Sheryl Thai knows that women supporting women is monumental for erasing gender bias in business. It’s why she founded the League of Extraordinary Women – a platform where women can connect with one another in a casual, authentic, and non-salesy way. She’s made it her passion after dealing with gender inequality in the corporate world and later as a small business owner going to networking events.
Sheryl joins us today on Xero Gravity to talk about why female empowerment is so important in business, and why competing against each other is holding us back. Plus, she’s discussing her first time pitching ideas to venture capitalists and the League’s newest project called Find your Five. Oh, and she owns a super successful cupcake business too!
After leaving the corporate world, Sheryl started her own bakery shop Cupcake Central. But she quickly realized what a lonely endeavor entrepreneurialism can be. “It became very isolating for me in that first year of business. It was too much and I didn’t know who to turn to,” she recalls. She wanted to connect with female entrepreneurs who were going through the same struggles, but found that networking events were dominated by men.
The women she did meet, she bonded with almost immediately. “When I met these women, we felt this energy that we didn’t experience before. The magic really comes from us supporting each other,” she says.
The women started meeting for breakfast to share their common experiences and struggles. From there, they created a Facebook group where like-minded female entrepreneurs could connect with each other and host meetups for support. And then the League of Extraordinary Women came to be.
“We attracted this tribe because of the realness of our topics and by having the right speakers at our events as well. We don’t allow people to give advice, we encourage them to share their stories – share their successes but also share their failures. The stuff that most people go through but never gets talked about,” says Sheryl.
Tune in for more female empowerment from Sheryl on Xero Gravity #91. She’s getting deeper into the League’s mission and operations as well as explaining Find your Five. Plus, we’re discussing why using the word “help” may be counterproductive to her mission.
If you enjoyed this episode, join us again next week when we chat with Scott Haughton about why he left the corporate consumer product world to set up a premium quality family leisure concept. Turns out, his knack for raising finance was far more valuable to him as an entrepreneur. Be sure to check out all of our previous episodes for more small business tips, resources and insights.
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Got a topic you’d like to hear discussed? Or a business expert you admire and would like to hear from? Let us know in the comments below!