Not long ago, somebody asked me who I'm inspired by in my work. It was an easy answer. Martin Luther King, Tina Fey. Oprah Winfrey, for recognizing the gift her platform is and using it to encourage others. Arianna Huffington. Rupert Murdoch, for his seeming agility despite that he's hardly at a start-up. I love how Carl Icahn appears to stand tough on what he thinks and wants. Mark Cuban, because he always looks like he's happy and enjoying himself. The list could go on and on.
It wasn't until recently that I realized something unusual: It has as many men as women on it.
As an entrepreneur, I'm as moved to believe I can do big things in business by what a man accomplishes as much as a woman. In fact, when I look at Rupert Murdoch or Barry Diller, I want to be like them -- just as I do when I see anybody else who owns a successful media company, male or female.
It got me thinking: Are today's successful women blind to gender when it comes to what inspirits them in business? I decided to see what women had to say about it.
"I really don't even look at gender when it comes to industries. If I want to something, or start a business, it's the last thing on my list I am concerned about," said friend and fellow entrepreneur Sayeh Pezeshki, founder of Sortingwithstyle.com. "There are more important things such as start-up capital, competition, industry research, etc."
Silverplanet.com's Florence Klein shared the same. In fact, the sentiment was echoed so loudly among The New Power Girls email subscribers this week, it took more than a half hour to get through all the responses sent in. In nearly every email received, women cited that they're as motivated by men in business as they are women. In fact, they believe they can and will do the same big things regardless.
"An accomplishment is an accomplishment no matter where it comes from," said Heavybag Media's Jackie Peters, who has carved a big name for her business in tech's male-dominated market.
Power Girls have their sights fixed on the brass ring. Never mind who might be holding it.
It goes beyond simply being motivated by both of the sexes. The new modern women entrepreneurs are just as gender agnostic in their work, industries and markets. They have no issue taking on tasks traditionally deemed male, or swinging at major league pitches amidst roomfuls of men. They stand confidently on their value and experience, and barely blink an eye when it comes to competition -- regardless of whether it is of male or female origin.
"Glass ceilings may exist but glass can be shattered and cracked," added one woman.
In fact, for this Friday's prestigious Crunchies awards -- the top ceremony for the once traditionally male-dominated internet business -- it's said that there have been an abundance of women-owned companies submitted this year. What's more, three women are up for the "Best Start-Up Founder" honor -- the first time in the event's history.
"Gender has never been a factor in anything that I have ever done," chimed Stacey Kannenberg, founder of Cedar Valley Publishing, who added that her accomplishments inspire her husband, who is also an entrepreneur.
If business is still a "man's world," Power Girls simply don't care.