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Halfstack Highlights: Meet Felena Hanson of Hera Hub

Monday, July 17, 2017 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Women have had a long and arduous battle for rights and equality. Whether it be the right to have their voices heard in a vote or the ability to make an impact in the workforce, women have made it a point to establish they are a force to be reckoned with. In today's day and age, the idea of a single income household has become a distant memory. In most household's both individuals tend to be in the workforce. Mom is just as likely as dad to be working a 9-5 alongside keeping tabs on her family, keeping the house and meeting the needs of the children. During the 60s working women were often paid much lower salaries than men and denied opportunities to advance. Many employers assumed that they would soon become pregnant and quit their jobs. They believed that unlike men, women did not have families to support. Oh, the irony.




Yet, the reality that women face today is that despite what they have accomplished, there still continues to be a gap between what women have done and how they are recognized in the workforce. Stats from Americanprogress.org show that, "Women in the United States earn 60% of undergraduate degrees and 60% of master’s degrees. They hold 52% of all professional-level jobs and contribute $7.6 trillion to the gross domestic product. Forty-two percent of women are the sole or primary breadwinners for their families.Yet, fewer than 5% of Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO. And less than 17% of Fortune 500 board members are women."

According to a Pew Research Analysis in 2015 of medium hourly workings of full and part time workers in the US, "women earned 83% of what men earned." According to this, it would take an extra 44 days of work for women to earn what men did in 2015. If you review the Census Bureau data, it shows that women earned 80% of what their male counterparts earned in 2015 when looking at full-time, year-round workers only. While this gap is closer to 90 cents on the dollar for millennial age workers - what is painfully apparent, is that women still do not have equal pay in the work force in 2017. The Institute for Women's Policy Research highlights that, "it will take 44 years—or until 2059—for women to finally reach pay parity. For women of color, the rate of change is even slower: Hispanic women will have to wait until 2248 and Black women will wait until 2124 for equal pay."


IMAGES COURTESY OF HERAHUB/FELENA HANSON


Yes, you read that correctly. At the rate we are going, not even our daughters are likely to see equal pay. As far as this nation has come and we are still seeing this issue. It's not even just about the pay in the workforce, the conditions within many workplaces are not supportive of women. Women have to battle for parental leave rights, for the right to pump milk, for the ability to return to the workforce after childbirth and to not be discriminated against for making the choice to become a parent. Although, this may sound dismal, more and more women are taking charge of their own destiny and pursuing careers that allow them the flexibility, ability to find their own personal balance of work and family life and still pursue a career in which they are capable of making an impact. They're doing this through entrepreneurship.


The National Association of Women Business Owners released statistics that showcase more than 9.4 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and generating $1.5 trillion in sales as of 2015. One woman who decided that she didn't want to "lean in" and fit the mold of the oppressive corporate culture and is finding a way to create a better model for the workplace is Felena Hanson. As a non-repentant rebel and self-admitted rules breaker, Felena started her first business at age 8, traveled Western Europe alone, and can often be seen inciting pop-up dance parties on the streets of San Diego. A life-threatening car accident, at age twenty-two, caused her to take stock of her life, re-evaluate her direction and set big goals for herself. Felena’s early career in the fast-paced technology industry resulted in three layoffs the age of 30. Also at 30 she faced a failed marriage and business, which caused her to again re-evaluate her life’s path.



One would think these obstacles would cause her demise, her downfall, but ever the quick-witted individual, she rose. Instead of letting hardships dictate her future, she pushed forward and created her own opportunity. Never one to dwell on what has happened to her, but to always shift her focus forward, she eventually launched Hera Hub, with a vision to support over 20,000 women with the launch and growth of their business all over the world.



Hera Hub is a co-working space whose primary goal is to provide entrepreneurial women with a productive, professional work and meeting space, where they can connect with a like-minded community to collaborate and flourish. Recently, Felena also shared her entrepreneurial journey through her book – “Flight Club – Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business”. You can pick it up on Amazon.


Felena took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with me about her journey, the raw reality of being a woman in the workforce, overcoming obstacles and share some of her thoughts on women in business. She shared her thoughts on vulnerability, working with others and how businesses can support their employees in their success. She also gave us some more insight into her book! Keep listening for the full interview:

Keep listening for the full interview 
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Thanks for listening to Halfstack Highlights! If you want to learn more about Felena and hera hub, you can visit them online at: www.herahub.com and connect with FElena on twitter @herahub. While you are online, make sure to stop by www.halfstackmag.com to keep up with the blog and if you want to check out our latest issue you can download it at: www.issuu.com/halfstackmag and of course keep up with us on all social outlets @halfstackmag. If you enjoyed this episode take some time to leave us a comment/review on itunes! It is a simple way to show your support! Let us know what you would like to hear by connecting with us on social media.

Take care,
Jen Lezan


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