"When I was a young girl I was encouraged to be a performer, to be an actress and singer. My grandmother would take me around as a cute little girl to sing at different community places. That enabled me to be a storyteller, to be able to walk into a room and be comfortable. I was one of the first women in tech in Philly and that has given me good access and opportunity because people were looking for diversity. I don't see being a woman as a challenge I see it as a benefit." - Danielle Cohn is the Director of Entrepreneurial Engagement at Comcast and leads the Lift Lab for entrepreneurs.
"I knew starting my own fashion company as a woman would be hard because I am a in a male dominated profession. And, I knew I could do everything better. That is coming from a place of total confidence and competence. Where I used to work I saw generations of incompetent male decision makers stifling both creativity and conversation. I knew I could only grow so far working in this kind of environment. There's one supervisor that I still flip-off in my mind constantly. And, I still can't give the details about how ineffective and emotional abusive he was because this industry is so small. I can't wait for my business to grow so I can have a team working for me and the opportunity to treat my employees like humans." - Molly Shaheen designs and produces leather fanny packs. MollyShaheen.com
"When I first got out of Grad School I had a job and was working with this dude. His previous job was cleaning the decks of a ship. So I taught him everything I knew and then he got promoted and became my boss. I realized then that the only way I was going to be able to control the future of my career and get ahead was if I became an entrepreneur. I made a promise to myself that before I was 30 years old I would start my business. My success has a lot to do with my smile. I'm friendly, I smile and then people want to talk to me." - Laura Mignott is the co-founder and managing partner of Digitalflash and she just launched The Reset, a five star podcast sponsored by Bose.
I don’t believe there is a male or female role in terms of taking care of children. I think today there is a call for someone to step up for both parents to share the responsibilities. I am a business woman and a mother and I couldn’t travel and do my business if my husband weren’t caring for the children too.” - Mary Phan is a entrepreneur and founder of The Sketchbook Series.
I met Marvell in the L train subway station on First Avenue. She and her two daughters were selling bags of cookies. " We are a start up," she explained. "I started by just packaging other people's products but now we are baking all kinds of things. Natural cookies, from plant-based ingredients." she said. Marvell's daughters are home schooled and after they finish schooling at three, they help her with the business. " My mom wasn't a business minded woman nor did she have any have inspirations of starting her own business, she was more of a home maker just taking care of the family. I want to instill in my young ladies ideas and ideals, I wasn't privileged to have learned from my mom about creativity and innovation or how to make a living by doing the things you enjoy and love." She says that sometimes you learn things too late in life. She wants her girls to be prepared, to learn when they are young. Marvell is glad she is a woman, she says it is special and she likes being feminine. "I don't think that I have to walk or talk or act like a man to succeed, I can be feminine, I can be a woman." What she doesn't like about a being a woman is the way women treat one another. She clarified, "I don't like social media because women use it to criticize and cut down one another. They will look you over head to toe and comment on social media and then won't even say hello when they see you in person."