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Last Update: Friday December 15, 2017

Key Idea: Create Good Work for Women

Cheryl Womack is a prime example of how women are uplifting other women in the workplace through benefits and flexibility.

Key Question:

A: 

Cater to women and tap into a rich talent pool.

Q: Can only women create good work for women?

A: No. Of course men can create good work for women and many do. We just happen to notice that women business owners are quicker than men at providing benefits and flexibility that women fully appreciate.

Before we went to Cheryl's business, we had never seen an on-site day care center. We had never seen home-cooked meals in the company diner. We had never seen a place where employees could order meals to take home for dinner! We had never seen newly appointed executives given diamond bracelets nor had we seen lovely office decor that looked more like home than an office. Cheryl might go over the top with her treatment of women but we say, why not? Also, what's wrong with an all female or all male workforce? Why does every company have to look alike?

We suggest that you think hard about what works for you and do more of it. Don't try to compromise or water down ideas because you might appear slightly wacky to others. Cheryl has tried men in her company, but has had more success with women. Her conclusion then is to go with what works and not worry about what outsiders think.

Think about it

Would an all female workforce be a good idea for my business?

Clip from: Women Shatter Glass

USA: One out of three businesses in this country is owned by a woman.  That's  approximately 9 million businesses.  Yet only one out of ten of those businesses does more than $1 million in annual sales or about 900,000 businesses.

These two statistics prompted the production of this episode. We researched women who do millions in annual sales and found most were in male-dominated industries.

There are many resources to help women start and grow the right kind of business beginning with government agencies like the US SBA and their Small Business Development Centers. There are programs promoted by women-friendly banks, economic development offices, trade associations and industry groups, and women's associations in every state.

With so much help and information around, why do women so often migrate to tiny ideas? ...more inspiration? ... better role models? One of the women studied here asked rhetorically, "Why should I polish nails when I could be polishing steel?"

All business owners can learn valuable lessons from these women. They are the small minority who are making a huge difference in their industry and in their communities.  By moving to the top of the game where there are mostly men, a woman's influence can make the greatest difference.


National Association of Independent Truckers

Cheryl Womack, Founder

Visit our web site: http://search.smallbusinessschool.org/page1281.html

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Create Good Work for Women

HATTIE (In the studio): Number three, they want to create good work for other women. A woman owned business is female friendly.

We found women presidents of divisions and women CFO's at these women owned companies. We found a deep sympathy and flexibility in their leadership style, and at the same time, the women employees are not coddled or spoiled. We saw tough love dispensed.

THERESA BRAMICOME: She doesn't want people to just get up and go to work, she wants them to get up and be excited about what they're going to do that day.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) In 1981, in her basement with one telephone and call waiting, Cheryl Womack started an association. Today she has 75 employees and will see $45 million in revenues this year. And the name of the company is VCW.

CHERYL: Inc. Stands for Very Cute Women. It's a girl thing.

HATTIE: And it's mainly a girl place. You've allowed a few men in.

CHERYL: The good ones.

HATTIE: The few you could find.

CHERYL: Right, like the marines. We tell them that too, and they're wonderful.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Cheryl has over 8,000 truck drivers in her National Association of Independent Truckers. In addition, many of the country's large motor carriers who hire independent truck drivers are her customers. She offers cost-effective insurance coverages, retirement benefit plans, low-interest credit cards and more to her members. Unidentified Man #1: It takes a certain kind of breed to be a truck driver. Unidentified Man #2: An owner-operator, an independent truck driver--he is a businessman. If he does not have good business sense, he's not gonna make it.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) This women friendly work environment is decorated to feel like home. Home cooked meals are served up in the company diner daily. There is on-site daycare. CHERYL: And you will have an employee who's very dedicated and care very much about the success of this company so that they have those benefits.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) And women are promoted to executive positions.

THERESA: I think Cheryl is incredibly able to get all the other people who work here to buy into her vision.

CHERYL: Oh Paula! Happy anniversary. Two years, now three. And a baby. Congratulations.

PAULA (Employee): I cried, because this is my lifetime dream--

CHERYL: And you're doing it.

PAULA: --just to be able to cook, and I just love the appreciation I get from everybody for doing it. 

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