Be it virtual or in person, Babson College regularly convenes the community around entrepreneurial leadership—for events, networking sessions, and hands-on learning opportunities. And, it is through such opportunity that its students and alumni gain unmatched access to many well-known names and stories. Let’s take a look back at some of our most empowering words for women, because, in trying times, we could all use a little advice and motivation.
Empowering Words for Women
Never walk away from a challenge
Joanne Domeniconi, co-founder of The Grommet
“I knew that it was going to be a struggle to transition myself from a company to a startup, where I was on my own,” she shared at a 2019 Babson event for Women Entrepreneurship Week. “But, I felt I had a talent I could add to the equation. … I was smart enough to learn, or fake it until I did learn … and I never walk away from a challenge.”
Network and develop
Smaiyra Million P’21, director of the Diana International Research Institute and strategic initiatives at Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL).
“It’s important for (women) to know that no matter where you are in your career, there’s something transformative that happens when you have the opportunity to step outside of your business or company, working on the business and yourself instead of just in it,” said Million, speaking about one of Babson’s leadership development programs.
Successful women in business must overcome numerous hurdles in order to grow their companies and ascend to leadership positions, she adds. And, at Babson, Million prides herself on helping to empower women—mentoring them, helping to improve their negotiation skills, amplify leadership abilities, and eliminate negativity.
Karen Snow ’93, senior vice president and head of East Coast listings and capital services for Nasdaq
“If you don’t ask for it, you’re not getting it,” said Snow, sharing empowering words for women at a finance panel with Babson’s Stephen D. Cutler Center for Investments and Finance. “You have to do it in a way that shows your worth. ‘Here’s all the things I did this year, and I expect to be recognized for it.’ ”
Stay positive and make things happen
Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Urban One
“When someone asks you how your business is doing, it doesn’t matter if it’s at its worst. You stay positive,” advised Hughes at Babson’s 2019 Black Affinity Network Conference. “Say things like ‘the business is improving. … It’s looking a lot better today than it was yesterday.’ When you say this out loud, you start to believe it. When you believe things are improving, when you stop complaining, that’s when great things happen.”
Find your fit
Angela Sanchez MBA’11, founder of Artyfactos
“I was immediately drawn to Babson’s entrepreneurial-focused MBA program because it felt like home,” said Sanchez. “Having grown up in an entrepreneurial household, it just made sense to me.”
At Babson, Sanchez joined fellow women entrepreneurial leaders such as Savitha Sridharan MBA’14, founder of Orora Global, in an extraordinary mission to empower women everywhere to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX
“Differentiate yourself. Learn how to tell somebody in a minute or less why you’re different, why you’re the best option, and work really hard,” said Blakely at Babson’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs®. “Never underestimate how hard you’ll work.”
At the age of 27, Blakely, SPANX founder and CEO, started her company with only $5,000. Eventually, Neiman Marcus agreed to sell the shapewear brand. Fifteen years later, her startup turned into a billion dollar empire.
Turn negativity into noise
Tory Burch, fashion designer and entrepreneur
“When we were first starting out, there were many naysayers.” She recalled at Babson’s 2014 Commencement ceremony. “Others called our early success ‘a flash in the pan.’ I’m a sensitive person, so it was hard. My parents told me that I needed to develop a thicker skin. They said I should think of negativity as noise and focus on what I was doing. It was great advice that I have kept in mind ever since.”
And, empower women!
Charlotte Oades, former vice president and global director of Women’s Economic Empowerment for Coca-Cola
“It’s very important to understand the ripple effect that happens when a woman entrepreneur becomes economically empowered,” said Oades. Empower women, because “Women empowering other women and educating their children ensures that communities grow stronger.”
These are just some of the many incredible empowering words for women shared by Babson community members and friends. Some of the most successful women in business.