Community, A Female Founders Recipe For Success
Our Founder, Denise Woodard, continues to put her whole heart into Partake. This requires an awful lot of grit and determination AND a killer community to support her mission. Just like the proverb says, “if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Building a strong community starts when needs are recognized, struggles are shared, and victories are celebrated because we know that sharing these experiences is an extremely powerful way to build human connection-something that can get lost during these fast-paced times. When we surround ourselves with love and support, there really is no telling what we can achieve.
Time and time again, research has shown that having a sense of community can have a huge impact on motivation, determination, and even our general health! These benefits, while useful for everyone in any context, are particularly important for women, who are navigating the competitive worlds of business and entrepreneurship. Luckily, the sentiment around women helping women is at an all-time high. As shared in a study by Refinery29 and Bill Cameron, “female-led startups are two times as likely to turn to crowd-funding as a source of investment, and that women crave even more networking and mentorship opportunities with other successful women”.
When you look at the statistics, it’s no wonder that female professionals are leaning on one another, building their own sense of community in the workplace. Here are just a few facts regarding working women:
- In 2018, female professionals made up only 38% of managers, 34% of senior managers or directors, 29% of VPs, 23% of SVPs, and just 22% of C-suite executives. For women of color, just 4% made up C-suite positions.
- About a fifth of women reported that they’re frequently the only woman (or one of the only women) in the groups of people they work with at the office. It’s more like 40% for women in senior leadership and those in technical roles. Just 7% of men are in the reverse situation.
- A quarter of women, but only 8% of men, believe that “their gender has played a role in missing out on a raise, promotion, or chance to get ahead.” And 29% of women, compared to only 15% of men, believe their gender will be an obstacle to advancement in the future.
It’s pretty clear that hustling in the professional realm is particularly difficult for women in business. With this in mind, the idea of community becomes all the more important for ensuring that females at all levels of the business band together as we continue to overcome obstacles and break past barriers regarding gender in the workforce. Trust us when we say, a community of women looking to rise together in the business world is truly a force to be reckoned with! With that being said, we wanted to share some insight on what community means to many female founders and how it can be used to build up one another, courtesy of Refinery29:
Mentorship is important for women in business. According to the Berlin Cameron and Refinery29 study, 50% of women responded that they are more comfortable at work when they have a mentor to look up to.
Women network to build connections. A study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that high-performing women have one thing in common: they have a tight-knit circle of other women who help them with “gender-specific private information and support.” In other words, questions about work culture, hostility towards women and gender diversity. The study found that women with a tight female-dominated inner circle had a job placement level 2.5 times higher than women with a male-dominated inner circle.
Network beyond your niche. You may think that you should only network with people within your industry, but having a diverse group of connections can be rewarding too. “When women get in front of each other and realize that even if they’re in different fields they have the same struggles, that’s where the magic happens,” says fashion designer and co-founder of the Female Founder Collective Rebecca Minkoff. “Getting advice from someone who isn’t doing what you’re doing every day can be really helpful.”
No matter how unique your interests are, there's a community for you. “Women are hard-wired to gather; we’ve been doing it since the beginning of time,” says Katya Libin, co-founder of HEYMAMA, a community for mothers in business. “Now we’re seeing all these formerly marginalized niche communities develop with shared interests that bring them together, whether you’re a mom or an accountant who loves dogs, there’s a group out there for you.”
At Partake, our goal is to create delicious, healthy snacks that most everyone can enjoy sharing together. This idea of sharing and inclusivity has been a driving force behind the Partake brand and has helped shape our community. The wonderful folks in our community have played a huge role in our journey and we want to take that a step further by sharing their stories with all of you!
Drawing on this power of community, we are launching a new series called Partakeovers, which will feature inspiring individuals who are making waves in their own communities while being a part of ours.
Each week, they will be sharing their personal stories and giving us a glimpse into their lives to discuss everything from overcoming the challenges of food restrictions, favorite recipes, ways they make life a little easier for themselves and their fam, and so much more! We hope that these fun and inspiring stories will inspire you to partake in our growing community! Make sure to head on over to our Instagram Stories to watch these Partakeovers each Tuesday in real-time or catch a recap in our Partakeover story highlight reel. We can’t wait to share our cookie-loving community with all of you!