Ambition does not have a gender. The days where women are expected to limit themselves and their ambitions because of what someone might think are behind us, or should be.

Tory Burch

40 percent of businesses are women-owned, yet only 2 percent of venture capital dollars are going to female-led businesses. There are a stacked amount of variables set against women succeeding as entrepreneurs. From VC prejudice to negative perceptions of ambition to cultural norms of women in the home. Still, women succeed anyways.

So, what differentiates those who succeed from those who give up along the way? The answer isn’t really as black and white as we’d like to think. We all have our personal barriers and understanding them can be the factor that changes the end result of our future as female entrepreneurs.

More than ever before, women are stepping up and making their voices heard. There are about 75 million of us in the U.S. workforce and a record number of women stepping out in Congress. We are educated, earning more than we ever have, starting businesses and building empires that are challenging gender norms and making a global impact. What an amazing time to be a woman!

Empower women, starting today

Still, there is much work to be done and a lot to overcome. We must continue our efforts in challenging perceptions and ensuring gender equality for future generations. The way forward is for women to stick together and RISE up for one another. How can we expect to succeed without getting involved in that effort?

Women are integral in today’s work force. Almost 47 percent of U.S. workers are women. We control up to 80% of consumer spending and we own more than half of the investable assets in the United States. So, why are we still convinced we need men to empower us?

Our voices combined are powerful enough to  make a difference. Our silence is a roadblock to failure. We’ve all been there before, I’m sure. We experience a moment that is not okay but we don’t speak up due to fear. Let’s challenge our fear and remember that when we speak up and step out, we’re not just doing so for ourselves – we’re doing it for generations of women. Past, present, and future.

Empowered women, empower women. Go. Be FEARLESS. Understand your potential and know you have the voice and power to help bridge the gap for equality.