An Office Of Her Own

Black women have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with in the world of business. But is the best yet to come?

fervor they showed in the last few decades.

To remain competitive, "women need to become as comfortable taking calculated, well-researched risks as men are," says Debra Condren, Ph.D., a career strategist and the founder and director of the Women’s Business Alliance in San Rafael, California. To help foster the necessary
confidence, businesswomen must focus on three critical areas: technology, finance and information. "In this day and age, some women are still reluctant to embrace technology," she says. "But it is absolutely critical that they learn the latest technology of their respective field."

Condren suggests that women then marry their high-tech know-how to their financial situations. "Take your stock portfolio online," she advises. Not only will you be able to manage your own money and pay yourself first, "you’ll learn what’s going on in various industries as you conduct research on different companies."

Staying abreast of cutting-edge information will also be a key concern of businesswomen going forward. The NFBWO found that women entrepreneurs are much less likely to seek information from financial magazines or newspapers than are their male counterparts. In addition to committing to ongoing education and training, "make it a point to read the general publications of the business world, not just those targeted to women."

Women business owners will also have to be proactive in going beyond basic networking to form strategic alliances. "Develop a loose ‘board of advisors’ to serve as a mentoring think-tank for your business," says Condren. On the corporate side, seek out companies that have structures in place to develop the intellectual and leadership potential of their women professionals.

Were he still living, Du Bois might be glad that so many women have realized the future he envisioned for them. But it’s women who can make the most of the observation "a woman’s work is never done." Truly, it is just beginning.

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