Photo from Hynesintitute on Instagram.
Since the boom of women entering the workforce in the 1960s, women have had a tumultuous time making themselves equal to men. It’s Women’s History Month, and as a female-led newspaper, we want to highlight how women navigate life within the workforce. An entrepreneur is a person who creates a business, despite all the risks that the process entails. In recent years, entrepreneurship has become so prevalent that Iona even created the Hynes Institute to help young entrepreneurs on campus grown their business ideas. But where do women fit into entrepreneurship?
Flutist and Iona College professor, Dr. Hilary Jones, considers herself to be an entrepreneur and thinks that the perception of entrepreneurship should be broadened. She defies the stereotype of entrepreneurs being solely business, marketing, and corporate-driven. Although now fully submerged in her career as an educator, Jones is still focused on her business as a freelance musician.
“I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur, but I realize now that so much of what I have done as a freelance musician and as a person juggling many different kinds of teaching jobs is exactly the kind of hustle required of entrepreneurs,” Jones said. “Being a musician and educator is still very much a business, but a business we do out of love, and we hope it makes us some money.”
Jones stresses the importance of one’s mindset. Perseverance and consistency are the keys to her success. She tries to say “yes” to anything that would teach her or push her to level up her performance, even if it is uncomfortable.
“As an entrepreneur, you have to remember that every project you do is the last testament to your work as a whole; you are always building your reputation or your business,” Jones said. “I’ve always tried to make myself invaluable to others this way — think of it as sowing seeds for some potential unknown future career bloom, even if it doesn’t immediately get you results.”
Entrepreneurship is for people of all ages and genders, and young women are Iona are ready to take the risk.
Senior Elizabeth Petrunia is interested in stockbroking and financial management — a male-dominated industry. She does not want to be one of the few women on board; she wants to be a part of an equally diverse financial firm.
“Men are probably seen as pioneers of entrepreneurship because, historically, they have had more opportunities to start businesses before women really got into the workforce – as we were trying to break biases against us in the workplace, they were getting ahead,” Petrunia says. “[Women] are also under a lot more pressure to perform perfectly since their peers and colleagues are most likely expecting them to fail.”
Entering a male–dominated field can be daunting, but if you have an idea in your brain that you think is worth something, give it a shot – the world needs more women as business leaders.