The first quarter of 2019 has been impressive for women-founded companies. Glossier (founded by Emily Weiss) and Rent The Runway (founded by Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman) both announced their unicorn status (VC-speak for companies with over a $1-billion-dollar valuation). And there has been a flurry of good news about impressive funding rounds for Ellevest ($33 million), Landit ($13 million), Billie ($25 million), ThirdLove ($55 million), and Fairygodboss ($10 million) — just to name a few.
While women-founded businesses still struggle to get a fair piece of the venture-capital pie (after all, in this same quarter yet another scooter company raised $30 million — as if we need more electric scooters), that's slowly changing and momentum is building in an exciting way. It's thrilling to see more women-led business, in part because many of these female entrepreneurs (who are frequently also mothers) are working hard to make sure they're building a new type of business that's not only disrupting industries, but also rewriting the corporate rulebook on how to treat employees.
As part of our Equal Pay Day coverage, we spoke to six female founders, who run businesses of various sizes, to see how their own experiences as working mothers has influenced the policies they put into place for their employees. As more women move into leadership roles and start their own companies, they have a chance to build corporate culture from the ground up, creating HR policies that more inclusive for everyone — and that can have a huge impact on how working mothers thrive and perhaps even one day help us close the wage gap.