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Resources to Help Women in Business Thrive in Utah

Where Does Utah Rank? 

Utah has nationally ranked No. 45 based on women-owned businesses this year, according to the Women’s Business Center of Utah. Overall, 16% of Utah businesses are owned by women. That may seem like a small portion, but Utah has shown a 77% increase in women-owned businesses since 2000. Some of the more common industries for Utah women in business are advertising, information technology, and business services. 

What Inspires Women to Start a Business? 

Women who start businesses here in Utah expressed a longing to create something while being independent. Like most entrepreneurs, there is also a call for financial stability. Women in business also seek flexibility in their lives. They are looking for an easier way to balance their personal lives and business.  

How are we Helping Women Breaking the Barriers?

  1. Balancing Personal Life and Business
    For most women in business, balancing life responsibilities with their business responsibilities can be difficult. A top concern for women with children is balancing work, childcare, and the accessibility of childcare for themselves and their employees. Organizations, like Utah State University’s Utah Women & Leadership Project, assist women in business to find appropriate care. After the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more businesses have developed hybrid positions that allow working from home.
  2. Limited Funding
    Women often rely on their credit, personal savings, and friends and family to run and maintain their businesses. The Women’s Business Center of Utah reports that 34.3% of female business owners had under $50,000 of projected gross sales in 2022. All the time more services offer to assist women with grants and loans to begin their business.

  3. Gender Inequality
    Women in business often cite that they are not taken as seriously as men in business. Often when people think of positions in leadership, such as CEO, they picture male figures. Programs like the Women’s Leadership Institute in Utah have programs like ElevateHER™. They encourage increasing the number of women in senior leadership positions and improving the retention rate of women in organizations. They also are challenging organizations to monitor pay gaps and establish leadership development programs for women.

What Resources are Available for Women Seeking to Run a Business in Utah?

  1. Women’s Leadership Institute Utah
    They offer leadership programs that help develop leadership and career skills. They also offer leadership programs for women such as  ElevateHER™.

  2. The Women’s Business Center of Utah
    This organization offers services to women in Utah. They provide advising and training services. Individual and group support is available for women to develop the skills needed to own a business. There are female-focused workshops, webinars, and courses available as well. 

  3. Utah State University’s Utah Women & Leadership Project
    This project provides accurate research, training, and events that encourage growth and change for Utah.

  4. Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs
    They are invested in increasing the understanding of equity, access, and inclusion in Utah. They provide resources for youth leadership, professional development, and community engagement.

  5. Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity
    They aim to cultivate prosperity, aid Utah’s economy, and work with business at the speed of business. They provide business incentives, resources, and other programs that help support businesses in Utah.

Advice from Altabank’s Women in Business

Of Altabank’s employees, 64% are women. These women help Altabank thrive, and they have great advice for those seeking to find a career in business.
“My advice would be to just go for it and never let anyone make you feel less than,” said Kandice Hansen, a loan officer at Altabank. “Women bring a totally different perspective than men do, and it takes both men and women working together for a business to be successful.”
Lindsay Gehman, Altabank’s customer experience manager, said, “The best teams I have worked with have always included women who step up when it's their time to shine and provide support when it's someone else's time to shine.”
In her experience, Lindsay explained that women have the skills to recognize talents in others. “Our circle of influence grows when we all look to support each other, reach out a hand, or open a door that might otherwise be closed.”
Kandice believes that a career in business can help women have independence. She encourages women to pursue a career because it can help women create valuable friendships with other women in business. Kandice said, “Women are strong, resilient, determined individuals who bring a lot to the table and generally kick butt!”
We hope that all those looking for careers in business are inspired to reach their goals. Women in business are crucial to the industry, and are key to success.