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Leading business women really mean business

There was a book written in 2007 that could be a manual for those who care to know anything about the 2010 class of 50 Leading Business Women named by the Mississippi Business Journal.

“Why Women Mean Business” tackles the point that gender is a business issue, not a women’s issue.

According to a review of the book, “Never before has there been such a confluence of international attention to the economic importance of women. Their position as consumers, employees and leaders is being recognized as a measure of health, maturity and economic viability. They are becoming central to labor market solutions to the challenges of an ageing workforce, falling birth rates and skill shortages. Countries and companies are urgently seeking policies to enable women to fulfill their potential.”

“Why Women Mean Business” takes the economic arguments for change to the heart of the corporate world. Women today are a majority of the talent pool and make up to 80 percent of consumer purchases. This powerful new book brings together in a single, concise volume the multiplicity of opportunities available to companies that really understand what motivates women in the global workplace and marketplace.

For more than a decade now, the Mississippi Business Journal has been recognizing that the optimization of women’s talents will boost business performance.

Women in Mississippi, like the rest of the world, have made their mark on the marketplace.

Far from being chained to the kitchen sink, tens of millions of women are now running their own companies.

And according to new statistics, they are beating men in the rush to be their own boss.

In the last 20 years, women who start their own business have increased by more than 60 percent.

Men are trailing far behind, with an increase of 34 percent over the same time period.

When you look back at the alumni of the 50 Leading Business Women, you begin to get a better understanding of what an elite group of people this really is.

In 1999, Rubye Del Harden was named to the list.

Rubye Del took over her father’s newspaper and print business in Fulton and turned it into a juggernaught, the newspaper becoming the most acclaimed weekly newspaper in Mississippi under her leadership.

More recently, Joey Garner was named our 2009 Businesswoman of the Year.

When she graduated from college, her father encouraged her to use her skills and found just the right place for her, in the family business — TEC, a privately-held company that owns and operates local telecommunications companies in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Her first job responsibility was starting a corporate newsletter, and 19 years later, the newsletter still is going strong. as is the company, for which she is the vice president.

BEFORE YOU GO…

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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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