This post is guest authored by Women@Groupon member Lindsay Buydos:
Last night, Women@Groupon launched its mentorship program with the event “View from the Top” with special guest, Mellody Hobson.
To say that Mellody is impressive would be the understatement of the year. As if ascending from intern to president of Ariel Investments LLC in fewer than 10 years isn’t enough, Mellody also serves on the board of directors of Starbucks, Estee Lauder, Dreamworks, the Field Museum, and Groupon, to name a few. In her free time, she dabbles in politics and gives millions of Americans financial advice as a regular contributor on Good Morning America. Oh yeah, she runs marathons, too.
As a member of our board of directors, Mellody knows our business and is able to provide invaluable insight from a unique angle, applying the lessons she’s learned as she’s prospered and struggled in her own career. When asked how being a woman made her ability to achieve her career goals more difficult, she made it very clear—it didn’t. She said she wouldn’t allow it to: “Why are we, as women, we as minorities, always apologizing for that fact? … I’m not going to be defined by convention.”
A 2012 Dow Jones study found that start-ups are more likely to succeed if they have women on their executive team. Similarly, a report from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business stated, “Research suggests that companies that explicitly place value on gender diversity perform better in general, and perform better than their peers on the multiple dimensions of corporate sustainability.”
Women make up 70% of our customer base and also make most of the spending decisions in the majority of American households. Therefore, empowering women in our workplace is a clear strategy for reaching our customer base in an organic and effective way.