Increase Your Bottom Line: Hire Women
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

Joi Gordon

Companies that employ more women make more money, says Joi Gordon, the CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide and a featured speaker at the 2010 Entrepreneurs Conference, coming this May 16-19, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

Some might be shocked by that revelation. But employment chances increase with a college education, and statistics have shown that women make up the majority of college students and are graduating at a higher rate than men. Nevertheless, women still lag behind men when it comes to equal pay for equal work. And in some industries, women are still nonexistent.

As the recession elapses and companies expand their search for talent again, employers should consider displaced homemakers and single mothers, and start allowing some flexibility for workers with diverse needs, says Gordon, whose nonprofit organization helps disadvantaged women find jobs and stay employed.

“Women are demanding new rules of engagement in the workforce,” she says. “Businesses have started to realize the need for compromise.”

Here, Gordon gives some tips that will support this untapped workforce in the corporate world:

-    Offer flexible work schedules
-    Recognize “real life” skills as transferable to the workplace
-    Be open to female applicants who are returning to the workplace after an absence
-    Coach women to capitalize on what they do best.
-    Lead by example, from the CEO’s office down, that the company is committed to diversity

The employee and the employer are responsible for employee job retention.  Here are three things Gordon says women should do in order to keep their jobs and ascend their company’s hierarchy.

-    Be clear about the value of developing professional relationships and networking, says Gordon. Deciphering organizational culture and the unwritten rules of the workplace will play a big part in getting promotions.

-    Take risks and create your own definition of success. “Effort, passion, and fearlessness will lead to better skills, better jobs, and better lives for women,” says Gordon. Get proactive with your professional development by participating in activities and setting goals that lead to professional growth.

-    Strengthen internal relationships with senior management. “Building a career is also about … having your own personal board of directors,” says Gordon.  Find mentors who can be a source of advice and guidance for issues and problems you encounter in your daily work.

Gordon will be an expert panelist on the session The Business of Nonprofit: How to Turn “Doing Good” Into Good Business, Monday afternoon, May 17, at the 2010 Entrepreneurs Conference. Click here For more information about the Entrepreneurs Conference.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.