Our Current Issue...Explore how COVID-19 has changed our businesses and how we pivot to the new normal moving forward.
- Post-pandemic HR trends.
- The importance of being human (at work).
- It's time to re-imagine, re-interpret, and re-think our business
- Post-pandemic financial success strategies
- Extraordinary times produce extraordinary solutions
- Zocus on wellness and self-care featuring Judi Sheppard Missett, Dr. Barbara Hutchinson, and Dr. Angela Marshall
- Wellness tips from the sisterhood
- Re-inventing a healthy, remote workplace,
- and much more!
Here’s what the pandemic has taught us
As the United States and much of the world begins to turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, we reflect on the lessons learned this past year that have made us stronger as business owners and human beings.
We’ve devoted considerable coverage in this issue of the magazine to hear from members of our Advisory Board and others sharing their key takeaways from such a challenging year. What do we miss and what has changed? How will we do business differently from the lessons we’ve learned?
The pandemic forced the postponement of the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration and Conference just two weeks before it was scheduled to take place last March. We moved the conference dates to October hoping it could be a live in-person event but realized by late Summer that it would need to be held virtually.
The 2021 conference is now scheduled for November 14-16 at the Wyndham Grand in Clearwater Beach, Florida and we are now looking forward to a wonderful in-person event that will allow us to celebrate both our Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 award winners, Advisory Board members, and other VIPs in the women’s business community. We can’t wait to be back together again in person!
All of us have leaned heavily on technology this past year to stay connected—with weekly Zoom calls, twice monthly Business Roundtables (also by Zoom), and a constant flow of emails and phone conversations. While it is just not the same as being together in person, we have made the best of the situation and have been there to support one another.
As a nation, we know that social isolation and loneliness during this past year had a tremendous impact on so many—particularly the elderly. We all miss those personal interactions—those hugs—that feed our souls. We know now more than ever that family matters more than we ever realized. What would have once been unthinkable in a business setting, we now dismiss as simply real life. We hear dogs barking in the background or toddlers clamoring for attention while we are conducting business by phone or Zoom. We have adjusted to our new normal.
We also realize the importance of pampering, self-care and a general focus on wellness. That’s why we are featuring two medical doctors who serve on the Enterprising Women Advisory Board on our front cover of this issue. Now more than ever, we need to take care of ourselves. Many of us travel extensively for work and missed those opportunities to get out of the office and connect in new places. Now we know that there will be times moving forward when we can accomplish meetings without business travel, but we will appreciate even more those opportunities to meet in-person, face to face. We will value personal travel for holidays and vacations more now that we have been restricted from doing so freely this past year.
Many women business owners lost their businesses last year and research has shown that women were impacted more severely by the pandemic. The challenges of juggling virtual schooling for their children and surviving the downturn in business in many industries left thousands of women with few options.
We have also witnessed how many women entrepreneurs have pivoted their companies and found new markets or used PPP funding in the U.S. to creatively transform their companies to allow them to survive. Some have even emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever.
For generations to come, we will look back on this time of tremendous challenge and we will be proud of our resilience and the way we supported one another to get through this. For those who lost loved ones too soon—more than a half million souls in the U.S. alone—our hearts break as we grieve those losses together.
We are immensely grateful for our sisterhood of women entrepreneurs—in the U.S. and across the world—who have stood together and helped one another. We are a strong community of women and that has never been more evident than in this past year.
Thankfully, better days are ahead!
Monica S. Smiley