WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- More businesses are owned by women nowadays. According to the National Women's Business Council, there are more than 8.6 million women business owners, up 59% in the last 16 years. Washington, D.C., Maryland and New Mexico have the highest percentage of women-owned businesses.
When it comes to operating on equal footing, however, women still face discrimination, lack of opportunities, and less pay. So what can be done to change all of this?
Phil Dyer, one of the authors of the book "Wonder Women: How Western Women Will Save The Rest Of The World," weighed in on Tuesday. An interesting premise of the book says essentially, don't lean in and don't try to pretend to be men in the workforce.
"With all due respect to Cheryl and her book, we feel that women trying to act like men or operate like men in the workforce actually does not work because quite frankly, operating like men is what's gotten us in large part to where we are in the economy now. The 'I win by you losing, the I have to win at all costs' of doing things doesn't work going forward. Women are much better suited for the new economy that we're going into, typically better at building relationships. So we tell everyone we can get in front of, stop trying to be guys," says Dyer.
Dyer also says women should go by the old old motto "know thy self."
"Women are fantastic at a lot of different things. Unfortunately, a lot of times they don't value that which they're most brilliant at. So one of the key things we focus on is 'know yourself first.' Know what you're great at and focus on that in business," says Dyer.
He added, "Once you know yourself...make sure you are not tearing other women down in business... I've been kind of the fly on the wall at a lot of women's conferences. Ladies, there's enough challenges and business out there without looking at what she's wearing, did she gain weight or things like that. Really support each other in business and use that strength, collaboration and cooperative success that can really help move you forward."
Dyer also says choose your friends very wisely. "A good friend of mine says don't spend five years on five- minute people. So in looking for mentors and folks to line yourself with in business, make sure you're aligning yourself with people that really have your best interests at heart and will be there for the long haul."