4 Key Issues Holding Women Back


I’m en route back home from Miami, after 3 weeks of attending and moderating sessions at the Global Women’s Leadership Summit. And although I needed a break, the conference went really well after months of...  burnout. I’m going to be completely honest with you. It feels awkward/vulnerable to reach out again after such a long time. But the truth is, my body got really sick and I was burnt out. I almost completely lost my passion for what I was doing. I had to recover, gain strength, and dig deep...

While I was training corporate executives I went into a deep reflection period. Until I was hit hard with a revelation that put me right back on track. In my research I discovered the UN has 17 sustainable development goals. #5 on their list is they want to achieve gender equality by 2030. I discovered that less than 4% of venture capital funding goes towards women led ventures. Fewer than 30% of global leaders are women, and less than 5% of women have mentors.

And it made me realize, we have come such a long way, but there is still so much farther for us to go. I am witnessing 4 key issues that are still holding women back. We, as a collective, need to focus on and develop these areas so we can all thrive.


Now, someone could read this and assume it’s easy for me to make sweeping statements because I’m a woman, but I’m first and foremost an entrepreneur. The tools and strategies I use can be leveraged by any company.

I feel I can contribute in 2 core areas: sales and leadership, to help women rise to their full potential. This is based on my own development and on many years in the corporate world consulting Fortune 500 Companies.

Women are still the #1 untapped resource out there. The world needs more female leaders. Not learning how to be led by a man. They’ve done great, but a man can’t teach a woman to be a woman, and that’s where I come in.

I look forward sharing more with you!

1. Mindset

I now understand I’m not the only woman who strived to be a “good girl” as a young person. Looking back I can see how this thinking would hinder my success. There is a whole cycle of guilt and shame out there, and we’re not sure why. This causes us to refrain from speaking up, shouting out, not participating as actively as we could... which can rob us from the many opportunities.

2. Unconscious biases

Now I know I am not the only woman who experienced burnout (and judgement) after years of grinding away I felt forced to choose between career or my health. Career or life. Work or family.

3. Equality

Succeeding is not about hating men. It is also NOT about losing your femininity. Levelling the playing field starts with being true to who we are as women, working in partnership with men and developing the skills we need to succeed.

4. Lack of Strategic Agility

There is still an underdevelopment of financial skills and leadership adopted by women in the workforce. Our inability to fully express ourselves about money and our financial situation is STILL restricting us and holding us back. Why is that?? Cash flow is the crux of our life and business. It’s sad to see us women are still largely underdeveloped because of a lack of financial literacy, along with long-standing fears and insecurities we still carry.

— Sophie XO