female-led business
Image source: Entrepreneur

All businesses experience problems. It does not happen that female-led companies have it easy or a multi-million dollar business walks on rose petals. These COVID-affected times are the perfect example to support this claim.

COVID-19 did not see whether a business had female leadership or whether it was a multi-million dollar business; it wreaked havoc just the same. Unfortunately, however, humans do not have any no-discrimination policy like the coronavirus strain.

While COVID affected everyone regardless of gender, we, humans, are still not taking female-led businesses seriously.

Let’s talk about why that is so!

1. Preconceived Notions and Bias

female led businesses
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Preconceived notions and gender norms highlight women as caregivers and homemakers. So when women enter the work field, most people assume that those women themselves are not serious and will eventually go back to being a housewife. And therefore, we see men showing niceties towards them. They are more professional when dealing with a man even if the hierarchy suggests that man to be the woman’s subordinate.

2. Living up to others’ expectation

female led businesses
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These experiences teach women that to survive in this male-dominated industry, they might need male characteristics such as aggressive nature instead and abandon the characteristics that define them. But does that help in being taken seriously? Not so much. This is because in adopting someone else’s personality, they lose what sets them apart. And it is very likely that in losing what defines them makes them lose their confidence as well.

3. Fear of Owning One’s accomplishments!

“I have achieved…”

“We have achieved…”

Society has embedded in us that women should not brag. Women, hence, find themselves using sentences with ‘We’ rather than ‘I’ to explain their achievements. This downplays their worth in the eyes of the person they are addressing. Naturally, when one sees a vulnerability, they exploit it.

4. Lack of ambition!

The business world, for quite some time, has the label of ‘being a man’s world.’ Female leaders assume that they will find it hard to jump back up were they to fail. Hence, fear stops them from exploring further, and they settle in their comfort zone.

So, before losing the fear of failure, women need to unlearn the idea that they are in a man’s world. When they learn that they are not in someone else’s place, then only can they lose the fear of failure and have ambition.

5. The role of Networking Avenues for Females

Female led businesses
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

We all understand the importance of networking. But the problem arises when networking happens in avenues such as golf. Business leaders get together for playing golf and make alliances then and there. But assuming that women are not interested in golf, they do not get invites of these unofficial networking avenues.

However, that also leads to another question, even if golf has been associated with male networking, why is there not yet a female networking avenue. Could it be that not owning their achievements impacts women into thinking they are not ready to be mentors?

In a nutshell, we can say, the reason is not just one. To be taken seriously, women have to take themselves seriously first. We cannot say that by default, everyone will follow because of all the stereotypes and gender norms that women have grown up with, men have also learned. But it will allow women to be more comfortable in the business world and not assume that they have to prove it to men whether they deserve to be there or not.

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