When it comes to the consumer brand universe, women have found great success in launching game-changing startups that translate into household names. Billion-dollar brands like Glossier (valued at $1.8 billion) and Savage X Fenty (valued at $3 billion) are two that come to mind.
According to Pitchbook, companies with at least one female founder comprised 34.6-44.5 percent of business-to-consumer deals between 2016 and 2022. But while these numbers are promising, the headwinds are still strong for creating breakout companies, especially when it comes to funding. Women-led startups receive less than 3 percent of all venture capital investments, research suggests.
But despite these challenges, women continue to make great strides in launching innovative companies. As part of our ongoing Female Forces series in celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re sharing some insights about hiring and leadership from some of our favorite female founders.
Read on to learn more.
“We try to cast a very wide net when we are recruiting to get the most diverse candidate pool and then we hire the best person we can find, which not coincidentally is often the most diverse candidate.” —Nancy Whiteman, CEO and Co-Founder of Wana Brands
“To be a leader, you have to really have a heart for people and to serve them well while you’re setting a direction in which you’re willing to stick your neck out and risk a little bit about yourself.” —Madeline Haydon, Founder of nutpods
“Diversity for us is not a program, it’s a guarantee. It’s not an option. We search high and low to make sure we find the best people for the job, regardless of background, and regardless of experience.” —Ayeshah Abuelhiga, CEO and Founder of Mason Dixie
“Kindness is underrated. When Diva is building out a team, we are always looking for people who are kind and just have good hearts. We like working with good people — finding a mix of ambition and heart in our team makes every day more enjoyable.” —Carinne Chambers-Saini, CEO and Co-Founder of Diva
“Our first investors were two strong women: my mom and Billy’s mom. The rest we funded with credit cards and our own money, and put everything back into the business. It kind of blows my mind to see companies get funding today before they are even a meaningful brand. This was definitely not our reality.” —Brook Harvey-Taylor, Founder of Pacifica Beauty
“Hire people who know more than you do. Develop thick skin because it isn’t easy. In fact, it is one of the most challenging things you will ever do. Learn through your mistakes. Those learning moments allow us to grow. As long as you pivot quickly and try not to make the same ones again, the next time you face that same scenario, you will be better for it. Do what inspires you and find a void in the marketplace.” —Kiana Cabell and Gigi Goldman, Founders of Kopari Beauty
ForceBrands offers end-to-end hiring solutions for all stages of growth. Whether you’re just starting to hire or are looking for the next step in your career, we’re here to help you be a positive Force that makes an impact.