High Tech Beats Bias

Does technology help women business owners beat bias? So say the 66 winners of Avon's Women of Enterprise Awards. Avon asked them what made them successful. The overwhelming response: technology. Successful women push harder to learn and use technology. Judith Digon's company sets up traffic signs and barricades and was among the first in her industry to design traffic flow with computers. "It might seem a no-brainer, but some people in my industry don't even use computers," she says. Deborah Rosado Shaw couldn't afford the $150,000 software widely used by rivals. She designed a similar program for $10,000. She also hides behind gender-neutral E-mail until clients trust her company. "Once they learn that it's a Hispanic woman, flags go up," she says. "We can't let those flags go up." Avon followed with a national poll of working women: 70% view technology as an equalizer in the workplace, saying their technological proficiency was a leading factor in promotions and raises.

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