Women a driving force in business world
By Ken Childers
Last month, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women was observed.
International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8, has been occurring for well over a century. In 1911, International Women’s Day was observed for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. On March 19, more than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.
Less than a week later on March 25, the tragic “Triangle Fire” in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labor legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events.
International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975. In December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
The UN commenced the adoption of an annual theme in 1996, which was “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future.” This theme was followed in 1997 with “Women at the Peace Table,” and in 1998 with “Women and Human Rights,” and in 1999 with “World Free of Violence Against Women,” and so on each year until the current. More recent themes have included, for example, “Empower Rural Women, End Poverty & Hunger” and “A Promise is a Promise – Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.”
The year 2011 saw the 100 year centenary of International Women’s Day – with the first IWD event held exactly 100 years ago in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the United States, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be “Women’s History Month,” calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting on “the extraordinary accomplishments of women” in shaping the country’s history. The then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges.”
IWD is an official holiday in many countries, and in some, is the equivalent of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
Today, women play a large role in the economic infrastructure of the United States. According to a recent report from American Express, more than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people and generating $1.7 trillion in sales.
Women-owned firms (51% or more) account for 39% of all privately held firms and contribute 8% of employment and 4.2% of revenues. One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned. Over four percent of all women-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more.
There is no shortage of businesses that are owned or operated by women in Okfuskee County. From boutiques to restaurants, banks to real estate companies, women have left their mark on the local business scene. Some have been in business 20 years or longer.
With the help of our readers, ONL has compiled the following list of businesses and their owners, listed by owner’s name, business name and years in business.
Emily Anderson, Emily Anderson Photography, 11 years
Tammy Baldridge, Manager of Homeland, 3 years
Kimberly Bradshaw, Statehood House, 13 years
Denise Cindle, Cindle Feeds, 6 years
Denise Cindle, Cindle Feeds, 6 years
April Curry, OK Real Estate, 9 months
Monica Dean, House of Trophies, 25 years
Amanda Degge, Amanda’s Beauty Lounge, 9 years
Debra Dixon, APRN; Utica Park Clinic, 13 years
Sheryl Dueck, Sheryl’s Gardens, 8 years
Jessica Duncan, Six Two Three Salon, new owner
Abbie Ellis, Main Print & Design, 2 years
Tammy Franks and Teresa Harelson, Legacy Estate Sales, 2 years
Darion Foutch, Hope Garcia, and Susy Dilday; Cedar Lane, 1 year
Connie Goff, Cash Depot Inc., 22 years
Page Henry, Double R Boutique, 1 year
Christy Jones, New Life Fitness, 6 years
Cheri Davis Lassiter, Sacred Grounds Brew/Bravado Wireless, 2 years
Kristy Leslie, Hen House, 19 years
Dr. Tammy McCurdy, Black Cat Forensic Consulting and Investigations, 1 year
Reilly Jo McManus, Brooke Teter, Kaye Dean Johnson and Kristi Teterp; Rocky Road Tavern, 4 years
Shawn Smith, Shawn Smith Bail Bonds, 1 Year
Shannon Speir, Farmers Insurance/Spier Agency, 2 years
Julie Stovall, American Exchange Bank, 1.5 years
Pamela Thompson, Pamela’s Flowers and Gifts/Okemah Office Supply, 25 years
Brianna Titsworth, BeachVibesSkin, 6 months
Dana Wilson, Dana’s Bail Bonds, 10 years
Connie Wood, Pure Yoga Studio/The Oasis, 4 years