Two weeks ago, the Holly & Tanager team had the pleasure of hosting a lunch for a group of truly amazing female leaders from around the Chicago area. Though we had hoped for a great view, because we hosted these lovely ladies at the top of the John Hancock, one of Chicago's most recognizable buildings, we were greeted with rain and clouds. Nevertheless, the atmosphere in the room could not have been brighter, with the purpose of our lunch being to spark a conversation about what it means to be "women with vision".
As a female-founded fashion startup in Chicago, this topic is one that is near and dear to our hearts. Starting a business always has its ups and downs, but can be even more challenging for women. According to Fortune.com, $58.2 billion dollars were invested in companies with all-male founders. In companies with all female founders? $1.46 billion. While this disparity is getting smaller every year, these numbers are one example of the biases that can sometimes hold women back from a reality that we know to be true; Women can do, and be anything.
During lunch, we had a chance to hear introductions from all of the amazing women in attendance. From business women to an alderwoman, to charity organizers, to a diversity inclusion specialist, to an anchorwoman, there were so many unique journeys to learn from, and inspirational stories to take in. On top of all their personal successes, so many of these women shared similar visions: leave the world better than we found it, reach back to motivate and support young women, and never stop striving to change our communities for the better.
Now that is a vision we can get behind. We were so thankful to spend a few hours with all of these women and hope to continue this conversation by using the hashtag #WomenWithVision. Thank you to the Signature Room for hosting us and to all of the attendees for sharing their stories!