Women entrepreneurs tend to be stereotyped as being successful in businesses that are either in the line of fashion or baby products. Although women have enjoyed success in these fields, they have also proved their mettle in many other areas. Some of these include Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Industrial Manufacturing and Venture Capitalism. These industries have conventionally enjoyed popularity with men and are hence male-dominated. However, how do you define a job as being male-dominated?
The United States Department of Labour states that a “non-traditional [male-dominated] occupation for women is one in which women comprise 25 percent or less of total employment.” Entering these industries is not simple. This is not because women have lesser capabilities in these sectors but because of the societal mindset that labels women as being unsuitable for these industries. An article in Askmen described the term as “A male-dominated industry is like an unofficial boys’ club with a “no girls allowed” sign on the front door. Sure, you’ll find a girl in the clubhouse once in a while, but they’re usually stared at, and her presence is a topic of conversation simply because she’s there.”
Despite the stereotypes they face, women today are slowly foraying into these industries. We have compiled a list of the five exemplary women who have demonstrated that gender is irrelevant to achieving success, by creating successful enterprises through innovative products.
Helen Greiner – CEO of CyPhy Works
The first entrepreneur on our list is from the world of technology. Helen Greiner is the co-founder of ‘iRobot’. The company is famous for its ‘Roomba’ line of vacuuming robots. The company also supplies the U.S. troops with thousands of ‘PackBot’ robots that can detect and dispose of explosives. Her newest company ‘CyPhy Works’, creates top-notch drones for photography, inspection and reconnaissance and is currently exploring aerial robotics as well. The initiative has attracted $22 Million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners proving that not only does her company have potential, but also has a great future with a talented CEO at its helm.
Sarah Krauss _ Founder of S’well
Our next entrepreneur, Sarah Krauss, has taken the number one slot in the list of 50 fastest-growing women-owned or led companies put together by the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO). She has created a line of designer bottles called ‘S’well’ that can keep liquids hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. S’well has contracts with Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus and Starbucks. The company has also seen its revenue grow from just under $10 million in 2013 to $47 million today, proving that she has definitely struck a chord with her clients.
Manisha Raisinghani _ Co-founder of LogiNext Solutions
Manisha Raisinghani founded LogiNext with her friend Dhruval Singhvi to help ecommerce and hyper local companies with logistical difficulties. She studied Big Data and Analytics from Carnegie Mellon University and then worked in the field of logistics while working as a consultant for IBM Consulting. Her firm focuses on using the power of big data to map out the best routes for deliveries for clients and predict delays. As a result, her clients do not have to deal with the challenges of maintaining any back end technology. Sixty companies have enlisted their services including big names like Flipkart and Paytm.
Vani Kola _ Managing Director of Kalaari Capital
Vani Kola is another example of a successful woman leader. She started a venture capital investment firm that focuses on the technology sector. Predominantly led by men, research shows that just 4.2% of decision-makers at venture capital firms are female. Not only has she been successful, she has also created a company that has funded more than 50 companies in India. Her goal to create an early-stage venture ecosystem in India has been widely recognised, putting her on the list of the top 10 entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. She was also listed as one of the most powerful women in Indian Business by Fortune magazine in 2014.
Christina Lomasney _ President and CEO of Modumetal
An finally, Christina studied and worked in the field of nuclear decontamination. She also participated in decontamination efforts in Chernobyl and Fukushima before founding ‘Modumetal’. Modumetal manufactures nanolaminated metal alloys that are “stronger and lighter than steel, more corrosion resistant than galvanize, durable than chrome and is redefining metals performance in major industries.” In what would be considered a very male dominated field, Christina has taken her company to new heights. Her vision for her company was strong enough to win over the backing of companies like Chevron Technology Ventures and BP Ventures.
These five women show that the entrepreneurial successes of women are not restricted to the stereotypical ideas of which industry is suitable for them. They prove that women can be successful in any industry sector. Behind Closed Doors applauds them as they defy all stereotypes of what kind of business a woman entrepreneur should be in and inspire women everywhere to do dismiss stereotypes and limitiations.
Adelaide: 2016 Entrepreneur Scholarship
Nominations are now open for our Adelaide Businesswomen’s Entrepreneurs Scholarship. Go to the behind closed doors website to nominate yourself or a worthy entrepreneurial female today.
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