Entrepreneurial cows

Women warriors – leaving your 9-5 job to become a top digital influencer
29th June 2016
Events & Account management (Internship) @ ChefPlaza
1st July 2016

Blood, sweat, and NO tears! I noted this melodious and ass-kicking slogan directly out of the mouth of no one other than Neelie Kroes, a highly respected european businesswoman and politician. Neelie’s comment was a popular one with the crowd. Where? I’ll tell you.

You can find the original post (in Dutch) here

Maybe you already know that I have thrown myself into the world of independent entrepreneurship with my own company BREIZH World. With heart, soul, and passion I’m working on the creation and expansion of my own brand. In addition to that, I am of course also a human being, a mother, and – not entirely insignificant – a woman. And these days you find yourself in an extremely popular subculture: that of the Female Entrepreneur slash Businesswoman. And I have recently jumped with both feet into the world of all sorts of networking events for these types of energetic and enterprising ladies. That’s right, you can call me a lady. Events such as these are extremely important. Have you ever heard of the popular media stereotype of “the glass ceiling?” That. Still. Exists.

The glass ceiling is just a very thick layer of men. – Laura Liswood, Co-founder of the Council of Women World Leaders

It is common knowledge that women still have fewer top jobs in the entrepreneurial than men. And if women do have a highly sought-after position, the compensation is often much lower than that of a male in that same position. And if she on top of that has the guts to publicly acknowledge her hard-earned status, she is often faced with disapproving and disgusted public opinion.

I can hear you thinking right now, “Yeah, right. That’s how it was back in the day, but surely not these days?” Well, in my experience, it IS still true to this day. Naturally, there are some exceptions, but more often than not people think that hard-earned success by women is undeserved. Or, even worse, that the credit of successful women belongs to someone else. When a man achieves success in his career by using his network, it is referred to as the result of business relations. But when a woman uses her network to succeed, it is often assumed that she rode someone else’s coattails.

If the knowledge economy was a car, than a woman would be behind the wheel. – Her Royal Highness Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

And do you know what’s really sad about this? Women themselves are the worst. That’s right, ladies, we are definitely not all just BFFs when it comes to mutual respect. Ever heard of penis envy? Meet venus envy.

So yours truly recently was the recipient of a contemptuous reaction to my own entrepreneurship. And, surprisingly enough, it came from another woman. I was at a function where I ended up talking to a couple who are both high up in the banking industry. After chit-chatting for a bit, the woman asked how I knew the host of the party. I replied, “It’s a business relationship.” The woman reacted with such surprise that even her partner made a comment that she could have had a little less derogatory response to someone of her own sex. Things were OK between us in the end, but the damage had been done.

Why do we, women, keep doing this to ourselves? What is wrong with simply celebrating someone who is succeeding in life? Together we need to stand up for ourselves, that’s how we can achieve so much more. This was exactly the hot topic of the recent seminar THENEXTWOMEN100 in Amsterdam. This is where online magazine The Next Women presents its annual list of the top 100 successful female entrepreneurs. It was part of an inspiring program filled with female guest speakers. Inspiration, innovation & participation (Haha, that rhymes.)

There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women. – Madeleine Albright, former United States Secretary of State

All craziness aside, the theme of the seminar intrigued me enough to grab my things and head to Amsterdam. And it was truly an amazing day. The list of speakers at the event was awe-inspiring. You can find the complete list of speakers on the website of TheNextWomen, but I’m just going to name a few right here: Gillian Tans/Booking.com, Tina Welss/Buzz Marketing Group, Ida Tin/Clue. And Annemarie Jorritsma/Topvrouwen.nl who repeated the brilliant quote from Laura Liswood, co-founder of the Council of Women World Leaders.

And the aforementioned Neelie Kroes summed some femaleleader quotes up beautifully: ‘There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women’ and ‘ Blood, sweat and NO tears’. These are true words. What a woman. Role model, a self-made business woman, and an inspiration of the top order. And then of course don’t let me know forget the highlight of the day: a speech by our very own Queen of the Netherlands Maxima. Brilliant center of attention, and seriously impressive with her entirely own vision of female entrepreneurship. “If the knowledge economy was a car, than a woman would be behind the wheel.”

It was a motivating, inspiring, and energizing day, with passionate and enthusiastic speakers. Such solidarity, such a sense of belonging, so many powerful women – my belief that an honest approach to enterprising women is needed has been strengthened tremendously. Girls. Ladies. Come on. We can do it. We deserve it. We’re worth it. Towards the end of the event, the list of THENEXTWOMEN 2016 was announced: the top 100 women who earn the most with their own corporation… And no, I’m not on that list. Yet.

While for now, to me, it’s all about satisfaction, perseverance, growth, and a sense of belonging – having a full wallet is also nice. False modesty? No way. Hooray for the entrepreneurial cows!

Chrs, Nicole

Founder BREIZH world