Business Club Hosts Women In Business Zoom Meeting

Guests of honor give their takes on how to be successful

GCC’s business club hosted a wide range of female entrepreneurs and business owners to discuss their own success, and some of the obstacles they had to overcome as women in male-dominated fields on Sept. 24. 

Social and Digital media manager Karen Civil of Live Civil and Always Civil was one of three guest speakers in attendance, who shared her own history in the business world after a thorough round of questioning by Business Club directors. 

Working alongside some of the biggest names in the music industry today, Civil seemed ecstatic to be given a platform to discuss her success story in her work that began with her managing social media channels for stars such as Lil Wayne, and evolved into her working alongside Funkmaster Flex of Hot 97 Radio. Civil was not shy in expressing her own faults and mistakes she made as she was following the path she carved for herself to get where she is today, explaining the difficult decisions she had to make to continue boosting herself up through the ranks of an unforgiving industry. “I’m glad I took a chance on myself,” Civil explained when speaking on her decision to leave Funk Flex and begin Civil Enterprises. “..I’m never gonna step on a dollar to pick up a nickel.” 

This type of entrepreneurial mindset led Civil to begin her own set of business ventures alongside Civil Enterprises, like her Always Civil brand focusing on branding and marketing, and eventually landed her collaborations with artists such as Nipsey Hussle and Dr. Dre in his Beats By Dre headphones line. 

Alongside Civil during this meeting, waiting for her turn to speak next, was Youtuber/Influencer Diana Madison, creator and executive producer of Lifestyles “Glam Masters” reality show, along with being the owner of her own skin care brand Diana Madison Beauty. Madison brought years of her own experience in show business to Thursday’s meeting, explaining in detail her experiences interviewing and working alongside stars such as Mariah Carey and Brad Pitt, which later led her into developing her own podcast series: “Dream Big,” that focuses on hot topics and celebrity interviews, which readers can find here

When asked the same questions regarding her climb to success, Madison relayed much of the same wisdom as the other speakers who faced similar difficulties. When asked about her own hiring and recruitment process however, Madison offered this gem of advice: “Whatever I made, I invested back into people.”, explaining the importance she places investing in building a solid team around her, helping her establish connections in the industry that would bring her new opportunities to grow later on.

Of all the speakers being interviewed, Claire Takamatsu presented the most diverse of catalogs, straying away from the influencer and marketing business strategy that her companions Civil and Madison had benefited from. Instead Takamatsu, co-owner of 20ft Bear Events, boasts a resume full of experience as an event planner and coordinator for high profile brands such as Nike, along with several music festivals throughout the past decade. Takamatsu stressed the importance of creating a diverse set of skills, and fostering new connections throughout the meeting, and was patient and deliberate in her responses to questions, reflecting her character when it comes to making important decisions.

Towards the end of the meeting, students had the opportunity to present questions to Civil, Diana, and Claire themselves through the chat function in Zoom. The overwhelming amount of questions from the expectedly large audience didn’t allow for every question to be answered, but the most repeated question directed towards the speakers had to do with overcoming the challenges most women could expect to face when working in a male dominated, or “boys club,” industry. When asked for advice overcoming these challenges, all women echoed the role societies expectations have on women as they grown up, all of them agreeing that “society taught us it can only be one — one smart girl, one pretty girl, one dumb one.” In reality, these guest speakers prove the exact opposite, with all of them focusing their skills and attention on different areas of business, and all of them coming out on top. 

Civil left the meeting with one final word of advice to women worried about the extensive wage gap, and unfairness in the workplace: “You’re gonna have to have some thick skin … but stock up on your skill set. Be the best at what you do, that’s what breaks through that [gender] barrier.”