AARP AARP States

An Active Voice for Women in Business

We're done and you're firmly in the black

Monica Stynchula is a VOCAB who is all too familiar with the misconceptions and stereotypes faced by women in business, having been CEO of her own certified woman-owned company in Florida for many years. Monica chairs the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subcommittee for National Women’s Business Council (NWBC). She explains: “Our mission is to support female business owners getting equal access to government-sponsored research grants and to bid on contracts within the federal government. We do this in part by advising the White House and Congress about proposed legislation. In addition, we promote STEM educational initiatives to develop the next generation of female scientists and technology leaders.”


“I am keenly aware of the age and gender discrimination that has limited my company’s growth over the past decade,” Monica continues. “You see, the stereotype of a technology innovator is young, white and male. Ironically, that stereotypical ‘entrepreneur’ lacks what he needs the most! I call it life experience, as well as a deep professional network and personal resources to sustain the long and painful growth cycle required. Over and over those people get the funding because the unspoken perception is that I am old and not technologically savvy like the young folks.”


Her work with NWBC is aimed at changing this situation for all women, with initiatives such as NWBC Roundtable discussions across the country. “We work with the federal government to give female founders and the organizations that support them the opportunity to give live testimony with influential legislators at the table.”


The coronavirus epidemic is making Monica’s work more important than ever. “We just had our monthly STEM subcommittee online meeting. The travel restrictions are forcing us to rethink how we keep female businesses afloat while the economy is under siege. We are transforming all of our events to virtual using webinars, twitter chats and all kinds of online outreach.” She says she is committed to actively serving for the duration of her three-year appointment to NWBC. “Our mission is strong,” she says, “and the need is out there nationwide.”


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