4 Women in Business Turned Personal Battles Into Successful Companies
“You are exactly where you are” is advice I received repeatedly from the most life-changing mentor in my life, Peggy Rathfon. Whether working with her in radio advertising sales or a new role, she understood my mind never stopped wandering and wondering.
Peggy immediately took me under her wing. It’s her love, guidance, and ability to make me think for myself that propelled me to where I am now in life — and where I will land in the future.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to thank Peggy. She and all the other powerful women in business out there have and continue to pave our paths. Their battles, their ability to stand up for what’s rightfully theirs, their faith in moving forward even when all seems lost — that’s what drives me.
That’s the fierce passion for life itself and determination (knowing no one else will fight their battles) that I want all women to feel.
I want you to also feel something else Peggy embedded in my soul, “The only opinion of you that matters is your own.” As you read below about the courageous women in business who paved our paths into the workforce and the world of entrepreneurship, know that your journey is your own.
Whatever next steps you take, move with confidence and intention. Move with the understanding that your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters. And any stumbling blocks or slamming doors along the way are just means of redirection.
Remember always, you are clothed in strength, just like these four unforgettable women in business:
Katya Libin & Amri Kibble, Cofounders of HeyMama
For many years, women in the workforce have been pinned against one another. Competition for roles, especially with gender bias, is tight and everyone is just fighting for what they deserve. But fighting one another isn’t how we’ll get anywhere. It’s when we come together that true power and action take place.
Lifting career-driven mamas up is exactly what HeyMama and its cofounders, Amri Kibbler and Katya Libin, do on a daily basis. The network of HeyMama members is spread across the U.S., and whether acquaintances, good friends, or strangers, everyone has each other’s backs.
As a result, an entire “badass league of mom-bosses” are learning from one another about topics ranging from potty training to becoming a CEO.
Sara Sutton, CEO and Founder of Flexjobs.com
As a fully remote employee, Sara Sutton’s mission with Flexjobs.com is incredibly personal to me. Sutton started her journey while pregnant with her first child. The job search experience at this time left her looking for a role that was both career-oriented and flexible. Unfortunately, she hit a wall, realizing just how challenging it was to find professional roles with the flexibility and professionalism she wanted.
Sutton knew she wasn’t the only one searching for this type of work. Rather than sitting back and waiting for something better to come along, she created it herself. But her role in the remote world doesn’t stop with the creation and implementation of Flexjobs.com. Sutton and her team remain deeply dedicated to creating awareness about the reality and benefits of working remotely and flexibly.
Polly Rodriguez, Co-founder of Unbound
It was just days before Christmas when 21-year-old Polly Rodriguez received a cancer diagnosis. Unknowingly to her, and many others in the same position, the following chemo treatments would send her into early menopause.
Rodriguez used her struggle to find sexual wellness products made by women for women that weren’t in an unapproachable, seedy shop on the outskirts of town. So, 10 years later, Rodriguez fought fearlessly to become the proud co-founder of a company in a stigmatized industry.
Now, Unbound is receiving positive attention and applause from all sides of the coin. Rodriguez and her team earned awards at tech competitions for uncomparable female sexual wellness product designs.
Businesses applaud the tenacity of Rodriguez and her cofounder as they battled to put female sexual health in the “same lens as male sexuality — as a part of our overall health that deserves a conversation, platform, and shopping experience that doesn’t feel like a flaming pile of garbage,” as Rodriguez noted in a TechCrunch interview.
Then, there’s the most important recognition of all — females coming from all experiences of life who need these types of products. Along with a need for the products comes those who feel empowered to break the status quo regarding female sexuality.