Category: Women Who Matter

Breaking Barriers: How US Womxn Entrepreneurs Can Overcome These 4 Common Business Hurdles

Hurdles are nothing new to womxn entrepreneurs in the US. While we’ve come a long way from challenges like needing our husbands’ or fathers’ signatures for loan or credit applications thanks to the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988, we still have some ways to go to secure our seats at the table. Still, with passion and determination, womxn business owners can overcome any obstacle on their path to success.

Let’s look at four common hurdles that womxn entrepreneurs typically face in the business arena. More importantly, let’s examine how we can get over them

Hurdle #1: Lack of Access to Capital

One of the biggest obstacles to any womxn entrepreneur’s success is lack of access to capital. Without funding or resources, we can’t build, much less grow, a thriving business.

As of 2019, women-owned businesses have created 10.8 million jobs in the US. They’ve also generated $1.8 trillion in earnings. And yet, in 2022, some 25% of women entrepreneurs have had their business loan applications denied compared to 19% of men. In 2023, only 28.4% of loans backed by the US Small Business Administration went to women-owned companies. As for venture capital funding, women-owned businesses received only 2% of the total capital invested by the end of 2023. 

We’re clearly looking at a considerable gap in capital access for womxn entrepreneurs here. This is why many opt to self-fund their businesses by dipping into personal savings, using their personal credit cards, or with the help of family and friends.

But self-funding isn’t a choice that everyone can make. If that’s your case, here are options you can explore to raise capital for your business:

  1. Check out resources like Access to Capital Directory for Entrepreneurs by Bank of America.
  2. Set up crowdfunding campaigns through sites like Kickstarter and IFundWomen.
  3. Find women-led investment groups like Broadway Angels and TrueWealth Ventures.
  4. See what funding avenues are available at your local SBA Women’s Business Center.

 Nina Vaca: Starting a business with $300

As the CEO of Pinnacle Group, Nina Vaca is one of the rare Latina leaders in the male-dominated IT industry. Her father’s death in the late 1980s compelled her to take over his travel agency at age 17. In 1996, when she was 25 years old, Nina started Pinnacle in her living room with only $300 in her pocket as a way to expand her family’s network. Today, Pinnacle is a billion-dollar company and one of the biggest workforce solutions providers in the world. It’s also one of the fastest-growing woman-owned businesses in the US.

 

Hurdle #2: Gender Bias and Stereotypes

Getting funding is challenging for women business owners because of two huge factors: 1) the prevailing stereotypes our society has formed for females and 2) the gender bias that grew from these stereotypes.

A 2018 study showed that white male-dominated investing companies tend to look at the applicant’s gender when considering business pitches. These investors often see women-owned businesses as riskier. They also judge female applicants based on the quality of their pitches and their confidence in delivering them.

Another 2018 study found that male investors usually perceive that the venture has a higher risk of failure if a woman’s business is in a male-dominated industry.

And then, there’s the age-old debate about women and emotional labor. Women are expected to bear the brunt of the labor at home. According to this article, traditional financiers are likely to deny loans to women business owners who are mothers and homemakers. The common belief is that CEOs who are also moms won’t be able to prioritize growing their companies. 

Lastly, we have the common gender perception that women are emotional and, therefore, lack the assertiveness necessary for leadership. While this characteristic is now seen as empathy, being more in tune with their emotions is still seen as a negative for women entrepreneurs in some circles.

Gender perceptions are learned, so it will take time for society to completely change how women are seen. We need to fight our small and personal battles in this arena. Here are some strategies we can adopt to win these battles:

  1. People don’t know what you know. Explore ways to position yourself as an expert in what you know.
  2. In a room full of colleagues and peers, don’t wait for others to introduce you as the expert in what you know. Introduce yourself.
  3. Surround yourself with a tight circle of diverse advisors and mentors, not just women. Having male advisors will give you an insight into why men in your industry behave the way they do. 
  4. Build your social capital and plug into business networks in your area, such as your city’s chamber of commerce or local NAWBO chapter. 

Mariyah Saifuddin: Setting the stage

Innovative Solution Partners CEO Mariyah Saifuddin often finds herself the only woman in the room whenever she meets with colleagues. The experience made her an expert at setting the tone whenever she enters a room. She does this by introducing herself as the owner of her company and showing what she brings to the table as an IT professional. She doesn’t wait for anyone else to make introductions for her.

 

Hurdle #3: Work-Life Imbalance

Prevalent gender stereotypes also contribute to another hurdle that women business owners typically experience: the lack of work-life balance. As mentioned earlier, women are expected to shoulder the brunt of emotional labor. They’re traditionally seen as the primary caregivers for their families and households.

A San Diego, CA-based study in 2023 found that the participating women struggled to balance the demands of caring for their children and running their businesses. This was especially true during their early years of operations. Ironically, the participants shared that they started their own business to have more time for family.

Why do women business owners need to balance their personal and professional lives? For one, it helps us stay healthy physically and mentally. It’s all too easy to get caught up with the demands of running a business. If we don’t keep this balance, we’ll soon be headed for burnout.

Another is it gives us a sense of fulfillment, especially regarding relationships. Maintaining balance allows us to strengthen and enjoy our relationships with family and friends. It also makes space for us to relish the fruits of our labor.

Yet another reason is it keeps us productive and creative. Time away from work helps us relax and recharge. We can do more when rested and process information more effectively when our minds have had time to unwind.

How can we create a balance between our professional and personal lives?

  1. Build a team to support you. Having a team to whom you can delegate tasks can free up much of your time and energy. This lets you focus on what matters instead of getting tied up with the day-to-day. Even hiring a part-time virtual assistant to, say, manage your emails and phone calls can make a difference.
  2. Explore childcare options. If you need to attend to tasks without getting distracted by your kids, check out available childcare options. Your spouse or a family member can look after your kids while you work. You can also sign up for daycare or get a babysitter.
  3. Set boundaries. Setting boundaries will prevent you from getting too caught up with the demands of your business. This can be as simple as limiting your work time to certain hours. On the flip side, you may need to impress upon your family that you can’t be distracted during your work time unless necessary.
  4. Schedule some me-time. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Keep your cup refilled by setting aside time for yourself – for meditating, exercising, working on a hobby, reading a book, or even lolling in bed and doing nothing.

Queirra Fenderson: Building your business around your life

Business coach and The Ambition Studio founder Queirra Fenderson talked about building your business around what’s going on in your life. She shared that when she and her husband were trying to get pregnant through IVF, she reorganized her work around her doctors’ appointments and prioritized self-care. She stressed the importance of identifying the life you want to lead and structuring your business around it.

 

Hurdle #4: Limiting Beliefs

Perhaps the biggest hurdle that womxn business owners face is their own limiting beliefs. If you see yourself in a negative light, you’re restricting your potential.

It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to have faith in our abilities. When we have a strong self-belief, we empower ourselves to overcome the obstacles to our success. We become resilient enough to push against the challenges ahead. We can trust our judgment and decisions and take the risks we need to grow.

Plus, a strong self-belief negates the impostor syndrome that can keep you from celebrating even your smallest wins. When you believe in yourself and act on your beliefs, you win your team’s and peers’ respect, and you can inspire others with your story.

How can you overcome your limiting beliefs?

  1. Journaling. Writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal can help you identify and question your limiting beliefs. Ask yourself why you believe or feel the way you do. Analyze your behavior and what triggers them.
  2. Reframe your beliefs. Once you’ve identified your limiting beliefs, find a way to reframe them into empowering statements about yourself. Instead of saying, “I can’t do this,” tell yourself, “I am capable of learning how to do this.” Also, list the values you want to believe you have, visualize yourself achieving success through them, and affirm yourself daily with them.
  3. Set smaller and achievable goals. While setting big and lofty goals is exciting, you may reinforce your limiting beliefs if you don’t achieve the expected results. Set the bar within your reach. Celebrate once you’ve reached the goalpost, and then take one step out of your comfort zone and set another goal.
  4. Get support. Having someone to talk to and be accountable for your limiting beliefs helps a lot in overcoming them. That someone could be your spouse or partner, a trusted family member, a close friend, or maybe your therapist or life coach. Hearing yourself talk to someone about how you see yourself can be enlightening. You can also gain perspective when you hear someone else’s thoughts about you and how you’re doing. 

Nicole Chamblin: Knowing your worth

Leadership and productivity coach Nicole Chamblin shared that doubt is the biggest challenge she must continually go through. She said it’s easy to compare ourselves with others and allow the negative voices to creep into your head because of these comparisons. Knowing your worth and reminding yourself frequently of your worth are powerful weapons against self-doubt.

Hurdles are nothing new to womxn entrepreneurs in the US. We’ve come so far, and we still have a lot of challenges along the way. But as long as we are determined to overcome these hurdles, we can achieve our success stories.

 


Miriam Defensor-Santiago: The Iron Lady of Asia

“What is the meaning of life? This meaning is not for you to find, but for you to define. The meaning of life is found in the purposes that we pursue as we grow older.” — Miriam Defensor-Santiago

Miriam Defensor-Santiago is well-known in Philippine politics for her intelligence, courage, and memorable quotes. While she ran twice for president and never won, she remained a consistent and active figure in politics who made a lasting mark on the Filipino people’s hearts and minds. She passed away in September 2016 from lung cancer, months after a second bid for the Philippine presidency. 

Defensor-Santiago was born in 1945, the eldest of seven children of a local judge and college dean in Iloilo City, Philippines. Her parents’ occupations were a precursor to what Santiago would become later on in her accomplished life. From an early age, her parents instilled the value of education. She later said that she and her siblings were raised to be “very bright people and it’s a great disappointment to all our ancestors if we did not live up to the family standards.”

After finishing high school and college as valedictorian in Iloilo City, she continued her stellar educational performance at the University of the Philippines College of Law in Manila. She continued showcasing her intelligence and wit by winning debates and oratorical contests. Defensor-Santiago was also the first female editor of the college newspaper.

Upon completing her law degree, she pursued her Masters of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science from the University of Michigan, which is considered one of the best law schools in the United States. Defensor-Santiago also finished a Master of Arts in Religious Studies at the Maryhill School of Theology. Aside from this, she also studied at Oxford and Harvard law schools. Her impressive educational background served as further evidence of her brilliant mind. She made the most of her education when she entered the world of Philippine politics.

From lawyer to judge to Senator, Defensor-Santiago worked in all three branches of the Philippine government – judicial, executive, and legislative. She served as a judge at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, an immigration commissioner and cabinet member, and a three-term senator. She was a popular mainstay in Philippine politics, especially when she spoke openly about corruption, injustice, and inefficiencies she saw around her.

More than just a powerhouse politician, Defensor-Santiago was also a wife, mother, and grandmother. Her biggest personal heartbreak came when one of her two sons took his own life in 2003. While she never got over his death, she continued her work in politics and law. In 2012, she became the first Filipino and Asian judge of the International Criminal Court. She also continued her work as a senator and in 2016, ran again for the presidency. 

Defensor-Santiago was indeed a female icon for the 21st century, earning the nickname the “Iron Lady of Asia,” even when most Asian women were happy to be behind the scenes. Her intellect, accomplishments, and outspokenness make her an extraordinary role model to the youth, who continue to look up to her today. Defensor-Santiago’s incredible ability to rise above personal tragedy and continue working as a public servant to serve others is also vital to this great woman’s legacy.

Sacred Fire Creative honors women who left a lasting legacy in this #WomenWhoMatter series. Do you want to be a woman who matters? Let’s collaborate to create a meaningful digital marketing strategy for your business.


Dolores Huerta: Labor Leader and Feminist Icon

“My mother was a dominant force in our family. And I always see her as the leader. And that was great for me as a young woman because I never saw that women had to be dominated by men.” – Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta is a labor leader, civil rights activist, and feminist. Though many know her as the co-founder of the labor union United Farm Workers, Dolores has dedicated her life to pushing forward the rights of workers, women, and immigrants, first in California and later throughout the US. She is credited for popularizing the phrase “Si, se puede” or “Yes, we can,” a motto that former US President Barack Obama later adopted. At 92, she still actively fights for her causes through the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Dolores was born in New Mexico on April 10, 1930, to Juan Fernandez and Alicia Chavez. Her parents divorced when she was three years old. Her mother then took her and her two brothers to live in a farming community in Stockton, California.

A Strong Woman’s Influence

Dolores’ father was a farm worker and coal miner who later became a union leader and state legislator in New Mexico. But it was her mother that influenced and inspired her to become an advocate for workers’ rights. Alicia Chavez supported her young family by working as a waitress and a cannery worker. Through hard work, she was able to buy a 70-room hotel and restaurant.

Dolores saw her mother as a community leader known for her compassion and generosity. Her mother often let immigrant farm workers and their families stay in her hotel for free. Through Alicia, Dolores learned that working toward equality and social justice without resorting to violence is possible. Her views were also shaped by the marginalization and gender bias she experienced as a young Hispanic woman.

In the 1950s, Dolores earned her teaching credentials from the University of the Pacific’s Stockton College and began work as an elementary school teacher. But when she saw so many farm children arriving hungry at school, she realized she could do more to help by organizing farm workers and farmers. She then left her teaching job and embarked on her lifelong crusade for workers’ rights.

A Life of Activism

In 1962, Dolores co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) with Cesar Chavez. The organization was the predecessor of United Farm Workers (UFW). UFW became prominent in the 1960s because of its involvement in the Delano grape strike. This five-year strike led to significant positive changes to California farm workers’ rights and welfare. Dolores later helped organize similar boycotts throughout the US in the 1970s. Through these boycotts, she helped create a national awareness and climate that led to the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. This was the first law that recognized the rights of California farmworkers to begin bargaining collectively for better wages and working conditions.

Dolores faced ethnic and gender bias throughout her life. Until 2018, she was the only woman to sit on the UFW board. In the 1960s, while traveling to New York City to promote the boycott against California table grapes, Dolores met noted feminist Gloria Steinem. She began to take a feminist approach to her activism after the meeting and shone a spotlight on the rights of women workers. In turn, Dolores influenced Steinem to expand the feminist movement to include issues faced by women of color.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Dolores championed women’s issues and worked to have more Latinos and women elected to political office. She notably endorsed Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination in 2007 and served as honorary co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington in protest of the then-newly inaugurated president Donald Trump.

While her work kept her busy, Dolores raised a brood of 11 children. One son, Emilio Huerta, became a lawyer and politician. Her youngest daughter, Camilla Chavez, works as executive director for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

No Signs of Slowing Down

Dolores received many honors and accolades for her advocacies. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded her the inaugural Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award. In 2012, President Barack Obama gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has numerous schools and an asteroid named after her. She was also a board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation and the Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the United Farm Workers Association of America.

Despite her age, Dolores shows no signs of slowing down. She now works primarily through the Dolores Huerta Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to “inspire and organize communities to build volunteer organizations empowered to pursue social justice.” It has done this and much more. In 2015 at 85 years old, Huerta said, “As long as I have the energy and health, I am going to do as much as I can.”

Sacred Fire Creative honors exemplary women who worked to change the world in our series #WomenWhoMatter. Work with us to create exemplary changes in your own sphere of influence.


Sofia Ionescu-Ogrezeanu: First Female Neurosurgeon

“This operation changed my life for the next 47 years, as I became a neurosurgeon, turning 180 degrees away from what I had chosen for myself before, the quiet life of an internist in my hometown.” – Sofia Ionescu-Ogrezeanu

 Few people are familiar with the name Sofia Ionescu-Ogrezeanu. Despite this, she holds a unique position in history. In 1944, when female doctors were relatively rare, she became the first female neurosurgeon in the world. She was only 24 years old.

Dr. Ionescu-Ogrezeanu was born in România on April 25, 1920. She decided to pursue becoming a doctor after one of her best friends died from an infection after brain surgery. Although female physicians were not the norm then, her mother supported her decision. She studied medicine in Bucharest between 1939 and 1945. At first, she planned to specialize in ophthalmology. However, the beginning of World War II would change this and the rest of her life.

During the war and between semesters, she volunteered to care for injured Soviet soldiers in Stamate Hospital in Fălticeni, Romania. There, she gained experience doing surgical operations, usually limb amputations that were common at the time. In 1943, she began work as an intern at Bucharest’s Hospital Nr. 9.

The following year, an 8-year-old comatose boy came in with severe injuries sustained in a bombing. Because of the war, the hospital was short-staffed, and Dr. Ionescu-Ogrezeanu had to perform emergency brain surgery on the boy herself. This operation transformed her life and officially made her the world’s first female neurosurgeon.

She spent the next 47 years of her life at Hospital Nr. 9, working as a surgeon. She was also part of the first neurological team in Romania that would later be known as “The Golden Neurosurgical Team.” Dr. Ionescu-Ogrezeanu performed all neurosurgical procedures available at the time. This exceptional team helped develop neurosurgery in Romania and had a lasting impact on the country’s healthcare system.

Dr. Ionescu-Ogrezeanu received many accolades and distinctions during her life as a doctor. She received the Red Cross Distinction Mark for her work and dedication early in her career. The World Health Organization also declared Dr. Sofia Ionescu-Ogrezeanu a hero, together with 65 other doctors who achieved exceptional marks in the medical profession. Dr. Ionescu-Ogrezeanu was also recognized and appreciated by her country and received the highest honor bestowed on a Romanian citizen, the Star of the Republic.

She died at 88 in Bucharest after many years of serving and caring for patients. Her influence opened many doors to medicine and neurosurgery for female doctors. While she may not be well-known outside the field of medicine, her global impact is undeniable.

Dr. Sofia Ionescu-Ogrezeanu’s passion for medicine and courage to do what no woman had done before her paved the way for other female doctors to pursue careers in neurosurgery. Her recognition as the world’s first female neurosurgeon inspires all women, not just doctors, worldwide.

Sacred Fire Creative honors women who have achieved the exceptional in their line of work in the series #WomenWhoMatter. Aspiring to achieve the exceptional in your business? Let’s work together to make your aspiration a reality.


Alicia Garza: Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter

“Change does not occur without backlash–at least any change worth having–and that backlash is an indicator that the change is so powerful that the opposing forces resist that change with everything they have.” – Alicia Garza

In 2013, a Black-centered political movement was born called Black Lives Matter. The movement started after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the death of Trayvon Martin the year before. Alicia Garza, along with Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, was one of its founders. Since then, Black Lives Matter has transformed into a national movement dedicated to fighting racism and anti-Black violence.

While she is most well-known for helping transform Black Lives Matter from a hashtag into an international network, Alicia Garza was already an activist, strategist, and organizer. She has spent more than half her life bringing change to society through different venues. Alicia is also the host of the political commentary podcast “Lady Don’t Take No” and a co-founder of Supermajority. This voting advocacy hub brings women together as a political force transcending race, age, and background.

With over twenty years of experience as a strategist and organizer, Alicia decided to share her personal story through the book “The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart.” Here, she shares her experiences as an activist and beacon for change. The book focuses on sharing her story as an organizer and offers new perspectives to guide a new generation of young adults who want to change the world. Alicia describes the book as the book she would have liked to read when she started as a young organizer.

Alicia wears many hats – organizer, activist, author, podcast host, and more. However, her goal in all her endeavors remains the same – to bring change to the world around her. While she continues to advocate for change, she understands that there is still much to be done. She also understands that she is one person, and more than bringing change on her own, her role is to inspire others around her to work on transforming the world.

She shares, “For a long time, I did this work but wasn’t really hopeful about change. It sounds counterintuitive in some ways, but it happens to a lot of people, actually. You have to believe that change can happen if you are going to be a part of making change. That doesn’t mean we don’t hurt, that we don’t despair, that there isn’t grief—there is all of that. But there also must be a belief that we, too, can make the change we long for. It must be the thing that wakes us up in the morning, the thing we fall asleep thinking about.”

Alicia Garza is a true inspiration, not just for Black women, women, or Black people exclusively. She inspires people worldwide, regardless of race, gender, or nationality. Her dedication to bringing much-needed change and leaving the world a better place encourages others to do the same. How Alicia inspires others around her is her legacy, and this is the welcome impact she makes on society.

Sacred Fire Creative honors women who work to change the world in this #WomenWhoMatter series. If you want to create a lasting, positive impact on your tribe through your business, work with us.


Serena Williams: The GOAT of Women’s Tennis

“I don’t like to lose – at anything – yet I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks.” – Serena Williams

If you have access to TV or the Internet, you know who Serena Williams is. She is only one of the greatest tennis players of all time. In 2002, when she was only 21 years old, Serena was named the world’s number 1 singles tennis player by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Since then, she has gone on to win 23 Grand Slam singles titles, second only to the record of Australian tennis player Margaret Court.

Serena is known for her powerful style of play and excellent athleticism. She started her tennis career playing on public tennis courts in Los Angeles with her father. In 1995, she turned professional, one year after her equally famous sister Venus. In 1999, Serena won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open. Serena and Venus played as partners at the same tournament and won the doubles event. They have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together.

The living legend believes she, together with her sister, brought about significant change to the world of tennis. “We changed it from being two great Black champions to being the best ever, period. And that’s what we did. We took out color and just became the best. Records are proof, and that’s what it is,” she said in an interview.

No doubt about it, Serena and Venus changed the face of women’s tennis. From their sheer athleticism to their standout fashion choices while playing, they created an impact on the court that will last well after they retire. They have empowered other women athletes to do better and hit harder, no matter what other people might say.

Today, Serena is the proud mom of Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., her 4-year-old daughter with her husband, Alexis Ohanian. After a rough start to motherhood, which involved an emergency C-section and four surgeries within a week of becoming a mother, Serena has settled comfortably into her role as a doting parent. Although she is still an active tennis player, she has not joined recent tournaments and spends most of her time with her daughter and other endeavors.

“Despite my body’s wreckage – and the fact that I couldn’t get in much breastfeeding – connecting with Olympia at long last was amazing. It was both the reward and the validation for all I’d been through. I went from not being able to really imagine her in the womb to us being completely inseparable. I still feel like I have to be around her every day of her life, as much as possible. I’m anxious when I’m not around her,” Serena shared.

The quote we started with seems to sum up Serena’s life. While she is known for her victories, she has learned more from setbacks and failures. For every triumph, Serena faced countless hours of practice and a number of losses before finally getting that win. Even motherhood did not come easy for her. After her initial medical issues after giving birth, she came out stronger for it and with an even stronger bond with her daughter.

If you’re looking for inspiration to power through difficult challenges, look to Serena Williams and see how a young girl playing tennis on public courts grew up and became a world-class athlete.

Sacred Fire Creative honors women who change the world in this #WomenWhoMatter series. If you want to change your world and leave a lasting, positive impact on your tribe through effective digital marketing, work with us today.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A “Notorious” Icon for Women’s Rights

“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. When the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choices.” – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Few women are more well-known in the legal world than Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She served as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1993 until she died in 2020. She was only the second woman to hold this position.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or RBG as she is often called, is a feminist icon worldwide. Much of her work centered around championing gender equality and women’s rights. For example, she helped reverse legislation that allowed discrimination based on gender. She was also a founding counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Projects. She additionally created, designed, and taught law courses on gender discrimination laws.

RBG started excelling at her craft early on in her life. She entered Cornell University on a full scholarship, where she also met her husband, Martin. He would also become a well-known tax lawyer and one of RBG’s biggest supporters. They both studied at Harvard Law School, but after moving to New York City, RBG completed her law degree at Columbia Law School, where she graduated tied for first place in her class.

This stellar start paved the way for an esteemed career as a lawyer, professor, and Supreme Court justice. She did all this while also being a mother to two children. RBG balanced motherhood with her work as one of the most respected figures in gender equality. Interestingly, she delivered a lecture at New York University Law School in 1993, offering a critique of the reasoning of Roe vs. Wade. This case would give women the right to choose to have an abortion.

RBG argued that the Supreme Court should have issued a more limited decision, giving more power to state legislatures to decide on specific details. This way “might have served to reduce rather than fuel controversy,” RBG commented. Fast forward to today, this makes even more sense considering the current controversy surrounding this ruling.

Throughout her career, RBG remained consistent with her decisions regarding gender equality and women’s rights. While she often voted with the other liberal justices on the Supreme Court, she respected and formed well-known friendships with conservative judges. These relationships earned her even more regard from her peers. RBG became particularly outspoken during the Obama administration. This was when she reached peak popularity as a progressive feminist that many women looked up to and followed for guidance.

Two years after her death, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy and lessons live on. She is immortalized in several books, a documentary, and a movie. RBG remains one of the leading figures in gender equality and a beacon of women’s rights. In these challenging times when women’s rights are being questioned and removed, we should all look to RBG for guidance and inspiration on continuing to champion the progress she fought to achieve.

Sacred Fire Creative honors women who have made a difference in their world through this #WomenWhoMatter series. If you want to make a difference in your own world and become a force for good through effective digital marketing, work with us today.


Sanna Marin: Pushing for Social Equality in Finland

“The strength of a society is measured not by the wealth of its most affluent members, but by how well its most vulnerable citizens are able to cope. The question we need to ask is whether everyone has the chance to lead a life of dignity.” – Sanna Marin

This admirable quote from Sanna Marin sums up her brand of leadership, which has guided Finland for the past two years. Marin is known for being the youngest person to serve as the prime minister of Finland when she assumed the position at 34 years old. At the same time, she also became the world’s youngest state leader.

Marin became prime minister in 2019 after her predecessor resigned. This automatically earned her and her coalition government (at the time, her party’s leaders were all women, with the majority of them under the age of 35) global recognition. However, more than the fame of such a unique position, Marin would rather be known for pushing for equality.

The prime minister had a working-class upbringing and was raised by her mother and her mother’s same-sex partner. She had no interest in politics growing up and was the first person in her family to attend university. This is where she began to develop a consciousness of politics. She became a member of the youth wing of the Social Democratic Party, which started her journey to becoming prime minister.

She was an elected official of the Social Democrats and served as minister of transport and communications. However, when the Finnish prime minister at that time was accused of mishandling a pay dispute with the postal service, he stepped down, and Marin replaced him as prime minister.

From the beginning of her tenure as prime minister, Marin was respected for her focus on policy and known for her clear thinking. Her agenda focuses on improving the country’s social welfare program, social equality, and climate change issues. Although the global media tends to focus on her being a young female role model, Marin would instead turn the spotlight on the issues she values. These are crucial issues such as equality, closing the pay gap, and pledging to make Finland carbon neutral by 2035.

“We have long been pioneers in gender equality,” Sanna Marin says of her country. “So, maybe it’s not as big a deal in Finland as it would be somewhere else.”

Sacred Fire Creative honors women who serve the greater good. We help women in business become a force of good and create a lasting positive impact, not just in their businesses, but also in their communities. Contact us to learn more.


Monique Lhuillier: Elegance for the Everyday Woman

“I am a perfectionist, but I know how to live life. When I’m working, it’s 100%. When I’m with my friends, I put everything away and enjoy life. When I come home to my kids, it’s pure joy and everything’s worth it. Every time, I really focus, 100 percent on one thing, I’ve learned how to juggle my life and I feel like now I have the perfect balance.” – Monique Lhuillier

What do Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama, and Reese Witherspoon have in common? They’ve all worn Monique Lhullier’s creations. The Filipino-American fashion designer has made a mark on the fashion industry with her sophisticated, feminine, and glamorous ready-to-wear and bridal collections. 

From regular brides to famous celebrities, most women have heard of Monique Lhuillier. Her brand is synonymous with elegant and timeless feminine designs, whether in dresses or houseware. The renowned fashion designer has been a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America since 2003. Since then, she has ventured into fragrance, jewelry, and various partnerships with other brands, such as Pottery Barn.

Monique was born in Cebu City, Philippines, in 1971. She spent her childhood in the Philippines before attending boarding school in Switzerland at 15. Monique loved fashion at an early age, and after leaving Switzerland, she attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise in Los Angeles. This school is where she met her husband, Tom Bugbee, who also became her business partner. Aside from being her life partner and father to her children, he has also helped her build her business empire.

She began designing wedding gowns in 1996 when she was preparing for her own wedding and couldn’t find anything she liked. Although she eventually found a wedding gown from another designer, this event sparked her motivation and interest in the fashion industry and began a successful fashion career.

Thanks to Monique and her elegant brand, women worldwide have access to sophisticated styles that are designed for a woman by a woman. Whether it is a milestone event like a wedding, or everyday pleasures, like wearing a favorite perfume, Monique Lhuillier continues to add beauty to women’s lives.

Sacred Fire Creative honors women who make a difference in everyday life. Contact us to learn how you can make a difference through your own business.


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