Do We Need More Women In Business?
Do We Need More Women In Business?
A very good question. What do you think? Well my view is that women are crucial to the economic growth of the world and more and more companies are investing in women as they recognise this. However, I believe that there is still greater potential for a more female orientated approach to business. Would you agree?
INEQUALITY IN BUSINESS
Do you think that there is inequality in the field of business due to an ingrained gender bias? Well, according to a report published by the Women’s Business Council, it found that men are twice as likely as women to set up their own business. This is most likely because women face a number of obstacles in business such as balancing family commitments and their work obligations. It is also more difficult for them to access the finance needed to begin their own business. Also, unfortunately women are more likely to have a lack of self-confidence in their business management skills.
NEED TO ACT LIKE A MAN
Too often women are encouraged to ‘act like a man’ and take a more forceful approach to business. They are even expected to be aggressive, competitive, and obstinate. Women are considered the weaker gender when it comes to running a business, especially as women are often presented this way in TV shows like ‘The Apprentice’ or ‘Dragons Den’.
The way in which women approach business is completely different from that of a man and consequently, they do things differently. That’s not to say that they necessarily do things better – just different. Although in many cases I do believe that they often do things better than men.
SOFT SKILLS HAVE LITTLE VALUE?
Women possess what the business sector calls ‘soft skills’. Initially, these skills may seem to have negative connotations or have little commercial value, however they are beginning to be increasingly sought-after. These qualities, including punctuality, flexibility, good communication and cooperativeness are essential in the business world, despite being underrated.
WOMEN HAVE GREATER SUCCESS
There is growing evidence to suggest that taking a female approach to business may lead to greater success. It appears that women have much more efficient leadership and team building skills, and are able to perceive problems in a different way to men.
Here are some specific qualities which women naturally have, that make them fantastic CEO’s and business owners:
1. Women are opportunists. They can see the potential in any situation that presents itself and seize the opportunity. Not only can they have great ideas and inspire ambition in others, this makes them a natural leader.
2. As well as being a natural leader, they are much more focused than men and driven to complete their goals. They are strategic and able to make an organised plan in order to get where they want to be.
3. Attention to detail is key when starting up a business. Women are certainly more creative than men and are more likely to follow through with their ideas and develop them to their greatest potential.
4. Women specialise at being able to cultivate business relationships. They are great at networking and connecting with businesses and other entrepreneurs with furthering their business in mind.
5. Due to women being a minority in business, they are naturally wired to thrive and assert their authority in business. They are able to adapt to the fast-changing times which can lead to significant growth for their business.
6. Women are much more likely to remain calm in stressful situations. Being better at handling pressurised situations and remaining under-control gives them an advantage when running a business and solving problems.
7. The main skill women possess is having a natural approachable nature and great people skills. Being able to communicate well with people and influencing people to like you is paramount for advancing a business.
WHY ARE MORE WOMEN NOT RUNNING BUSINESSES?
As women have all these naturally hard-wired skills, it’s a wonder why there aren’t more women running companies or starting businesses.
“Things have changed dramatically for women in the workplace since the last century in terms of equality and opportunity. Women are stronger, more entrepreneurial and more ‘go-getting’ than ever. However, men and women still seem to struggle with where and how femininity fits in,” says Michelle Mone OBE, entrepreneur and founder and co-owner of multi-million pound lingerie company Ultimo.
“Perhaps there’s a case to argue that over the years, since we first started burning our bras, women have tried so hard to be as successful as men that many women have tried to mirror them and their masculine traits. Personally, I think it’s time women stopped trying to man up and instead let their female side shine through.”
In order to enable women to progress successfully in the business sector, there are a number of prominent companies which have been set up with the sole purpose of helping them and building their confidence so they can fulfil their full potential.
For example, Women’s World Banking offers small loans to give women the resources and financial aid to start-up their own businesses. Similarly, the Tory Burch Foundation (TBF), launched in 2004, supports the economic empowerment of women and helps them to build their own confidence.
WILL INVESTING IN BUSINESS WOMEN BOOST THE ECONOMY?
Tory Burch, chief executive and designer believes that “investing in business women will boost the economy for everyone.” Currently, there are only approximately 126m women operating new business and another 98m in control of already established successful ones. It is clear that a profound change in attitude is needed in the business world to encourage women to thrive as entrepreneurs.
An increase in women at every level of business, will not only benefit companies in the short term but also in the long term, helping to solve numerous problems facing businesses in the current economic climate…
If you would like to share your views with me I would be delighted to hear from you.
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