TEANECK, N.J. — Jennifer Glass of Teaneck is among several business women being recognized by an international publication for their influential work in the corporate world.
Acquisition International Magazine's research team spent months looking at some key female business leaders and entrepreneurs across the U.S. who are most deserving of the "Women in Business" award.
"We highlight these women for their professional achievements, leadership qualities, and contributions to the broader community," the magazine said.
Daily Voice caught up with Glass, a mom and the Teaneck Chamber of Commerce Vice President, to learn more about her journey to the top.
DAILY VOICE: Have you always known you’ve wanted to be a "business woman?” What does that term mean to you?
JENNIFER GLASS: I haven’t necessarily always wanted to be a businesswoman, but knew that I wanted to help people. I originally wanted to go into dentistry because of my grandfather, then changed to law because of LA Law and other shows like that on TV, but ultimately found my passion in business – being able to help others, learn new things all the time, and experience others in a way that I would not have been able to do so in other fields.
As for what the term “businesswoman” means to me, I suppose it’s multi-faceted. First, the obvious – I’m in business and a woman. But more importantly, it also means that I have a responsibility to my clients to ensure that I am delivering what I say I will deliver and when. It’s not just enough to be ok, for me anyway – I have to deliver more than I promised and when I occasionally fail, I take that personally.
DV: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced along the way as a woman? Do you think it’s harder for women to make it in business?
JG: I believe that many people view women as pushovers. We’re usually nicer, and more empathetic than most men which allow some men to feel like they can dictate terms before even starting a conversation.
Women on the other hand are usually more open and willing to hear what I have to say, and other women have to say before they cut off the saleswoman. It’s similar in networking too – I have found that networking amongst men and women is much different than when the group is only made up of other women – much more gets done, and much deeper relationships are formed allowing one to really understand and get what the others in the group do and how they can help those that we know need help.
Other than simply being ignored, not listened to and mansplained on more occasions than I care to iterate here, men also believe that the world sometimes is still meant for them.
It is for that reason that women need to (and most do) deliver an amazing job on whatever it is that we do, so that future generations of women won’t have a “glass ceiling” that we still need to talk about, but simply go about their lives and careers as the profession or individual they are.
DV: What is your advice to other women in business?
JG: My advice to other women in business is be yourself – remember that at the end of the day, it is you that needs to be comfortable with what you are and what you do.
If something doesn’t feel right or doesn’t make sense, question why you’re doing it and find a path to bring balance back. Look at what you’re doing as a way to make your mark on this world – for one person or the 7 billion plus members of the Human race.
Can you help someone just by smiling at them to cheer them up when they’re down? Can you help a struggling business by giving them ideas or programs to make them succeed?
The more we do and the more that others continue doing, the better off Earth will be.
DV: Who are your role models?
JG: My role models include my parents where I learned what it takes to be a good member of society as well as my moral compass. Professionally, I look to many people – from members of the Teaneck Chamber of Commerce to my networking groups seeing how they are able to grow and find ways to deliver new and innovative options for what they offer helps me fine tune what I do to make things work.
I also am an avid watcher of “Shark Tank” and follow the sharks on LinkedIn and Twitter. I also look up to the people at the Small Business Development Centers, such as Vince Vicari from the Bergen SBDC because he is amazing – talk about someone who knows something about nearly every industry! I’d love to be able to know as much as he does, and be able to impart that to others.
DV: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10?
JG: I see myself continuing to help others – be it in five years, 10 years or even 30 years. I’ve always been into helping others. As I am politically inclined, I’d also like to look at potential political opportunities that I may be able to run for to further help others.
While I believe I help many people today in what I do and the various boards, commissions and organizations I am a part of, I know that as an elected member of government, I will have a greater voice and ability to make a difference in a much greater scheme. So whether that elected seat comes in two years, four or twelve, I’m looking to the future with a bright and hopeful outlook.
DV: What’s been the most fun part of your journey?
JG: The most fun part of the journey to where I am now has been all the amazing friends that I’ve had along the way. Each of them has helped me in so many ways – from talking me off the ledge (metaphorically speaking) when I am high strung to girls’ nights, they’ve been there in times of need and joy, not to mention my good friend Larry who has helped me out more times than necessary with some home repairs too.
And then there’s the journey itself – being able to explore different cultures, ideas, beliefs and so much more and grow my own sense of what it means to be a member of the Human race.
It’s like the six million paper clip project that was done about 12 years ago – the teacher realizing that the kids had no idea how to think of the number 6 million asked everyone to bring in paper clips.
The kids and the community responded and before they knew it, there were 6 million paper clips showing everyone what that number represented.
I believe that’s what my journey has helped me comprehend too – being able to see all of the challenges and opportunities that are out there for me to explore and other ways to get involved.