By Kerry Cavers
March 8 is International Women’s Day. It is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
And there are many women Sooke womn making huge contributions to our local economy that deserve to be celebrated.
The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce is proud to report that roughly 45 per cent of its members are businesses owned or operated by women.
There are many other great businesses in Sooke that are the result of the blood, sweat and tears of the women of this town.
One such force to be reckoned with is breakthrough expert, philanthropist and author, Jo Dibblee.
Dibblee is committed to helping women move out of the shadows of the past and into triumph in life, love and business.
After more than 20 years of success, leadership, and recognition in corporate Canada and beyond, Dibblee took the leap of faith to build her own business in 2001.
In discussing International Women’s Day with Dibblee and the theme this year of #PledgeForParity, I asked her thoughts on why there is still an earning gap.
“In my experience, women struggle with two main issues when it comes to pricing and growing their business,” Dibblee said.
“First, many Canadian women have been taught to be accommodating and avoid offending others which impacts pricing of their product or service; it is priced in such a way so as not to offend or put off. In pricing their product or service too low, women inadvertently dilute their value, their offering, and their credibility in the market place.
“Second, many women are risk adverse when it comes to growth. At times we may suffer from a love affair with perfection creating analysis paralysis which directly prohibits growth.”
Despite the fact women are starting businesses three to one of their male counterparts and they now own one-third of Canadian companies, women still lag behind in earnings by approximately 20 cents on the dollar.
As business owners we are perpetuating this problem because we set our own pricing. And women tend to set a lower price.
To close the current financial gap, women entrepreneurs must become comfortable, confident and command their worth.
The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its second annual afternoon tea at the Sooke Harbour House on March 6 in celebration of its many women in business.
As a group, Sooke’s female entrepreneurs have begun to rally around each other to become leaders and agents of change in our town. The event is open to all and is a great opportunity to network and build your entrepreneurial support system. If you would like to join us, tickets can be purchased online at the chamber’s website.
If you would like be part of the solution to closing the gap, Dibblee will be presenting A Frock-alicious Life is Calling at Tigh-Na-Mara Resort in Parksville on May 13 to 14.
An event not to be missed, this two-day program is designed to prepare women to take inspired, accountable action.
During this event attendees will be served relevant and practical tools, tips and strategies to see immediate impact and results.
If you are a smart, driven entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or small business owner who has big plans to push your business, career or life forward but are struggling to keep all the balls in the air then this event is for you. You can register for her event at frock-off.com.
You too can be part of the solution. Support women in business. Shop Local.
Kerry Cavers is president of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce.