"Celebrating Women's History at 360PSG"

The national celebration that started out in 1982 as Women’s History Week has blossomed into a monthlong event, with institutions as storied and varied as the Library of Congress, the National Park Service, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Gallery of Art commemorating Women’s History Month. 

We at 360 PSG also wanted to recognize the vital role of women in American history by highlighting a few of our female clients who run businesses and create positive change in their communities. We sat down with Marlies Y. Hendricks, CPA  to get some insight on the challenges of being a woman in the business world.

Hendricks is a self-proclaimed “mover and shaker” with 20+ years experience as a public accountant. She specializes in cross-border tax preparation and accounting services, with offices in Buffalo, NY; Wilmington, NC; and Toronto, Canada.


What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

MH: Carry yourself with confidence!


What is the best part about being a female business owner?

MH: I think the best part of being a business owner is equally applicable to women and men. I like the flexibility of being able to choose my own hours, my own staff and my own clients.


And the hardest part? 

MH: Not being taken seriously. People pay more attention to the way women dress. So we have to be conscious of that, make more of an effort just to be taken seriously, to be considered professional. When it comes to our appearance, women are always “on,” always being judged. It’s also hard to compete with male voices, especially when you’re one of many in a room or at a meeting. You get talked over.


Can you tell me about a time you were underestimated because you are a woman?

MH: Definitely when I was younger. You have to understand, I was senior management at 23. I looked young; I was young. I felt like I had to prove myself, and I think that feeling disproportionately affects women. It’s easier for men to get their foot in the door. There’s an automatic respect that isn’t always extended to women.


Do you think women feel intimidated in the business world? If so, why?

MH: It can be difficult to get started. Women don’t have many mentors. There’s this “guy’s club,” where men can just sit down together, and have a beer. Women tend to have more responsibilities outside of work, which makes them more considered when it comes to how they allocate their time, and to whom. In the end, this means there’s less woman-to-woman time. 


What have you learned about leadership, entrepreneurship and mentoring others?

MH: Be a leader, not a boss. It’s really important to embrace a participative style of leadership. To get in there and roll up your sleeves.


What has been your greatest professional accomplishment?

MH: Being a North American accountant; offering my skills to people in all 50 states and the 10 Canadian provinces. 


Are there any resources—books,blogs, podcasts—you rely on?

MH: Not that I can think of.


Is there a woman you admire?

MH: Melania Trump. She’s classy and graceful, and gets things done without being showy. 


Your go-to inspirational/motivational quote?

MH: “Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.” That’s suggestion #19, from H Jackson Brown, Jr’s 21 Suggestions for Success.


Charitable organizations you support?

MH: Veterans, always. The police in both New York and North Carolina. My church.


12 trailblazing American women:

  • Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman in the US to receive a medical degree. (1849)
  • Victoria Woodhull is the first woman to run for US president. (1872)
  • Marie Owens becomes the first female police officer in the US. (1891)
  • African-American Maggie Walker becomes the first woman to charter a bank in the United States. (1903)
  • Entrepreneur Sarah Breedlove (Madam CJ Walker) becomes America’s first self-made female millionaire, selling hair care products catering to African-American women. (1919)
  • American novelist Edith Wharton, who wrote The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome and House of Mirth, is the first female recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1921).
  • Social worker and founder of Hull House, Jane Addams is the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. (1931)
  • Frances Perkins is named Secretary of Labor under FDR, the first female member of the cabinet. (1933)
  • Roberta Gibbs is the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon, but her accomplishment isn’t recognized since women were prohibited from running the race until 1972. (1966)
  • Katherine Graham becomes the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. (1972)
  • Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first female Justice of the Supreme Court. (1981)
  • Aretha Franklin becomes the first female inductee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (1987)