Women break business barriers with their success

Just one day after President Obama announced plans to help close the gender wage gap, Senate Republicans are shutting down legislation on the same subject.

Wednesday Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that closely resembles Obama’s two executive orders given just yesterday. Both the bill and Obama’s orders aim to fight income inequality between men and women.

Wisconsin’s Republican Senator Ron Johnson released a statement on his vote against the legislation, saying in part, “This bill would harm our economy and result in fewer opportunities and downward pressure on wages for all Americans.”

While Obama’s executive orders are still in play to help eliminate the wage gap, area women are doing their part to put the spotlight on girls in the workforce by just thriving at what they do.

Kimberly Bentzen-Tabbert has owned Onalaska’s Mainstream Boutique since July. She is one of several La Crosse area women shattering stereotypes by owning their own businesses.

“We want to help women feel good about themselves, and feel good about what they’re dressed like,” Bentzen-Tabbert said.

Like other working women, she encountered setbacks, even before her clothes were on the racks.

“A lot of people asked, ‘What did your husband say?'” Bentzen-Tabbert remembers from Mainstream Boutique’s beginning days. “I was very surprised by that, and my answer is, ‘He was very supportive.’ It does affect your home, it affects your children, your home life.”

Some of that initial doubt came from herself.

“I think the challenges actually come within, trying to decide what it is you want to do with yourself,” she said.

Nine months in, business is booming for Kimberly, and these days, she lets all those uncertainties roll off her sleeves.

“This feels like home,” she said of her boutique. “I love being my own business owner.”

To all those girls looking to break barriers, Kimberly reminds them the sky is the limit.

“I just tell people if you have a dream, you should follow it.”