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What millionaire women say about Lenders

As I was reading the Millionaire Women Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, PhD I was saddened.

A bit of background:

  • I was the second woman auditor ever hired for both the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Audit Division and the State Auditor’s Office.
  • Early in my career I was riding through Olympia with two other women and we realized that if we were to die in a car accident the entire population of women CPAs in town would be wiped out.
  • I was turned down for a job by a ‘Big 8’ CPA firm because women just get pregnant and quit.

No kidding! Clearly I had lost the job anyway so I couldn’t help but ask:

Me: “How many women CPAs have you hired and how long did they stay?”

Him: “Two; one who is still here after three years.”

Me: “So that is a 50% retention rate. What is the retention rate of men you hire into these positions after three years?”

Him (after coloring up a bit):”About the same.” (No, I did not get the job but maybe I made a point.)

Quoting the Millionaire Women Next Door:

“Most millionaire women business owners believe that overcoming adversity enhances one’s resolve and character. It also makes success taste sweeter when it arrives. … Yes, these women business owners had their share of detractors, and most reported that lending officers at banks often showed them little respect.

Is it time for a gut check? Do you have preconceived notions that women (African-Americans, Muslims, young people, older people…fill in the blank) cannot be successful as business owners?

Because if you do, even if it is not at the surface, my guess is it is coming through.

About the Author
Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis. She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans. Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.