Why Join WE?
Data suggests that some of the bias and historical mistreatment of women in society (which is not supported by LDS scripture and doctrine) means that women do not hear about
entrepreneurship as a viable opportunity for them, they do not receive the same types of support for entrepreneurship, and-- even when programs claim to be “open” to them-- societal biases give women reasons to believe they will be treated differently once they attend or enroll. Thus, WE exists to help women learn when and how to “plug into” existing opportunities (we do not create separate or competing programs if top programs exist- we create friendly onramps to these programs). WE also exists to showcase the skills and accomplishments of female entrepreneurs- this inspires men and women to see what is possible and breaks harmful historical patterns. In addition, WE exists because research suggests that women are treated differently by funders and customers etc. (see data that says
venture capitalists ask male founders about growth and female founders about managing risk). As long as such realities exist, WE will prepare women for the different questions they receive. WE is not meant to make extra work for women and WE is not designed to compete with current offerings that serve women and men well. We augment where there are gaps, we encourage where encouragement does not exist, and we educate about what is already excellent and exciting for all.
Does WE understand the divine role of
women to be mothers or are they trying
to push women into the workforce
instead of pursuing this role?
WE seeks to attract and support LDS women who are happy as women and excited to receive revelation about their gifts and roles in life. WE recognizes both motherhood and fatherhood as divine roles, and data suggests that entrepreneurship can provide flexibility and remuneration that helps both mothers and fathers have more options to enact these divine roles. WE seek to overcome the cultural stereotype that entrepreneurs are only men, or that women who work or earn money for their talents are not loving or inspired daughters of heavenly parents. We also believe that entrepreneurship teaches skills that help the women who can and do become mothers to enact this role with additional knowledge and power.
How does WE relate to men?
Though our program is geared towards the unique needs of our female students, it does not exclude but shows respect for the role of our male counterparts in our personal and
professional lives. This program fosters equilibrium in the entrepreneurial landscape. As leaders and members of WE, we have evidence from experience and research that cases of bias, sexism, and stereotypes hurt men, women, and society. Because of this belief, the goals of WE help men too (and some of our strongest supporters and funders are men). Also, many men at BYU ask how they can learn to be more supportive, aware, and "diversity competent” as they enter the
workforce or otherwise relate to the women around them. WE welcomes and supports these
efforts and offers programs to reach these goals. We have no interest in creating for men the current imbalances related to gender (that would just make the world problematically unequal in the opposite direction). WE will cease to be needed once everyone has similar access and ability to practice entrepreneurship if they desire.
WE and the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ...
WE leaders and members are committed to approaching entrepreneurship through a Gospel lens, focused on 1) the ability of all Heavenly Father’s children to be creators and 2) the ability to cultivate and use spiritual and temporal gifts towards eternal progression. Entrepreneurship is about listening to discover unmet needs, making decisions in the face of ambiguity, and acting in faith to create new opportunities, products, and services to meet unmet needs. Described and practiced this way, entrepreneurship is a skill and an activity that changes lives and improves the world while being wholly compatible with Gospel teachings. We believe women and men can use these skills across their lives in all spheres as they feel directed to do so.
Will public support for WE hurt the
WE seeks to inspire and inform and to highlight the diversity and accomplishments of women who use their talents to create. It can be a benefit to the Church to have more people realize all the ways the Restored Gospel includes women as creators.
Does WE sustain the Prophet, General
Authorities, and local leaders?
Yes, we do! Student and faculty members of WE are active members of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we welcome other supporters who understand and appreciate our belief and testimony.
Does WE disapprove of LDS families
where a mother stays home full-time?
WE interprets “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” as a document that invites all families
to nurture and provide for children in the manner that best meets their individual needs— and to continually seek revelation in how to do so. Many participants in WE are stay-at-home parents (who do not use entrepreneurship as a way to earn money), and we respect and support that decision as much