As the WBENC network celebrated at the 2022 WBENC National Conference, now more than ever is the time to BE BOLD! Laura Barnard, fellow WBE and Founder of BREAKTHRU Brands, shares her insights and BOLD take on defining traits and actions for WBEs to consider for themselves.

Despite the current challenges for women in business and our communities,  which have exacerbated the inequities facing women at work and home, I am encouraged and inspired on a daily basis by the examples of BOLDness demonstrated by women leaders in our client community. I want to see this BOLDness trend continue, and in that spirit, I hope this article inspires you to step into and own your BOLDness.

Women leaders who demonstrate BOLDness are driving us into the future. They own their worth and exhibit four defining traits: Bravery, Outspokenness, Lucidity, and Distinctiveness. These BOLD leaders propel themselves and others forward and maximize their external impact by breaking through and connecting with their ideal audiences in a meaningful way.

Why is it important to have Brave, Outspoken, Lucid, and Distinctive women in leadership?

When given equitable opportunities, women in leadership can utilize their BOLDness for the greater good. But despite making up 47% of the workforce, women are still majorly underrepresented in leadership–accounting for only 8% of Fortune 500 CEOs and only 19% of CEOs.[1] However, when BOLD women do lead, progress follows. In fact, studies show that employees feel safer, more heard, and better supported by women in leadership positions.

Here are three reasons why we need women leaders who own their BOLDness:

  1. BOLD women leaders inspire and shape a better future
  • Almost 75% of people believe that having a woman in leadership makes them believe they, too, can achieve a leadership position.[2]
  • Women-led companies are better perceived in all aspects of strategy, including others believing in their strategy.[3]
  1. BOLD women leaders promote equity & inclusion
  • The majority believes that women-led companies are more likely to offer childcare, equal pay, and other equitable benefits.[4]
  • Governments led by women lead to an increase in policy making that advances rights, promotes equality, and improves the quality of life for those typically overlooked.[5]
  1. BOLD women leaders drive greater business results
  • Female CEOs of Fortune 1000 Companies drove 3x the returns as S&P 500 enterprises run predominantly by men.[6]
  • Female entrepreneurs outperformed their male counterparts in average revenue generated ($730k to $662k) over a 5-year span.[7]


Women leaders who are passionate about cultivating an equitable future can maximize their external impact through BOLDness–and there is no better time. Why wait? Living BOLDly and authentically is never simple, but it is mission-critical for creating the change in the world we all want to see. And you don’t have to go it alone, as demonstrated by the powerful WBENC network of WBEs and advocates.


Laura Barnard
Founder of BREAKTHRU Brands

Laura Barnard founded BREAKTHRU Brands to empower women and her LGBTQIA+ community to break barriers and close gender gaps in leadership. While leading strategy for iconic, global brands such as HARIBO, Werther’s, and Skittles, Barnard has seen the role BOLD brands play in creating external impact.

BREAKTHRU Brands empowers female leaders and founders to lead people, ideas, and movements with clarity and confidence. Whether you’re positioning yourself for the next promotion, building a business or non-profit, or considering a book, podcast, film, or campaign, building a BREAKTHRU Brand is the best place to start.

Ready to realize your limitless potential by discovering and unleashing your own BOLDness? Learn more about our team and our mission to emBOLDen women leaders here.