In the face of adversity: women rise

The COVID-19 crisis has caused us an enormous amount of stress and frustration. For business owners and entrepreneurs this situation has crumbled many to the ground, forcing them to awaken their inner fighter. While it has brought out a lot of pain, it also brought a lot of creativity, passion and drive. In fact, many innovations such as AirBnB, Uber and much more were born in uncertain and difficult periods such as this one.

This period has once again proven that women entrepreneurs are resilient. Women have risen to the occasion, and reimagined a new normality. It is no surprise that it was mainly the countries with female leadership that managed to adapt so well at the peak of the crisis.

So, which are some traits that make women exceptional in the face of adversity? Who are some of the women that have reinvented themselves and their businesses during the pandemic?

Traits

  • Empathy

Being able to empathize is sometimes considered to be a weakness, especially in male dominated industries. However, it is increasingly becoming more evident that empathy can lead to great results. For example, it helps stimulate better results during team building processes. Another crucial aspect that is improved through empathy is customer relationships. Listening to and understanding the root of their problem can produce results which solve their problems and frustrations.

  • Asking for help/collaborating

Men asking for help used to be considered as weak, it meant they were vulnerable. While today this isn’t as prominent, it remains an internal bias in the male business model. This is why, women can be quicker problem solvers for example, because they aren’t afraid to ask for support.

Female-run businesses are quite different from male-run ones. Usually the ones run by men are based on competition. Even though female business owners could be competitors in the same market, women prefer to network and help each other out. In other words, women are highly collaborative. This doesn’t only help in the one-woman-business world, but also when working on projects. Because teamwork makes the dream work! This is the reason why we believe in the mission of Planet Venus!

  • Adaptability

This trait has come in the spotlight recently. It is likely the most important quality a business leader or intrapreneur can have! Any crisis needs adaptable minds, and in 2020 women have shown exactly that! Because being a woman means constantly facing adversity.

Who are they?

So, who are some of these women who have used their unique skill set to give us hope in the face of a global pandemic? We have selected two inspiring stories that we absolutely loved!

Molly Goodson and Carnet Williams are the founding team of The Assembly, a San Francisco all-female gathering space. In an interview for Medium, the women discuss that they had to act swiftly, relying on their own knowledge and experience. Only two days after they had closed their physical doors, they had found a way to adapt their platform to be used digitally by its members, calling it Assembly Anywhere. In fact, they went big – they were doing up to 7 classes per day, a digital version of ‘business as usual’.

“I wanted to think about ways to [go digital] that were authentic to The Assembly, to not only use digital as a bandaid for now but also to prepare for a long term fundamental shift. As we are forced to consider our leisure time, physical time, social time in a new way, how can we still be an access point for connection and escape and consistent source of energy?”

– Molly Goodson, CEO of Assembly (in interview for the Medium)

Isis Nyong’o, founder of MumsVillage – content and ecommerce platform for new mothers in Kenya is also adapting quickly. The company under Isis’ leadership quickly changed course by dropping its usual content and focusing on COVID-19 related matters such as homeschooling and domestic violence.

Many other women have risen from the crisis by prioritizing people over profit by cutting main revenue streams and prioritizing safety. We would love to hear more of these inspirational stories! Send them to us, tag them, tell us about your own story. Let’s spread some positivity!

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