Stitch Boutique promises nothing short of a variety of excellent clothes to pick from.
“Stitch Boutique breathes new life into the Denver fashion scene with a unique and inventive inventory of stylish threads.”
Find us at: https://www.stitchboutique.net/
House of Pod
Submitted by Catherine De Medici Jaffee; Founded by Catherine De Medici Jaffee
Want to start a podcast? Welcome to House of Pod, Colorado’s first podcast incubation hub. We’re your one-stop shop for launching a world-class podcast and connecting with a global podcast community. Join as a member - annual or monthly, give the gift of a podcast production consultation, and so much more!
House of Pod is here to help you produce your show, connect with other creators through classes and workshops, and level-up your content. While shared podcast studios are becoming more and more common, House of Pod remains unique because they are an active and passionate production company collaborating with leading names in radio and making things every single day.
Find us at: https://www.houseofpod.org/
Submitted by Rhoda Johnson; Founded by Rise Jones
TeaLee’s TeaHouse & Bookstore is located at the gateway of Denver’s Historic Five Points, in an afro-centric atmosphere. TeaLees Tea Co. sells books, quality loose leaf teas, offer High & Afternoon Teas by reservation along with a daily selections of quiches, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastries & specialty beverage drinks including; beer, wine, spirits & kombucha.
Most importantly, the founder sees TeaLee’s as a safe, congenial, relaxed, and regular gathering space, which moves to the Rhythm of Tea.
This is a place where guests can enjoy each other’s company and a variety of books, chocolate, and selected sundries.
Find us at: https://www.tealeesdenver.com
Amanda Gordon, Owner, Gojo Auto
How would you describe your job/business to a 5th grader?
I help people get reliable transportation so they can do their daily necessities such as getting to work, getting to the grocery store, getting to the gym, picking up their children from school, getting to family activities, going on family vacations, and help them not worry about breaking down on the side of the road when having to do these daily tasks. I also help women get promoted into positions of power within the car business or the automotive space.
How did you get started in the business?
I was going to college and working the Gap when a woman named Carmara Hughes came into my store. She originally visited for coats and blouses, but I ended up selling her three pairs of denim after she stated I wouldn’t find her size. Afterwards, she invited me to work with her. I took her up on the offer and was trained by a team of women who were selling 20+ cars a month. The rest is history.
What makes you successful?
I am at any given time probably the hardest working person in the room. I'm currently working 12 to 14 hour days at my dealership, and wouldn't have it any other way. Nothing is given to you, and you have to get your butt out there and earn it. You've got to work. My success is a direct reflection of the work that I put into it, and I want to give more than I take. Becoming the first black female car dealer in the state of Colorado and one of five in the nation was an honour, as well as a disappointment. Here we are in 2019, and there's still a first black woman category in something as major as the car industry which is something that I don't take lightly. It's another reason that drives my purpose and my passion because I can't fail.
In what way do you help advance the careers of other women in your field/industry?
It’s my duty, my passion, and my purpose to grow the female workforce within the automotive space. Right now it's only 20% at every capacity. The car business is not just my job, it is my life, and hopefully you'll be seeing plenty more from me when it comes to women in the automotive industry and building a female workforce. The automotive space has so much growth and earning potential, that it's really a place where women need to look when they feel they’re underutilized. They can always come to the car business and make a decent living for themselves and their family.
Karen Hertz, Founder of Holidaily Brewing
How would you describe your job/business to a 5th grader?
Some people can’t eat or drink gluten because it makes them sick, and Holidaily makes beer that doesn’t have gluten so all adults can drink it without getting sick.
How did you get started in the business?
Holidaily was a combination of my education, work life, and personal life. I utilized my MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies to help understand multiple aspects of the business, worked for Miller Coors for around ten years, and had beer industry experience that helped guide me as well. Lastly, after receiving a second cancer diagnosis, I was given a treatment plan that included a gluten-free diet. I decided to combine my experience, dietary restrictions, and love for beer to start a 100% certified, dedicated gluten-free brewery.
What makes you successful?
Knowing my strengths and weaknesses. I focus on utilizing my strengths and surrounding myself with amazing people who fill in where my weaknesses are.
In what way do you help advance the careers of other women in your field/industry?
3% of breweries are owned by women, however, we are a growing force in the industry, especially in Colorado. I support women in the industry not only as (hopefully) a role model but through my involvement in groups, speaking at events, and mentorship, while encouraging all women to go for it! We have two separate female customers who have started their own food trucks since Holidaily opened. Women empowering and inspiring other women is contagious.
Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, Founder of Gaudiani Clinic
How would you describe your job/business to a 5th grader?
I'm an internal medicine doctor who specializes in what happens to people's bodies as a result of eating disorders. Eating disorders carry the highest risk of death of any mental illness, and people who don't take in enough nutrition, or purge what they eat, or binge eat, can have a lot go wrong with their medical health.
How did you get started in the business?
Having had a family member recover from an eating disorder, I've experienced the fear and also borne witness to the triumph of a full recovery. When I got to Denver in 2007, I joined the Hospitalist staff at Denver Health. A year into my employment, I had the opportunity to join a service within Denver Health that was the highest level of multidisciplinary internal medicine care in the country for adults whose anorexia nervosa had become so critical that they could not receive care anywhere else.
What makes you successful?
Without a doubt, my privilege lies at the core of the opportunities I've had, and I think about that on a daily basis to remind myself of certain structural inequities that benefitted me, so that I am able to use this to pay it forward and do good for others. Also vital were and are my parents' support through my education, my own good health, the fortune of having fallen in love with my husband when we were in college and having his constant encouragement these past 23 years, having two wonderful daughters who inspire me and remind me to be a good role model, and having dear friends and remarkable colleagues within the clinic.
In what way do you help advance the careers of other women in your field/industry?
I set and personally hold strong boundaries between work and life, and I model these and ask my work mates to do the same. For women especially, who often juggle so many diverse obligations and roles outside of our professional lives, this is vital to preventing burnout and feeling whole. I have mentored young women since my training days, and in my lectures and writing I try to both model and recommend a realization of each person's unique needs, strengths, and challenges. The field I'm in allows me to rail against diet culture, narrowly-defined traits that denote beauty, health, and acceptance, and the deeply harmful and unscientific beliefs so common today about food (and its restriction). My hope is that in the 1:1 work I do with patients and their loved ones, in the workspace I get to create and nurture, and in my public speaking or writing, I'm able to inspire and help women in lots of ways, by means of expressing my gratitude for all that I've received.
Written by Kelsey Krahn - Freelance writer, online English teacher, and globetrotter—will only travel and work in places where she can watch hockey online (basically anywhere in the world).
It’s more common for men to pursue careers in trades, but some companies and organizations aim to inspire more women to join the industry. One welding company in Denver hopes to destroy the common stigma that surrounds welding jobs. For the most part, society views a career in welding as a job meant for men. It’s dirty. It’s gritty. It’s hard work. But more and more reports reveal that the welding industry has a shortage of workers—and women can help.
Dirty Hands Fabrication, a welding company providing training in Denver, has a different approach to teaching the trade, one that suits women. Some women may find the thought of joining a male-dominated program at college or trade school daunting. Therefore, inexpensive, female-focused programs have worked to entice women to learn a life skill that can help to provide a living wage and steady opportunity.
The video below showcases one of the classes held by the company and how women in the program get to interact with trainers and hands-one projects.
Women In Welding is a Denver, Colorado based workshop ran by Neal Jordan of Dirty Hands Fabrication (dirtyhandsfab.com). The intent of this course is to introduce women into an environment that has been labeled as a man's territory in the past.
Contributed by Phylecia Jones, Budgetologist & Solopreneur Money Management Expert www.keepupwithmrsjones.com
Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life. A score of 800 opens up many avenues for better loan options, approved applications, and lower interest rates. But what does it take to get there? I had the pleasure of interviewing Lydia Thomas, a Senior Accountant and Women of Denver member, about her journey of moving to the United States from Ukraine five years ago, alone and with little money.
Lydia knew that focusing on her finances, establishing credit, and educating herself about money was the key to reaching her dreams. In a short amount of time, she launched a successful career, quadrupled her salary, paid off a car loan, and reached a credit score of 800. Her story will not only inspire you, but give you a glimpse of what it takes to achieve a financial transformation.
Lydia, you started with virtually no established credit when you moved to the United States and now you have an 800 credit score. How did you do it?
I started working on my credit score as soon as I moved to the U.S., because I knew how important it was in order to get a good rate on a loan if I needed one. The most important rule I learned was to keep my credit card usage to a minimum and pay off the balance every month. NOT a minimum payment, but the full balance. To fast-forward credit score growth I did not close my oldest credit card, I requested an increase of my credit line, had various credit cards and loans, and avoided unnecessary credit inquiries. It works and your credit score will move up, only if you pay off the balance regularly, or pay the monthly payment if it’s a car loan or a mortgage.
Coming from Ukraine to the US, what did you find different about money and personal finances?
In Ukraine, there is no trust in the economic and banking system. People tend to save their money, “under the mattress,” meaning that the best way to save is to convert the national currency into dollars or euros and keep it in cash at home. Talking about money is generally taboo and personal finance education is non-existent. In the US, conversations about money are more open. There’s more information about various ways of managing finances online and in print, and there is more stability and trust in general. I learned very quickly in the States that when you have it together, do some research, and organize your finances, you are likely to succeed financially.
Having a budget is very important to managing money. How has it been living on one?
I have been living by a budget for a few years now. Having an effective budget is pretty hard, I have to say. A budget made me go from an extreme of watching every penny, (exhausting, to say the least), to splurging when I felt like I’ve been a good girl for a while, (which would turn into the feeling of guilt and regret).
How did you get over the extremes of watching every dime to feeling guilty for ‘splurging’?
After a while I came up with the expense vs. investment rule. Take a pair of shoes for example: If you buy a pair of cute sandals that will be your fifth pair of sandals, you will probably wear them only a few times. This is an expense. If you buy a pair of good leather shoes that you need for your job interview that will serve you for a few years, this is an investment in your future. Following this rule helped me shop less, save more money and end up with the purchases I really needed.
With your smart money moves, what is your biggest financial goal right now?
My biggest financial goal right now is to buy a house. It is one of the most important financial decisions I will make in my life, and what I learned from other people’s experience is that buying one is easy, but paying it off is hard.
What are three simple things readers can do right now to get ahead of their finances?
First, set up a direct deposit to your savings account from your paycheck. The psychological aspect of the “invisibility” of such transaction does wonders. Make it $20 or $200, whatever you can afford. Second, watch your budget. Make your budget real and attainable, not ideal (otherwise you’ll get discouraged very quickly) and have Friday “dates” with your budget and the expenses for the past week. Taking control is gratifying and reduces stress. Third, get a debit card for your “shopping” needs and have a certain amount deposited there from your paycheck. This will be the only money you can spend on the things you enjoy. It is a great controlling tool. Speaking from experience!
As the end of the year draws near, let’s place a spotlight on the importance of financial planning. Due to varying circumstances, many of us do not know if we are prepared for retirement, and as a result, may be playing catch-up when it comes to investing for retirement and other long-term financial goals.
Life expectancy in the US has increased around to around 80 years of age. This longevity, along with potentially volatile financial markets and life’s uncertainties, translates into changing questions and complexities regarding our future. Having the resources to achieve your long-term goals and support those you love, depends on making sense of that complexity, which you can start to address via financial planning.
Financial planning can seem like an overwhelming project, so here are some tips to help you simplify achieving your financial goals:
1. Determine your retirement assets. As you progress through your career, watch your family grow, and retire the way you’ve always dreamed, it is likely that you'll have to make adjustments to your portfolio along the way. You should develop a system with your financial advisor to periodically review the investments you've chosen and make sure they are still an accurate reflection of your current and future financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.
2. Assess your income tax picture. You may be able to reduce your tax burden, sometimes significantly, by making strategic tax decisions before the end of the year. Your tax professional can alert you to any tax planning strategies that might make sense for your situation.
3. Review critical documents. Because life's circumstances continually change, you should review your legal documents and beneficiary designations every year. This will entail combing through any wills, trusts, retirement plan documents and life insurance policies to make sure they are up-to-date. Seek the assistance of a qualified advisor if any modifications are necessary.
4. Establish goals for next year and beyond. A year-end review is an excellent time to start thinking about next year and setting or revisiting long-term goals. Take a close look at your day-to-day finances to see if you can reduce expenses and save more. Then assess which of your goals are most important to you and commit to accomplishing them.
Financial planning is a lifelong endeavor. Make sure you have a trusted team of advisors to help you in achieving all of your goals.
By Mimi Roberson, CEO, PIVOT
The Center for Creative Leadership recently surveyed more than 500 female leaders about ways to attract and retain top-notch women. As someone who currently leads a nonprofit but has been president and CEO of a hospital system with 2,500 employees and 1,000 medical staffers, the top answer hit home. The women surveyed tended to be motivated by opportunities to make a difference in the world. They saw their careers as a calling, one that they wanted to be meaningful and enjoyable.
My experience in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds (in addition to my current role at PIVOT, I’ve served on many nonprofit boards over the years) has been that women’s innate tendencies and acquired skills lend themselves to success in both. But many of us don’t quite appreciate that the nonprofit world a great place to find a career that’s a calling – if only we let ourselves make the leap.
Women excel across all industries and job functions. We have great female software engineers, construction workers, pilots, doctors, lawyers, and, yes, hospital executives. But it’s also true that women are drawn to certain professions in large numbers – particularly professions involved with caring for and nurturing others. That nine in 10 nurses and more than three-quarters of U.S. public school teachers are women (and nearly 90 percent of primary school teachers) is no accident.
Nonprofits fit those same molds. A nonprofit’s calling is to make a difference in the world. Nonprofits run after-school programs for disadvantaged kids, they feed the hungry, they protect animals, they preserve the natural environment – they engage in all sorts of areas of need in their quests to do what they can to make the world a more just, safer, healthier place. But for diverse reasons, the sorts of women who can do so much for nonprofits are often hesitant to join and lead them.
I earned a law degree and wanted to use it. As my career progressed, what drove me was to do meaningful work, do it well, and to include others by being a part of – and, later, creating and leading – teams of people who aspired to do good things. I always kept a toe in philanthropic endeavors. But I wasn’t alone in associating my success as a human being to my success along a career path that fit neatly along societal expectations. That is, if you have an accounting degree, you become a CPA; if you have a law degree, you practice law; if you have an MBA, you go into corporate management; and so on. Such expectations can give rise to the belief that you’re somehow shortchanging yourself if you dedicate business hours to work not directly related to your hard-earned educational and professional qualifications.
My time at PIVOT has taught me otherwise. I have learned that the skills successful professional women have honed indeed apply wonderfully to nonprofit work. What kinds of skills do I mean? Pretty much all of them: communication and networking skills, skills in managing people and relationships, strategic planning skills, money-management and budgeting skills, data-management skills, strategic planning skills, and on and on. If a skill is valued in corporate America, it’s valued in nonprofit America.
I think what’s holding some of us back from making the leap to an immensely rewarding career in nonprofit leadership is that we feel that doing so would mean sacrificing the career we had envisioned. My sense, though, is that idealized career paths exist mostly in one’s imagination, and my experience has been that doing something deeply meaningful to me and of great benefit to children and young people in need – as is the case with my work at PIVOT – quickly washes away lingering doubts.
And you don’t need a law degree, an MBA, or even a paid job to flourish in the nonprofit sector. Women who have dedicated themselves to raising families have quietly developed many of the competencies that nonprofits covet. Managing a home involves bargaining, budgeting, managing, planning, communicating, relationship-building, empathizing – and, lord knows, multitasking. It takes a ton of energy and an ability to deal with stress triggered by everything from “what’s-for-dinner-Mom?” to medical and veterinary emergencies. These are qualities that nonprofits thirst for.
Pivot certainly does. We connect existing nonprofits to help them achieve together a greater good than might be possible on their own. Our need to empathize, build relationships, and communicate among organizations with apparently divergent – but upon closer inspection shared – goals makes ours one of many nonprofits particularly suited to a woman’s perspective and capabilities.
As the nest empties, a “stay-at-home” mom (they do leave the house) can make a huge difference as a part-time or full-time contributor to the sorts of nonprofits they often volunteer for anyway. For such women, the challenge is to have the self-awareness to recognize all you can bring to a nonprofit and the self-confidence to just go for it. The nonprofit world will welcome you with open arms.
Whether you’re a corporate warrior or one who has dedicated your life to your children or your parents or others, I invite you to join me in the nonprofit world. We women have the chops; it’s really just a matter of marshalling the courage to dive into a true calling.
By Mimi Roberson, CEO, PIVOT
PIVOT (a 501c3) was founded by John Elway, Larry Mueller, and George Solich to harness the power of doers and dollars to help Colorado’s NextGen succeed.