By: Lana Jackson
“Across the globe, women, from all ages, races, backgrounds, and industries are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and starting businesses.” — In the Company of Women, Grace Bonney
In our current cultural moment, I believe we all collectively feel and acknowledge that this is a special time to be a woman. Even though we still have a long way to go in terms of equality, there are is a lot to be excited about. At this moment in history, there are more women running for office than ever before. 11.6 million American businesses are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating $1.7 trillion in sales last year. Not to mention the uptick of minority women who are tackling the entertainment industry with their often-overlooked creative genius (see also: Ava Duvernay and Yara Shahidi).
Obviously, there is a major shift happening in which women are rethinking how we want to live, work, and order our lives. I don’t know about you, but because of this I have a curiosity about women and the future of the work economy.
As a personal stylist, most of the professional women I work with talk to me about their growing discontent with the rigidity and inflexibility of the traditional workforce. When I compare my conversations with women I style to the activity and discourse surrounding the Women’s March Movement, #MeToo, and ongoing conversations on inclusion and racial diversity, it is apparent that these events are helping all women to be discontented (in a good way) with the status quo and mobilizing us to take action in our lives and our work.
I think women are also growing discontent with the current work economy because of the phenomena of the current digital information age, which has created trends in female-led startups, telecommuting, co-working spaces, crowdfunding, Artificial Intelligence, and new job market segments such as professional blogging and digital media consulting. These trends have created new conversations and opportunities around what “work” looks like and the manner in which it can be done.
Technology and the rapid spread of information are creating unique work opportunities for women and supporting them in their desire to rethink and restructure their careers and businesses.
So, how can women make the most of the new work era? The best way is to invest in self-formation.
What do I mean? I mean availing ourselves of opportunities that help us shape the person we are, the person we are becoming, and the person we need to become. Self-formation includes seeking education, networking effectively, pursuing mentorship, and aligning ourselves with like-minded women and resources that can move us in the direction we feel called, or ignite a passion for an undiscovered talent or new idea that needs fleshing out.
The new era of work is upon us. Now more than ever, women have more opportunities to make “work” work for them, and not the other way around.
Lana Jackson is a wardrobe stylist and founder of Narrative Styling, an image consulting firm that helps women build versatile and effective wardrobes that work from day to night and every occasion in between. She is passionate about teaching women how to use style to present the best narrative about their personal brand.
Originally published at www.ellevatenetwork.com.