A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride:
This week, to celebrate International Women’s Day, the Fearless Girl on Wall Street broke glass ceilings. The sculpture is now surrounded by shards of broken glass.
Of course I celebrate the achievements of individual women, the first doctor, first firefighter, first woman CEO of a big bank. But I’ve covered too many “firsts” in my career. After a while, you start to recognize that glass ceilings reform themselves into glass walls, or different floors, or windows you can’t squeeze through. Patriarchal systems are more like halls of mirrors.
This week, we also had the story of Meghan, who appears to have fallen for the myth that princesses chose their own privileges. She didn’t even Google the Royal Firm before she married into it, only to realize she’d always be a servant of the system.
Of course the most famous princess story is Cinderella. In some of the more gruesome versions of the tale, the stepsisters are forced to dance on the shards of the broken glass slippers. Hierarchies are only good for the people on top, and for women, maybe they never are. In other versions, even Cinderella finds her feet sliced.
I think that’s one meaning of the broken glass in stories about women: No matter how high you rise, if you put a toe out of line, you’re apt to get cut.
Times of Entrepreneurship Stories of the Week
COVID-19 Has Been the Enemy. Meanwhile, These Other Microbes Could Save The World
Seed Health hopes to send microbes into space to figure out if they break plastic down into its original elements. If it works, it could help the world tackle the estimated 8 million tons of plastic that end up in oceans every year.
Locker Lifestyle’s Founder Financed Her Dorm Room Company By Winning 22 Competitions
Founder Katarina Samardzija’s secret: “Instead of going to parties, I meet with mentors for crucial advice, learned how to code, and design new products to patent.”
Op-Ed: Good Jobs For Women Are In Reach Through Social Enterprises
Women around the world faced shared problems such as underemployment. Could social entrepreneurship hold the key to turning things around?
The Hub: @Thegothamgal Is Top Angel for Diverse Founders…
But the most active angels in the U.S. fall short on diversity investment rates, Brook Montgomery takes the helm of New Mexico State University’s Studio G accelerator, and Muhammad Yunus launches a waste management incubator in East Africa.
Failing Up: Why Some Climb The Ladder Despite Mediocrity
Some workers are allowed to fail without penalty; others don’t get any slack. This BBC piece provokes an interesting question: What would the world of work be like if companies stopped promoting low-performing team members who are shielded by privilege? And could that ever happen?
A World without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload
The pandemic showed us that it’s possible to get an incredible amount done without a traditional office. Could the email inbox become the next disposable aspect of the modern workplace? Deep Work author Cal Newport raises that possibility in this new audiobook.
Made in the USA
Craftshack: Craft brewing has been going strong throughout the pandemic. This site offers American brands you may not find at your local liquor store, like Belching Beaver, Off Color Beer for Pizza and Dogfish Head.
Bold women, important ideas
When Black sharecroppers in Elaine, Arkansas tried to form a union, white men in the community got angry, and a three-day massacre followed, leaving more than 100 Black men, women and children dead. That was in 1919. More than 100 years later, Lisa Hicks-Gilbert had the courage to create the Descendants of Elaine Massacre Facebook page as part of a new push to reclaim the narrative about an event some still want to ignore. Courage is a common thread among the women we’ve covered at the Times of E—and it takes many forms. Mandy Arnold refused to board up the windows of The Left Bank Restaurant in York, Pa., when protests were held after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. She wanted to show she believed in her community. Allison Conti, a single mom from Oklahoma City, raised $3.5 million for Leaky Lady, which makes a device to reduce urinary incontinence, bringing needed exposure to medical problem that many people are hesitant to discuss. Laurie Rock transformed her diving school, brought to halt suddenly by the pandemic, into a service to manage invasive underwater weeds, rather than give up on her entrepreneurial dream. The list goes on and will continue to get longer, as more women find the inspiration to take a stand for justice, give voice to their ideas and fight for the businesses they now have the freedom to build however they want.
This story and others on New Builders Dispatch are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.