Member Spotlight – Voice

Jun 4, 2024

Share a time in your career as a woman business owner when you utilized your voice. Why was it important for you to use your voice in that specific moment to advocate for yourself or your company and what impact did that have on your role as a leader?

Clarinda Avila
Managing Director
Olive Park Consulting Group, LLC

As a first-time mom transitioning from the corporate sector to entrepreneurship, I faced numerous challenges, particularly after a difficult birth and post-partum recovery. Returning to my corporate role, I encountered a significant lack of support and understanding for new parents, both birthing and non-birthing. This experience fueled my determination to create a more supportive workplace.

My journey into consulting with Olive Park Consulting Group is driven by a passion for fostering work-life balance and inclusivity. By championing flexibility and advocating for employee well-being, I have established a company culture that values professional growth and family responsibilities. Our vision for inclusivity translates to our clients as well. We are positioned to help businesses create HR policies and programs that align with business initiatives while supporting the needs of their employees. This advocacy not only brings me joy but also positions me as a leader who prioritizes the well-being of working parents, offering them a platform to thrive in their careers.

Jessyca Dudley
Founder & CEO
Bold Ventures

While I am still early in my journey as a business owner, I understood quickly that it would be important to build assets that could undergird our business should we need to grow or face financial challenges. I decided, just two years into owning my business, to purchase an office space. I heard lots of opposition to this choice and questions about my capacity to manage this investment from financial institutions and peers. But through using my voice to ask questions, challenge the doubt I was facing, and finding the right partners I was able to purchase our space, which now serves as an office and community collaboration space for our clients and the Ravenswood community.

Christy Floriani
Owner & Steward
Freadom Promotions

This prompt led to some great introspection and conversation, and I’m interested in your thoughts, NAWBO Chicago Community (email me here).

In my experience, using my voice in the literal sense to advocate for self or others has produced minimal results. Optimal results – those that spark change – are achieved with choices, behaviors and actions that challenge the status quo.

I am a business owner of a for-profit entity that gives 100% of its profits back to literacy initiatives across the country. Freadom Promotions provides quality, client-centered service to the high-demand market for branded items and promotional products. Along with our value proposition, our high standards of service yield strong and loyal partnerships. These strong partnerships lead to higher profits, which directly impact under-resourced communities and individuals. The choice to give our profits away, the behaviors of consistently sacrificing for the greater good, and the actions related to business development collectively become “my voice.”

So, when did I last advocate for myself or my company with my voice – defined as choices, behaviors and actions? With day one of establishing our business and every day since.

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