Seems like there is a bit of news and debate about what’s on women’s minds these days. And I suspect the volume is only going to crank up more as we approach fall. But somehow along the way I don’t see a lot of straight up commentary coming from women who are in the trenches, so I figure I will offer up my two cents. Take it and interpret it how you will, but here’s just a smattering of thoughts that go through my mind on a daily basis. This is my perspective as a mom, a small business owner, a daughter and a woman.
I do worry about the economy. I have since the day we launched this business in June of 2008. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t ask someone in the community, “What do you think of the economy now? Is it getting better? Worse?” I constantly keep my ears open, and I listen to what people are saying. I continue to hear of layoffs that are taking place, so that makes me nervous. But I also hear positive news about small business start-ups and others landing jobs. Add taxes and financing into the worrying mix as well. As a part of worrying about the long-term growth of our economy, I don’t think we are investing enough or prioritizing the importance of continuing education for our workforce. This is critical to our future success.
Because I represent Generation X at 41 years of age, I am the definition of the sandwich generation. We have four boys from one to 12 years old, but I also find myself helping my mom and her brother with their health issues, finances and living situations. This is no easy feat. And while I help them as much as I can, we also have boys to raise. And one of them has Type 1 diabetes (When will we find a cure????). However, these issues also offer me insights into my future and continue to teach me valuable lessons on life, perspective and preparedness.
As a small business owner of Red Shoes PR with an all female staff, I worry about women in general. I worry our voices aren’t being heard or represented accurately. That many are talking, but no one is listening. Most recently, I read a report that ranks Wisconsin 40th in female-owned business growth over the last 15 years, and 41st in growth of revenues. Read the full report that was done by American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. The numbers are disappointing.
At the end of the day, I am exhausted with worry. The last thing I want to do is turn on the TV in the evening and hear you all sparring and speculating over what’s important to women today. Ask a woman, they’ll tell you.