Women in Business: What Does it Take?

My name is Kristin, I'm a woman CEO

Most people automatically think of men when they picture the business world, especially when it comes to leadership. White men in suits; that is the normal assumption, but honestly I think that women are smart, and I don’t see why women shouldn’t be business leaders. We deal with situations in different ways, but we can also bring a lot to the table.

I am a woman, and a CEO of my own company, Kals Products. Some people ask if years ago, I would have expected to be doing this right now. Unlike many, I am doing pretty much what I always expected myself to be doing. Maybe not the industry I expected to be involved in, (marketing) selling promotional products, but the rest is not far off. Here are a list of other questions I am asked as a woman CEO.

Q: How did it all start for you?

A: I wanted to start my own business in college, so my father and I made a deal that if I graduated early I would be able to use the money this would save, to start a business. Part of the deal was that he would help me start it, with his experience since I didn’t have any experience at that time. We started the business in 2001, and I have stuck with it ever since.

Q: Do you mostly work with men?

A: There are mostly men in the marketing industry. I think this is because it is very competitive. If the economy goes down then the marketing industry suffers a lot. Employees are cut, and it weeds everyone out who is not willing to take the risk. I think women don’t like to take risks. I have to take all kinds of risks. The biggest risk I have made is this business.

Q: Is it harder for a woman to become a CEO? 

A: I can see how it might be harder for a woman to become a CEO, since many women want to be mothers. I am 42, married and have two children. I know that being an owner of a business makes it harder to take care of children. Luckily I have a full time nanny, which helps a lot.

Q: What is family life like as a CEO?

A: My husband is a structural engineer. We met in college so he has only known me with the business but he is very supportive of me. He actually sometimes does the accounting since he is great with that stuff.

Although it is tough sometimes, it is worth it. I love being a business owner, I love being a mom and I have worked hard to get where I am.