Women Entrepreneurs are Lagging: What Can We Do About It
Women only make up 35 percent of startup business owners, and new research shows that these firms experience less growth and less prosperity than male startup business owners. On top of this, there are few women in business services, technical fields, and the sciences. What are a woman entrepreneur's biggest hurdles to starting and to growing businesses? And what will it take for women to surpass men?
I'm a female entrepreneur myself, a full-time freelance writer since the beginning of the year. I am still on the fence as to if, and when, I will grow and turn into an LLC. On the one hand, I don't think it could be freelancing anymore if you become a company that hires and manages other people. On the other hand, I know a few people who could use a job, and would make good assets to my hypothetical LLC.
I'd hate to call it an obstacle, but I think that women (myself included) have a stronger tendency to achieve a work/life balance. Studies have shown that women are more inclined to maintain a work/life balance. I don't know if this inclination comes from a desire to be a part of our kids lives, or a desire to make time for leisure, or an expectation that women are to have a big leadership role in the household and with our children. I know that I want to be able to cook dinner regularly and participate with groups that don't involve work or family. All those things take time, and I think that a woman sacrifices much more if she were to sacrifice family for work versus the sacrifice men make.
As for what it will take for women to surpass men in entrepreneurship, I think it needs to start with the drive to beat men in this arena. We've been determined to do anything a man does and better. I think we just have yet to do it in businesses.
What do you think are a woman entrepreneur's biggest hurdles to starting and to growing businesses? What will it take for women to surpass men? Love to hear your thoughts.