Name and occupation:
Mildred Muhammad — International spokesperson on domestic violence, women’s rights advocate, author of “Scared Silent” and founder of After the Trauma, a nonprofit organization that helps survivors of domestic abuse to rebuild their lives
What do you love most about being a woman?
What I love most about being a woman is being a mother. My children are my greatest joy, and when I look into their eyes, I know God’s promises are true. The ability to give birth is amazing.
Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?
I haven’t dealt with a lot of sexism in my industry, but it is still there. When I participate in domestic abuse rallies, there are those that feel we don’t give the full picture of domestic abuse because we focus on women survivors. Some people criticize us and our industry, saying men are victims too. There are men survivors, but we focus on women because the percentage of women survivors is much greater than the percentage of men.
Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?
I’m a member of 411 Voices, which is an organization of women entrepreneurs who serve as expert speakers and sources for media outlets, businesses, nonprofit organizations, research groups, etc.
Who or what inspires you most?
The victims and survivors of domestic violence inspire me. There’s not a moment that goes by that I don’t try to think of different options that can be taken, so that women and children are safe from their abusers. This is my passion. This is what I feel that God has pressed upon my heart to do after coming through my trauma – and I take it seriously. They are my inspiration.
Something about you that would surprise us:
I was a body builder in my younger days.
Advice for women entrepreneurs:
If you’re starting a business, find a need and fill it with what you know. If you have a hobby or an interest that can be turned into a business, that’s a good place to start. Then decide how to organize it. Look into a sole proprietorship. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to go. Then, network as much as you can, particularly through social media channels. Lastly, whether you’re just starting out or have been in business a long time, stay on top of things in your industry. To be successful you have to know your industry inside and out. Read industry publications and articles, participate in online discussions, network within your industry, etc.