Turning Passion into Purpose
All business owners manage dozens of priorities on any given day to keep their companies thriving. Female business owners are expected to handle these priorities just the same, but often with the additional pressures associated with supporting their families and communities. The global pandemic has also caused an increased burden on women as childcare options become less widely available. Female business owners don't have the same 24 hours in a day as others might. These individuals are often torn between achieving their dreams and living up to the expectations placed on them by their loved ones and society. That's where Beth Hallowell, a PNC-Certified Women's Business Advocates, comes in.
As a senior vice president and business banking sales manager at PNC, Hallowell applies her banking expertise and personal life experiences to help female business owners achieve success. Along the way, they have opened her eyes to what's possible when women pursue their passion.
“I'm in awe of women business owners," said Hallowell. “They have the confidence to take risks to launch, develop and grow a business in pursuit of their passion."
Women-owned companies are the fastest-growing U.S. business segment. Over the next decade, women are projected to control over 70% of the nation's wealth (1). However, there's more to it than money for Hallowell, who has more than 20 years of experience in retail and commercial banking.
Hallowell expressed, “It is definitely easier to remain comfortable in life and avoid the potential for failure by not taking risks or trying something new. There are, however, unintended consequences of inaction or resistance to change. You miss the opportunity to create or influence something amazing."
Despite the changing economic landscape, many female business owners feel underserved or underappreciated by financial services companies. While more women than men start new businesses, they often lack financial support to grow them. This is especially true for those with fewer than 10 employees.
Women's Business Advocates
Hallowell makes a difference through her work at PNC and as a part of her community – the Triangle of North Carolina. As a PNC-Certified Women's Business Advocate, she is especially committed to supporting the achievement of female financial decision-makers, including women who own or run businesses. PNC started the training for this program in 2000 to help bankers better understand the opportunities and challenges facing women.
During her career, Hallowell has worked in a variety of roles throughout the financial services industry. Past responsibilities include banking operations and client relationship management. These experiences have offered her the perspective she has today as she works with business owners in and around Raleigh.
Hallowell is one of 3,200 PNC-certified Women's Business Advocates
who help female financial decision-makers
Hallowell is also an advocate of ATHENA International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women in business (2). The group is an organization named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom, courage and inspiration in Greek mythology. A fitting name, as the group was founded on its unique and internationally recognized leadership model.
Hallowell's work with the local chapter includes providing financial education and advice to help female business owners increase growth and profitability. Through ATHENA's Raleigh Chapter, she volunteers with a group of expert advisors who serve as a board of directors for women who own businesses.
“It's amazing to see what can happen when a business owner is open to coaching and guidance in pursuit of her objectives," she said. “Often times, these entrepreneurs reach a point where they don't have the knowledge, expertise or network to get to the next level and this program provides the bridge that they need."
Partnership Proof Points
When asked what women prioritize in a relationship with a financial institution, the answers trended in a similar direction. Essentially, women are looking for advocates. They want to work with those who:
- Take time to understand their unique businesses, priorities and motivations
- Add value by making connections for business owners and sharing expertise and best practices
- Are proactive about providing access to resources
An Empowering Experience
Hallowell recalled a business owner in the healthcare industry who worked with children with disabilities. There was a divide between giving the children in her care the best attention while also focusing on profitability. The woman had an intense passion for philanthropy and community service, but this commitment reached a point where it affected the financial wellness of her business.
“She simply wasn't focused on the impact her passion for philanthropy and donating was having on her business," Hallowell said. “Helping her along her journey to create changes in the business to improve processes and efficiency allowed the business to become profitable, which allowed her to resume her giving from a place of excess. It was incredibly satisfying to be able to help her achieve that result."
The story especially resonated with Hallowell. Similar to business owners, she faces revenue goals, has employees to support and responsibilities at home and in her community.
Balancing the demands of work and life is a struggle for me just as it is for many women business owners
“As I work with these dedicated and passionate women, it is great to see the many ways in which they define success and accomplish balance," Hallowell said. "It inspires me to make changes and take risks because I have a gift that I can share through my role at PNC and in the community to impact lives in a positive way."
Learn more about PNC-Certified Women's Business Advocate at PNC.