Now that we have successfully celebrated yet another Women’s Day yesterday, it’s time to understand a bit more about the actual challenges that are faced by women who are looking to do business, in this patriarchal landscape.
Needless to say, on paper, things never actually look promising for the female entrepreneurs despite the fact that around 11 million companies in the US are presided over by women. While the figures are deceptive, the truth is that these ambitious women have always been facing hurdles in regard to setting up profitable firms.
In the subsequent sections, we shall shed some light on the existing challenges that are solely faced by the businesswomen and the best ideas for mitigating the same:
- Social Expectations
Firstly, it is quite unnerving for a female to talk about businesses in seminars where male executives are in majority. This is where they end up making a mistake by transforming or adopting a male-centric business attitude. Females are inherently empathetic but in order to fit in and adhere to the social expectations, they become harsh and cold.
The best way to mitigate this challenge is to stop thinking about the society and follow the destined entrepreneurial pathway. Females must understand that it is there confidence that would help them scale summits and they must not look to change their inner self just to fit in. Not conforming to a man’s idea of organizational leadership can take a businesswoman places.
- Limited Funding
There are times when it becomes exceedingly difficult for female entrepreneurs to get access to a decent chunk of money, precisely in terms of funding. The reason for this loophole is that many investors are still tied to the patriarchal mindset and they refrain from offering small business loans to businesswomen despite a great business plan.
The report released by the Babson College revealed that if capital funded companies are concerned, only three percent of the CEOs are actually females.
This reveals the fact that venture capitalists usually shy away from funding ventures that have females calling the shots.
A good way to steer clear of this challenge is to make room for female investors who are willing to assigned small business loans to their own tribe. Moreover, a large number of female entrepreneurs should also come in front and start asking for investments, by voicing their opinions.
- Not being taken seriously
One of the more frequently countered challenges for a businesswoman is to be taken seriously in an entrepreneurial landscape that is still male dominant. Moreover, it all eventually boils down to earning respect in a community that is always aligned towards demeaning the females, especially when the business acumen is concerned.
If you are an entrepreneur, you need to get these misconceptions out of the head and start interacting more with people, especially in high pressure situations. This would increase your confidence as a businesswoman and would make people take you seriously.
- Balancing Life and Business
Women have responsibilities that exceed the capabilities of any man. This is where is it necessary to understand that challenging personal life with the professional commitments is a challenge in itself. The work-life symmetry is elusive for females as they need to worry about the physical changes that the body goes though during childbirth or in that case, every month for a considerable timeframe.
While this challenge can hardly be mitigated via conventional solutions, the only way to put this to rest is by adapting. A woman would never shy away from responsibilities and the more she adapts, the better she will get at balancing both the aspects of her life. Moreover, having a reliable better-half can also be a good way to steer clear of this challenge, especially for a female entrepreneur
- Coping up
Every businesswoman, at some point in her illustrious career, has to deal with the pressure or rather fear of failure. Moreover, this challenge is a by-product of all the mentioned ones as lack of funds, not being taken seriously, inability to maintain work-life balance, and social expectations can increase the fear of failure.
The only way to face this challenge is to be fearless. Businesswomen should start realizing that the road to the summit is paved with mishaps, mistakes, and losses. However, this shouldn’t deter them from running towards their goals.
The world actually needs more fearless female entrepreneurs to break the shackles of patriarchy. However, if a businesswoman is looking to find credibility, she should be excellent at time and financial management more than anything else. In addition to that, she should be a social junkie and should look to build a network of sorts, precisely for pulling in favors, if and when necessary. For a woman to succeed in this world of cut-throat competition, it is necessary to be vigilant whilst being able to look at everything from a more analytical point of view.