“Women don’t need to be supported or reinforced. They are already strong. They just need access to funding for their initiatives, ”replies Renee Welsh, CEO of Embed, when I ask what men can do to help level the playing field.

Welsh faced the same challenges when she started the ticketing and reservation management start-up Booking Boss with her husband, Andy, in 2013. But she managed to overcome them. After years of hard work, Helix Leisure bought the start-up in 2017, testifying to Welsh’s ability to build and execute to a high standard. As part of the acquisition, Welsh became the CEO of Embed, a cloud-based integrated business solution platform. She was a unicorn, one of the few female CEOs in the family entertainment center (FEC) industry. Thus, she made a point of defending diversity and inclusion.

Today, half of Embed’s management team is made up of women, a stark contrast to the rest of the industry – 50% of startups have no women on their management team and only 17 % of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

(Related: Seven Women Leaders Speak Out on Gender Equality)

Renee Welsh is the CEO of Embed and Booking Boss. Women In Tech Review recognized her as one of the Top 50 Women in Tech this year.

“Raising capital is also more difficult for start-ups with female founders. There is a general apprehension that they are not good at running businesses, ”says Welsh. She gives a startling statistic: Start-ups run by women only get around 2% of overall investment capital and often have to call on their friends and family to raise funds.

“It is also difficult for women founders to raise funds for their startups because there are few women decision makers in venture capital companies. According to an analysis last year, only about 12% of decision-makers in venture capital firms are women, and most companies still do not have a single female partner. When female venture capitalists decide, they’re twice as likely to invest in female founding teams, ”says Welsh.

What puzzles her is that these statistics do not reflect the reality – that women are just as capable as men in business. In America, women-owned businesses are growing twice as fast as the national average. “Organizations led by women are also more profitable, perform better and have higher profits than businesses run by men,” according to a 2019 report from S&P Global.

Welsh believes that women who support other women are the only way for women to rise up and access their power. For a long time, many believed that a woman should sacrifice her family for her career and vice versa. The Welsh believe that women can excel in several roles.

(Related: The eight winners of the Cartier Women’s Initiative 2021 illustrate the power of the ripple effect)

“Women are multidimensional; they have many roles in life – be it a female CEO, female entrepreneur, female thought leader, mother, wife, sister , of a girl – the list is endless.

Embed CEO Renee Welsh believes women can be successful in their personal and professional lives.

Moving forward, she recently co-founded Crone Queen with her colleague and Embed Marketing Director Sara Paz. The two called the organization Crone Queen, in reference to the history of rulers or “crowned” women being labeled as crones when patriarchal societies took hold in ancient times. Through this collective, Welsh wants to nurture and empower women through their different stages of life, especially those in their thirties and older.

“We hope to connect women from all walks of life, all of whom are queens in their own right. The goal is to build a community centered on wellness, healthy living philosophies, financial strength and the best life, ”says Welsh. “For this fellowship, Crone Queen intends to produce cutting edge content, plan groundbreaking and uplifting events, as well as showcase inspiring products.”

There is still a lot more that companies can accomplish at the senior management level. But the progress of society in this area encourages the Welsh.

“Today, I successfully lead a team of CEOs with 50% gender parity, something totally unknown in the tech industry and a model of what other companies aspire to achieve. I intend to take a more proactive role in mentoring, reverse mentoring and inspiring other women leaders and entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.

(Related: Michelle Lau, CEO of IPG Howden, Wants to Change the Conversation About Female Success)

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