Last year, In Business Magazine introduced its Women of Achievement honorees in a very well-attended luncheon. Shining a light on, and supporting, women who are making a difference in our business community has long been a focus for me — and I am very pleased to be the Guest Editor of this September issue that recognizes this year’s Women of Achievement honorees.
As a financial literacy expert, entrepreneur and author of Think and Grow Rich for Women, it is my mission to empower women globally to stand in their own power to create lives of success and significance. Today in the U.S., women hold more than 20 percent of board positions on Fortune 1000 companies. More than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people as of 2017. But there is more to be done so that women have a seat at every table of opportunity and our global economy gets the full benefit of available talent and skill. The results are in. Companies with women in leadership positions outperform companies with male only boards and executives. As chairman for the 2020 Women on Boards initiative in Arizona, it is my honor to know and work with so many women of distinction to ensure we continue to move the dial for women in our home state.
The cover story is expanded in this issue as it presents 2018’s Women of Achievement, 14 women who share their stories in biographical profiles, and my honor of being named this year’s Linda M. Herold Lifetime Achievement honoree.
A topic that, sadly, remains a concern and has become increasingly common in headline news is sexual harassment in the workplace. Most often perceived as a women’s issue, this problem affects employees of both genders. The subject is addressed in the Legal feature, in an in-depth discussion that begins in this September issue and will conclude next month.
Return on investment is a critical concern for all businesses in making their operation decisions. This is true of nonprofit businesses as well as for-profit ones. But social return on investment is an additional consideration especially for nonprofits in dealing with stakeholders and potential donors — and the Nonprofit article on page 42 goes into the surprisingly enormous impact of this as-yet under-the-radar concept.
Among the various other subject matter in this issue, from healthcare and startups to trends in commercial real estate, is an article on another ROI: return on involvement —which deals with the perceived relevance of a product based upon a consumer’s needs, values and interests — as the Roundtable feature.
I am pleased to help bring you this special Women of Achievement issue of In Business Magazine, and hope you will find it a good read — and an inspiring one.
Founder and CEO
Pay Your Family First
Sharon Lechter is an entrepreneur, author, international speaker and licensed CPA. A life-long education advocate, she is the founder and CEO of Pay Your Family First, a financial education organization. She is the author of Think and Grow Rich for Women andco-author of Think and Grow Rich-Three Feet From Gold, Outwitting the Devil and Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Regarded as a global expert on financial literacy, Lechter has served as a national spokeswoman and Presidential Adviser on the topic. She is a member of the National CPAs Financial Literacy Commission. In 2016, she was appointed by Junior Achievement as a JA University of Success Founding Chancellor and in 2017 and 2018 as Arizona Chairman for the 2020 Women on Boards initiative.