Photo by Jullette Valtiendas, illustration by Anna Buckley/HelloGiggles
Anna Buckley
April 20, 2018 4:31 pm

Perhaps one of the most devastatingly infamous moments for professional women in the United States in recent history occurred in the early hours of November 9th, 2016. Hillary Clinton — who has been involved in politics since attending Wellesley in the late sixties — lost the presidential election to a man with no professional political experience.

“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now,” Clinton said in her concession speech. “And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

It has become crystal clear that the glass ceiling is still very much an obstacle in the professional careers of most women.

Thankfully, women like Serena Saitas — the founder of Crash the Glass — has a researched and groundbreaking plan to change that.

This past Wednesday, April 18th, Crash the Glass held their first Los Angeles panel in West Hollywood, at which Serena Saitas was the keynote speaker, followed by a panel discussion with four professional female entrepreneurs.

Saitas started by explaining in her speech that women, who ironically drive 70-80% of household spending, hold less than 20% of C-Suite roles (aka C-level executive positions like CEO, COO, etc.) in corporate America.

“We are a very valuable segment,” Saitas said. “Everybody knows this. As consumers, we are very attractive. We are always looked upon by the business world as consumers.”

The power female entrepreneurs hold is that they understand the customer because they are the customer. Saitas spent years conducting research, interviewing upwards of 100 female entrepreneurs.

Saitas said that finally, the way we talk about women is systematically changing.

“You can’t continue to lean in if you just can’t push the door open,” Serena said. “We have to go around the glass ceiling as entrepreneurs and crash the glass ceiling from above through female leadership. I truly believe that by crashing the glass from the top down, we can totally change the narrative. It puts women on the offensive, rather than the defensive.”

After Saitas spoke, the panel began. The women discussed owning their own companies, the reasons behind going off on their own, and the benefits of entrepreneurship.

When it came to giving advice to other female entrepreneurs, the ladies suggested trusting the nurturing way women function, and taking pride in it.

“Constantly grow. Constantly evolve,” said Stacy Ike, founder of Fight for your Fairytale.

“Market with women, rather than at them,” said Kate Edwards, the COO at Heartbeat. “Foster a culture of learning and education,” she added.

“People from the intern to the C-Suite should have ownership. They’re contributing, they’re not just a workhorse,” said Lauren Kozak, the founder of Kozak Consulting.

It was also agreed upon among the entrepreneurs on the panel that innovation is not, and should not be viewed as, a threat.

“It’s about modernizing,” Saitas said. “Modernizing everything.”

“If you’re not failing, you’re not taking big enough risks,” Kate Edwards added.

“I think of failure,” said Stefanie Botelho, founder of Fitzroy, “as one step closer to success.”

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