Female Management Discrimination

The following is an excerpt from my first book, Extraordinarily Intentional: How a Nurse Became an Entrepreneur. When I wrote my business plan and started my company, I didn’t get treated the same as a man would. Here is my story:

I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to follow in Arkansas. I went to Real Estate School, then decided not to sit the exam because I decided that I did not want to leave medicine. I went to Insurance School, then decided that most of my fellow students—with one glaring exception—were dishonest. I completed both courses.

The best thing about Insurance School was that I made a new friend, Anthony. He was six feet two, blond, twenty-five years to my thirty-five, a sweetheart, but a bit of a lost soul. When I told Anthony I was going to start my agency again, he said he wanted to rent a desk in my new office for $300 a month, effectively splitting the rent. Although he only stayed about three months, that was the deciding factor in my decision to open The Right Solutions, a per diem nurse staffing agency in 1996. I had $18,000.00 in cash for the startup and a $50,000.00 credit line, splitting the rent was a big help.

While waiting for the non-compete time restraint to end, I had spent the previous year writing a professional business plan, which was by now an inch thick. I took my business plan to Arvest Bank. My neighbor, a Vice President of the Bank (one of literally hundreds), looked at the book. His eyes bugged out because he had never seen a professional business plan before. Most of the “guys” that want to start a business just “wrote it on a napkin,” the banker told me.

That started the banking discrimination I would endure for several years. One of the male loan officers always called my husband to ask his “permission” for me to access my line of credit. The same bankers had absolutely no idea of what I did in my business. They would reassign my deposits when I had deposited coupons made out correctly. These good old boys just knew I couldn’t be making right decisions. After my years of hard work and strategic planning, I was incredulous to hear them say I was “so lucky” to just “happen to fall” into a good business. These bankers attempted sabotage at every opportunity. For example, they wouldn’t renew my line of credit, even though I had no debt on it, in the hope of putting me out of business.

I wanted to change banks long before I did, but my husband could not believe that our neighbors could treat me so poorly. He felt certain I was doing something to aggravate them. I was too busy being the CEO of a successful business to have time to devote to thinking about bankers. But every time I tried to discuss the discrimination I suffered for being a woman nursing business owner, I would get so furious I could barely speak.

As living well is the best revenge, I focused on growing the business and getting a banker that liked me. My next banker, Art Morris, is the finest man that ever lived and was a tremendous mentor for my developing business. What made the difference was that from the very beginning, Art believed in me.

Below is one of my Rules of Business from my Extraordinarily Intentional book coming soon to Amazon. Learn more by clicking here: drdianawright.com/books

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