More women leading business


Women are earning more prominence in business.

The numbers do not always tell the tale, but enough evidence supports how the presence of women in business has gone from a phenomenon to a trend, to a reality.

The Pictou County Chamber awards gala is an example. A large proportion of women scaled the stage and accepted awards. Some of them happen to be co-owners of businesses. Some of them represent organizations where men could just as easily be the representatives. Some women received women’s only awards.

The over-arching impression is that more women are in business and stand for the possibilities open to them, such as Brenda Kennedy with Our Turn to Cook, or Tabitha Coleman with Tabitha & Co. or Cathy Munro with Bramble Hill Farm.

Jennifer Bethell was among those who accepted the business engagement award on behalf of the Hemlock Group, but that is partly a reward for the extraordinary work Bethell has done on the group’s behalf to deliver profound change and improvements to Trenton Park.

Part of the process is expanding the number of Chamber awards to reflect women’s already existing business presence, so the Centre for Women in Business sponsors an award in honour of women in business.

The awards total not that long ago was less than the current number. The Chamber has responded to the ways local business has evolved.

As Chamber executive director Jack Kyte said, it shows plenty of women are in business, starting business “and contributing to the economy.”

Is it a coincidence that Sarah MacIntosh-Wiseman is the CEO of the Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network? She brings exceptional professional and human credentials to the office with a legal background and her part in the Safe Harbour program that has landed immigrants in Pictou County. She has shown how great leaders attract and surround themselves with great people. She may not be the only reason why the REN has a good chance to succeed, but she is a crucial one.

We can also draw on how Ignite Labs Inc. has more than just landed in Pictou County. It is reaching out with events on subjects that include bookkeeping and tourism and hosted two recent events: a women-in-business roundtable and one on web site design.

One does not have to go very far to find women doing well in local businesses in areas like hospitality, the arts and dining. They are also contributing in legal, health and other professions. The list is endless.

The true measure of how women have succeeded is in leadership – leadership of groups, boards and businesses of various sizes. But the one way women can be leaders is through the small businesses they own and operate.

That is why the entrepreneurial spirit recently celebrated is so meaningful. It does point the way ahead.