Posts Tagged ‘women business owners’

C4W Business Member Profile: Ashley T. Caldwell, The Modern Connection

February 9, 2012

What is your profession? Owner and Founder of The Modern Connection, a social media firm based right here in Charleston!

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Playing with my rescue dogs, socializing with friends, taking in the sights and sounds of Charleston, reading, shopping and meeting new people!

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? 2 years

What inspired you to become a member? When I first moved to Charleston and started my company, I heard from so many people in the community about the Center for Women. I couldn’t help but join and have been so grateful I did!

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center for Women has impacted my professional career and business growth tremendously. Everything from networking and meeting other women to speaking to business owners and appearing in the media – The Center fostered positive and beneficial connections I otherwise would not have made.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? Being a woman has allowed me to approach my day-to-day life with power, resourcefulness and intuition as well as empathy and compassion. As a business owner, I feel my femininity provides a powerful advantage and relatability that has helped me succeed.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you follow your passion, success will come to you. If you truly love what you do, people can recognize that. Best advice: Do what you love.

How can people connect with you? You can check us out on the web at:, or follow me on Twitter: @AshleyTCaldwell!

The Job Coaches: Gender stereotypes: All minds needed at the table

January 27, 2012

In 1998, Catalyst and National Foundation for Women Business Owners published a joint study showing that women were leaving corporate and public sector organizations to start businesses of their own because, among other reasons, they continually encountered gender stereotypes that held them

Much earlier, in the course of my own research, I had interviewed a very successful entrepreneur who had trod that path exactly. She put it this way:

I live in San Francisco, and I liken the disillusionment in a corporation to a creeping fog. In the nighttime, the fog slowly comes in from the ocean and goes under the Golden Gate Bridge. You are really not aware of it at first, and eventually you hear the foghorns in the distance, and those foghorns indicate a change in the environment, a slow creeping disillusionment.

In 2004, Catalyst released the results of a study of the experiences of male and female executives of Fortune 1000 Companies. It reported that while both men and women have similar goals on entering organizations and strategies for reaching them, and that both groups would encounter barriers in their careers, women had the additional problem of encountering harmful gender stereotypes. How that was happening was crisply explained four years later in the title of the 2008 Catalyst study: “The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership: Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t.”

Stereotypes and their harmful paralyzing effects on women’s career opportunities and advancement have not gone away. According to a report just released (Catalyst, Jan. 14), gender stereotypes continue and especially in male-dominated organizations.

We have known for half a decade at least why it makes no sense for companies to tolerate this. A 2004 Catalyst study reported results from an examination of some 353 companies that maintained their Fortune-500 rankings four years out of a five-year period. It showed that companies with the highest percentage of women in top management had a higher return on equity (35 percent) and greater total returns to shareholders (34 percent) than companies with few women top managers. A 2009 Catalyst study suggested an additional reason. The higher return on investment was seen in firms where male managers saw the value of diversity training and then carried out the results in working with members from diverse groups.

Assuming that the point of operating a business is to make a profit, what does this tell us?


Companies hiring and advancing qualified women access a larger pool of talent and benefit from considering all minds valuable. Where women are given equal (not special) opportunities and bias-free measurements of job performance, it is possible to eliminate or reduce the harmful outcomes of stereotypes. Companies are then able to operate on a higher level and perform better overall.

It would be more profitable for companies if managers were to set stereotypes aside and follow leadership styles that advance the organization’s mission. Unfortunately, far too many major corporations and smaller companies around the globe still use outdated styles of management and leadership at all levels of the organization that are ill suited to benefiting from employee diversity.

Companies that seek success need to set standards of “no tolerance” for those who deliberately use stereotypes to avoid appraising and paying women professionals the salaries they deserve. To do this, it will be important to establish diversity training programs that eliminate the harmful effects which may impede female employees from making productive contributions, especially in this down-turned economy.

Aspiring women in organizations where stereotyping is supported or tolerated by top management are learning work styles that enable them to counteract and maneuver around gender stereotypes, and along the way improve the climate for all employees. Not an easy task, but a strategy successful women have found useful.

Look for tips in an upcoming column on how “Managing Up” may help you gain an edge on career advancement to make an even greater contribution to the bottom line in your company.

Dorothy Perrin Moore, Ph.D., is professor emerita of business and entrepreneurship at The Citadel. The Job Coaches are experienced volunteers from the Center for Women’s Job Counseling Program. Ask them a question by calling 843-763-7333 or e-mailing If you would like further assistance, make an appointment; a donation of $20 is requested for appointments.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, January 22, 2010.

C4W Member Profile: Ryan Nelson

October 26, 2011

What is your profession? Media and PR Consultant at Nelwater Consulting.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I love eating at local restaurants with my mom, Lana Nelson, who just survived a heart attack. I really enjoy spending time with my husband, Darren Goldwater, the TV announcer for the Southern Conference network. He’s off doing a ton of games, so when he’s home, we love having fun in the Lowcountry. I also enjoy spending my time with local nonprofits like Louie’s Kids and SWAT, along with helping local nonprofits with their events. I am embracing life more than ever and absolutely loving it.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women?As the original host and creator of Lowcountry Live, both Cathy O’Hara and I truly believed in the mission of C4W and helped them reserve a permanent spot on the show  more than five years ago. I feel I have been a part of the C4W since the beginning, and seeing them flourish is amazing. Our community needed the C4W more than ever and I’m glad it’s an outlet for so many.

What inspired you to become a member?The Center for Women was recently a beneficiary of the Pour It Forward for Square Onion Too, and I realized I hadn’t signed up to be a member in forever, so I signed up immediately. What this organization does for our community is beyond immeasurable.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? I’ve been lucky enough to present a program at the C4W along with seeing them grow over the many years. They not only make an impact on myself and my business, Nelwater Consulting, but they continue to increase awareness of all the kick-ass women business owners in the Lowcountry who I’ve worked with on many clients. I’ve been lucky to meet so many of them and know that each woman contributes their own unique twist to the organization.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? As quite the outspoken woman, I have felt that my role in the world is to be strong and the C4W has helped me realize that. I remember when I interviewed Jane Perdue, she amazed me with her gumption and I asked her, “How do you deal with people who call you a bitch?” She asked me if I knew what bitch meant, I laughed admitting it probably wasn’t what I thought…she said, “It stands for Boys I’m Taking Charge Here”…ha! Since that day I knew as a woman in my native Charleston, that I needed to say what I meant, stand behind it and help other women in this town blossom. I love being a woman!

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Sometimes it’s scary to be let go from your job or change your life when you least expect it, but in the end, embrace that change. Know that the next door that opens for you will be more than what you walked through before…and know that no matter what, you CAN do it.

C4W Member Profile: Megan Epting

June 29, 2011

What is your profession?  Hairstylist/ salon owner at Fix Salon Studio.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career?  I love to watch movies, read, be creative, and I enjoy great food.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I believe 2 years.

What inspired you to become a member? I wanted to get involved in the community and also meet new and interesting people.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center for Women has helped me grow my business, from the Women in Business Conference to networking opportunities and classes on marketing.  It is a great organization for any woman to join.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you?  Being a woman in today’s modern world is tough because we have to strive to be successful and innovative, but we still want a home life as well.  It’s all about balance.  You can have it all, but not always at the same time.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Stay positive, when one door closes another one opens.  When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  Also find a mentor.

C4W Member Profile: Ronii Bartles

October 6, 2010

What is your profession? Business Management Consultant

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I love to watch college football (I’m a WVU fan), lay by the pool with a good friend or good book, go to the movies and eat popcorn with lots of butter and letting someone else cook for me. I’m a mentor for Big Brother Big Sisters and I enjoy hanging out with my little brother BJ (he’s not so little anymore, he is 15 now) on the weekend and having lunch, watching movies or going to the Charleston Museum.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? A year and a half

What inspired you to become a member? I was inspired to become a member by other women in businesses who are members. C4W members are so enthusiastic about The Center’s programs and members; I had to find out what it was all about.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center for Women has been a good support system, educator and promoter. I have been able to find answers to problems at the Center for Women because of their programs designed to educate women business owners as well as meet other amazing women in the community that make a difference for all of us. The Center for Women has provided me with opportunities such as the annual Women in Business Conference to learn and grow, which has made my business more successful.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I have never really thought about it because my mother is a strong, independent businesswoman that I have never known any other way to be. Having such an amazing role model really paved the way for me to break down barriers and be my own person and start a company. I would say living day-to-day as a woman has affected me in a positive light because I have accomplished to many things that have propel me to this point in my life to be a better friend, partner and business owner.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? I feel that women are better equipped to handle the stresses of today’s economy and society because we have an innate ability to cope against all odds. My advice would be to find the positive in every situation and what are/have you learned from this experience because every situation and experience is a learning opportunity to be successful.

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