It seems appropriate on International Women’s Day to talk about empowering female entrepreneurs. By empowering women and girls, we are creating a brighter future.
Females are still under-represented in the workplace, receive less pay and are less present in the business world. It’s changing but not quick enough. It is not uncommon to see a largely male board of directors or men in executive positions. Men also tend to dominate the speaker and event space. The glass ceiling, for females, has been very hard to break.
Interesting to note, however, is the fact that studies are revealing women make more successful entrepreneurs – we tend to minimize risk, be less overconfident, think long-term and be able to juggle the work/home life easier than our male counterparts.
So how can we empower female entrepreneurs? The simplest way is to support each other. Here are a few more examples.
- Provide mentorship, encouragement and support.
- Celebrate female success. It is particularly important for men to assist in highlighting women. Men should welcome and encourage women to join groups and assist in introducing them to new communities and local business people.
- Hire female executives; elevate women leaders.
- Pay women as you pay men in the same position.
- Encourage girls to learn and take part in non-traditional roles such as construction, science and tech.
- Be mindful of of gender biased behaviours including speech
- Recognize that a powerful women commands respect, not labeling as a [insert word here]. Would you refer to a powerful man the same way as a woman?
- Provide more monentary support geared specifically to girls and women. Angel networks and many other funds tend to award money to primarily male led ventures.
- Balance event speakers to include a more equal amount of women speakers.
- Encourage females to share their stories and struggles.
Together we can empower female entrepreneurs to create a brighter future.