She Means Business® Women’s Leadership and the Media
In this debut of our ongoing, weekly video series, She Means Business®, Biz2Credit’s Manisha Priyadarshan sits down with media expert Adrienne Garland, CEO and Founder of She Leads Media. Priyadarshan and Garland discuss a range of topics from business loans to women, to exploring women’s leadership and the media.
About the She Means Business Video Series
Underwritten and independently produced, the series aims to engage successful female business executives, educators, authors, and entrepreneurs in a discussion about the challenges and triumphs of women’s leadership and the media.
About She Leads Media
In the present segment, Adrienne Garland explains the goals of She Leads Media, a company she co-founded as a “second career” after a long tenure as a corporate executive. Garland explains how she was inspired to create the company and observes that women still lack a collective “voice” when it comes to engaging mainstream media. Adrienne talks about how she helps empower business owners about women’s leadership and the media.
Adrienne and her partner have also created an annual conference on women’s leadership issues.
Ms. Garland implores women to overcome fears, particularly in the areas on finance and technology, by reaching out to industry experts for advice. She says that women often will not seek expert advice and that reluctance can negatively affect their success.
In the interview, Ms. Garland cites the lack of access to capital as the top concern for women-owned companies. According to several major studies (as well as Biz2Credit’s internal figures), women comprise a minority of financing applicants as well as approved clients.
She notes that even when women do apply for loans, they are getting lower amounts than their male counterparts. However, it should be noted that female funding applicants have substantially lower credit scores than their male counterparts, so while there may be some inequality in the outcome, there does exist a secular deficiency in the inputs, namely lower credit scores.
Whatever the cause of inequality, Garland is the consummate optimist and says she does not dwell on the past any longer than to learn from its lessons. She says she is squarely focused on women’s ascendancy and achieving well-deserved positions of power.
Garland is not insensitive to the issues and events occurring nationwide in support of women’s leadership and condemning abuses against women in society and the workplace. In fact, she is passionate that these things are necessary to correct the imbalance, but says her role is to keep focused on advancement and blazing trails to success for women.
Garland goes on to explain that many women business owners create lifestyle businesses that are not properly set up to scale. She is trying to educate her clients on how to plan businesses that can scale to larger organizations. She says that over $1 million in annual revenue is the benchmark for scalability.
Host Manisha Priyadarshan asks Garland what she feels are the top 3 issues that could lead to success for woman-owned businesses.
Women “need to gain an understanding of the media” as a top priority, according to Garland. She explains that women’s leadership and the media are a natural fit. “Women don’t promote themselves as they should,” she adds. She feels that on average women lack confidence to engage the media to tell their story.
“It’s really the only way women can amplify their voices,” Garland says.
The second priority, Garland says, is that women need to ask questions and advice: “Women tend to try to do everything themselves.” Garland feels the reluctance to seek guidance is because they don’t know how to ask for help: “Women hold themselves back by not asking for the help they need.”
Lastly, Garland says that women need to educate themselves more — and more consistently. In particular, she says that women tend to ignore, and even fear, issues of technology and finance.