Iowa's Glass Ceiling

Sep 8, 2014

CNBC ranks Iowa as the twelfth top state for business. So why are we dead last in economic clout for women-owned businesses according to a March report from American Express?

Maureen Collins-Williams, a researcher at the University of Northern Iowa, says the answer is tough to find. She released a report last week chronicling women's experience in Iowa business that found women are held back by everything from a lack of financial education, a natural risk aversion and even their choice of industry. She says men-owned businesses in Iowa secure nearly three times more funding than those owned by women. 

Lydia Brown is trying to change that. She's the president of Ascent, an organization dedicated to supporting women-owned businesses in Iowa. On September 18th, they're pairing with Iowa Women's Leadership Conference to host "Invest in She," a "Shark Tank"-style event where six Iowa women business owners will pitch their ideas to investors in front of a live audience. 

On this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Collins-Williams about the state of women-owned businesses in Iowa. Lydia Brown, president of Ascent, and Molly Clubb, partner of Hired Hand Software, also join the conversation.