Are we surprised that there are still more male entrepreneurs than female entrepreneurs? Maybe not. However, some parts of the world see this inequality much greater than other parts. The majority of females in business say that the further up the ladder they get, there is a lack of female role models that they can aspire to be. In a male-dominated industry, women are not always treated the same as male entrepreneurs.
Are there inequalities within business?
Just 9% of funding funnelled into UK start-ups goes to women-led businesses. According to the Entrepreneurs Network, women also tend to start businesses with much less available capital than male entrepreneurs. Some female leaders experience outright sexism. According to a poll by the Telegraph, two-thirds of 750 female founders felt as though they were not taken seriously when pitching to investors. They also felt they were treated differently to their male counterparts. Which can only mean that there are inequalities, as there is no evidence that female-led companies perform worse than their male-led companies. In fact, the data suggests that they perform better.
However, just over two-thirds of female entrepreneurs admitted that they find it difficult to bounce back from failures when compared to 55% of men. Although this figure seems like a negative, research suggests that women make safer decisions overall, whereas males are more likely to make impulsive decisions. Which could tie into this statistic as women are investing more time & money into their decisions. When they fail at what seems like a well thought out plan, it feels like an even bigger failure.
What can be done going forth?
We need more female entrepreneurs and society needs to take note of the different challenges women face as they try to open their own business as well as day to day life.
Sadly it appears that male investors are more inclined to invest in male entrepreneurs. There is a conscious or unconscious bias on the part of investors and this lack of support is playing a big part in the lack of female entrepreneurs. Encouraging women to start their own business would actually help the economy, so why aren’t they?
It’s not all doom and gloom though, major businesses are taking steps towards supporting women and many figures in society are pushing for change. There used to be a few female founders, which meant that the pool of women who could mentor and advise other women entrepreneurs was extremely small. This, of course, makes it harder for enterprising women to learn from peers and for them to not make the same mistakes as they did. Thankfully there is a rise in female leaders teaching other female entrepreneurs the tricks of the trade.
Women need to be supported in business the same way that men are. The infographic from Total Processing below explores the current state of female entrepreneurs in the UK and America. It also identifies common challenges all female entrepreneurs face, despite location.