The 2016 Election and the State of Businesswomen

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            Since the election of Donald Trump, there have been many issues that question the direction of this country – race relations, healthcare, and our alliance with other countries. But, one in particular has a profound effect on aspiring and accomplished women who have devoted and sacrificed years of time to scale a ladder that always puts them beneath men – the state of businesswomen. This includes the amount of women becoming entrepreneurs, recent sexual misconduct allegations, and how businesswomen may vote in the next presidential election.

Starting with the turn of the decade in 1980 and prior, women were not recognized in certain levels of leadership in Corporate America. Earning a degree and working twice as hard for respect were more than a notion when climbing that corporate ladder. Since then, we’ve gone from 0% to a whopping 5% in terms women in c-suite positions, according to CNN Money ( . With a president who has little regard for women, it sets a tone for Fortune 500 companies to recognize how women add value to their corporations, shift their visions, and revise their strategies to include diversity. Because of this, so many women are leaving the corporate environment to use their skills and talents to become the CEO of their own businesses and becoming certified as minority or women-owned businesses to dominate in their field.

Today we cannot turn on our smart tv’s or listen to the radio without hearing another entertainer, politician, or executive who has engaged in sexual misconduct with a woman in their place of employment. And the reason why these women chose silence for so many years? A fear of losing their jobs and feeling humiliated. These women go home every day wondering what would happen if they were bold enough to speak out. What would Human Resources do if they decided to file a complaint? Would they be able to work in that industry, again? Would they be black-balled or considered credible? Not until a president that was exposed for being a misogynist have we had such a flood of women who were bold enough to come forward and as whistle blowers in preventing other women from suffering from their experiences. It should be a woman’s intention to be a change agent and demand for change in policy and protection for women in any employment environment.

This brings forth the final point – the state of the businesswoman regarding to her voting power in the next primary. Now that Donald Trump has served a full year in his term, we have witnessed a great division in our country lying dormant until he stirred up the emotions for people who shared his same sentiments. Had Hillary Clinton or anyone else won the election, there may not have been such a strong need for change. There may have been a moment in which we took for granted the state of the businesswomen because a woman would have sat in the highest seat of the nation. However, now, it is clear. From being a CEO of an international company to having equal salaries, women are voicing their concerns and demanding notice. The hope is that this vigor, determination, and strong sense of urgency continue until change is brought about. That women in business keep fighting the battle without tiring or wavering for the next generation.

In conclusion, the election has sparked plenty of interest and controversy. From women in a corporate setting to starting their own businesses and standing up against abusive men in power, women are owning their strength.  This election has created an era for women to provoke a much needed movement for change.

Yours in Success,

Aria Craig

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