As per research, there is a difference that exists among two sexist ideas: one type of sexism thinks that women are to be protected and taken care of, while the other thinks that women are inferior to men. These sexist notions are responsible for the stereotypes against women. They are so ingrained within us that men and women are often unaware of how they affect the demographics and dynamics of leadership in the workplace. As women in business reshape traditional gender roles and climb the corporate ladder, holding positions to power that was previously only held by men, these stereotypes prevail to be counterproductive hurdles that must be overcome by women.
Women In Business: Challenges And Difficulties
The required conditions for entrepreneurial activity include:
- Free choice of life path;
- A mixture of professional career along with family responsibilities for both sexes;
- Improvement of a civilized structure of behavior in the area of entrepreneurial activity by a modern people;
- Defining gender equality as the central issue of social policy;
- Observance of the rule of law in all spheres of the life of society;
- Forming scenarios for the all-round development of a woman entrepreneur as a person.
Against which of these facts can we apply a plus sign when speaking about women in business? Are there two, three, four? And all six are required! Obviously, this situation prevails precisely because of inequality between gender and remnants of patriarchy in our society.
As a result, women entrepreneurs encounter several difficulties and challenges in attaining their goals. So, a businesswoman has to solve many added tasks, like maintaining and building reputation and influence, fighting prejudice, persuasion, argumentation, and the like. All these needs added time and emotional costs; in some scenarios, the deadlines for fulfilling the primary tasks may rise and the focus on them is blurred.
The Most Common Stereotypes About Women In Business
Most of the issues women have to overcome in a business are related to gender stereotypes. Let us take a look at the most common stereotypes about women in business.
1. “She was helped by her boyfriend or husband or father or brother”
This stereotype has come up for a reason. Indeed, many names of millionaire businesswomen are taken forward by women who have inherited their wealth or have received it from their parents. And in the meantime, there is an even bigger list of those businesswomen who themselves attained heights and whom no one has helped.
2. “A purely” female “business is suitable for her, she will not be competent in other areas”
A beauty salon, the sale of household and cosmetics chemicals, ateliers, the flower sector, hand-made projects, all this, to a larger extent, is related to the female sphere of employment. It is enough just to insert into Google the query “business for a woman” and you will be shown numerous similar “female” offers. Indeed, men in this space can be seen much less often in comparison to women. But this does not restrict the ability of a woman to select a field of activity and does not imply that a woman cannot attain success in such areas as, for instance, IT, metallurgy, engineering, etc. And numerous successful women in these areas are proof.
3. “Female” model of management is ineffective”
Often the types of management are divided as per gender-typical “female” and typical “male”. In this respect, the “female” model is condemned as overly emotional, one in which it is hard to build relationships with people and attain goals. This thesis is contradicted by the latest studies, showing the effectiveness of the management of a woman of the company and, moreover, a larger efficiency in comparison to a man.
4. “She doesn’t belong here, home and family are her main business”
This is a traditional stereotype for most professions. Of course, business is not an easy task, it takes a lot of energy and time and not everybody (both a woman and a man) can do it. However, there are instances of women who successfully mix their business with raising children, while some choose a career. And this is a normal situation for the civilized XXI century, where a woman herself can choose what her aim in life is.
Gender Balance In Business
Gender balance in business, as in any entity, is crucial not only from the point of view of gender equality and the discard of stereotypes, which we spoke about above, but also for the economy as a whole. So, in the span of 2004-2008. there was a prominent improvement in the financial performance of Fortune Global 500 entities with at least three women. The Credit Suisse Research Institute in 2012 assured this pattern by evaluating the activities of 2,360 enterprises.
Along with that, gender balance allows policymakers to better evaluate market requirements and allows better decision-making. However, in our nation, human resource management as a whole is in its infancy. And making investments in women to support their leadership is still thought risky and more benevolent in comparison to economically profitable. Even though the UN data confirms: the growth of education and employment of women directly impacts the growth of the economy.
What is required for gender balance and the development of top women in business? Motivate, invest in the growth of small and medium-sized businesses, invest in training and education based on gender equality and equal chances for both men and women. The main activity is to get rid of any gender stereotypes from the heads of the people.
As you can see the above stated stereotype can really impact the work ambiance, motivation level, business performance, and relationship at work. The best thing to do for the women in business is to look for ways to stand out, which may range from speaking up and modifying your style of dress along with how excellently you do your work.