Hartford ranks seventh in the top 10 American cities for women to start a business, according to a recent Citrix Sharefile study.
The study took into consideration economic and cultural factors such as percentage of businesses in the city owned by women, percentage of women business executives and buying power by local women.
According to the study, Hartford performed well amongst other cities in America in part due to establishments such as the University of Hartford’s Women’s Business Center, which serves hundreds of individuals each year.
Dr. Lucy Gilson, a University of Connecticut professor, school of business department head and director of the Geno Auriemma UConn Leadership Conference, said the growing example of women business executives in the state is vital to their continued development.
“The adage that we often hear for women is ‘fake it ‘til you make it’,” Gilson said. “But I think one of the things we’re hearing now is ‘you have to see it to be it’.”
According to Gilson, the number of women seeking an education in business has been on the rise.
“At the undergraduate levels the number of women has been going up,” Gilson said. “It’s about 50/50 now.”
Gilson said the state’s strong support of women through structures such as the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame plays a positive role in their success in its industries.
“The history of women (in the state) is documented. The history is shared. Women are honored,” Gilson said. “There’s a lot of support like that.”
UConn’s School of Business is an active member of the National Society of Women MBA’s according to Gilson. Connecticut hosted the society’s national conference in 2016, according to their website.
Gilson also said women in a business are vital to performance and profitability.
“We know that when there are more women in corporations, businesses do better,” Gilson said. “More women on corporate boards is related to profitability and accountability.”
When looking to the future, Gilson said she tells women in business to “go for it.”
“Go out and do it. There should be nothing holding you back,” Gilson said. “Create your own path.”
Collin Sitz is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.