In honor of Women’s History Month, MadeinAmerica.com would like to highlight a few of the strong women in American manufacturing today. Being a woman in a male-dominated industry can be difficult, but these business owners have some amazing advice for any woman who dreams of launching their own product or business.
At the inaugural Made in America show, a panel discussing Women Leading American Manufacturing featuring founders and inventors. Their advice still stands true this year as we prepare for Made in America 2021 in Louisville Kentucky, Oct. 1-3.
One of the women featured in the panel, inventor and CEO Connie Sylvestor, had some amazing advice for young women.
“I am an inventor and founder of two companies, Water Rescue Innovations and Mommy-Armor USA. I sell to a male-dominated industry of first responders, fire-fighters, police, and rescue squads. I’m often the only woman telling men how to rescue people.”
As a teenager, Connie was a high jumper, practicing alongside her brothers who never lowered the bar for her even though she’s only 5’3″.
“My advice would be to never set the bar too low and never give up,” she said. After high school, she went on to coach track & field for five years.
And Connie is right–in order to be successful in a male-dominated field, women typically have to work twice as hard to reach their goals.
Also featured at the American Made event was the third-generation owner of Holder Mattress, Lauren McAshlan Taylor, who accepted the 2019 Women-Owned Manufacturer Award.
“The best thing about being here and being a woman-owned business is knowing that I am one of several strong women who I now call my friends,” she said as she accepted the award. “American manufacturing is here to stay!”
And so are women in manufacturing–statistics show that there are a rising number of women attending business school to launch their own business. In 2019, there were nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., which generated $1.9 trillion in revenue for the U.S. economy.
There’s no denying that the percentage of female business owners in 2021 is impressive at about 42%, but their work isn’t finished! The number is projected to continue rising for women and minority-owned businesses in the years to come.