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5 Barriers Facing Women Entrepreneurs in The Business World
2021 marks the beginning of a new era of female entrepreneurship and women empowerment. Governments, organizations, and non-profits worldwide are strategizing and campaigning for female-friendly corporate environments.
Did you know that over 11 million businesses in the US are owned and operated by women? That’s right, and the figures continue to increase each day. Entering the corporate world, armed with a creative vision and facilitative environment, is rapidly becoming achievable for female entrepreneurs.
Today, the barriers facing women entrepreneurs are significantly less than two or three decades ago. But the barriers are still there, and they create an enormous amount of struggle, deterring millions from pursuing their dreams.
Keep reading to explore the barriers deterring female entrepreneurs and how you can combat them to actualize your vision.
1. Unrealistic Social Stigmas & Expectations
Despite the enormous strides in female education and empowerment, millions of women struggle against unrealistic social expectations. Even in this era, women are regarded as the primal caregivers with innate duties in the kitchen and home.
Women activists continue campaigning against patriarchal values and unrealistic societal expectations, but protesting is not an option for millions worldwide. A large majority of women struggle between domestic and work responsibilities with little or no support. Female illiteracy and comparatively lower higher education rates than men also stem from these unrealistic social expectations and family dynamics.
Many women find themselves forced to give up their plans for higher education and business ventures after embarking on motherhood. The lack of free daycare and child-rearing support services makes the journey much more difficult. Thankfully, e-learning platforms allow women to explore promising degrees for business to build their skills despite the obvious barriers.
Higher education is a vital necessity to embark on a successful and sustainable business model. Unfortunately, many young mothers and female entrepreneurs find themselves at a disadvantage due to their lack of advanced business training.
We strongly advise female entrepreneurs to prioritize higher education or advanced training before testing out their ideas.
2. Challenges in Securing Funding
All startups struggle with a shortage of funds, but not all startups manage to secure investments or loans. Raising capital and obtaining funding for a female-owned business is much more challenging than male-run businesses.
Recent reports reveal that venture capitalists have exhibited an apparent disdain for female-run companies. Moreover, market statistics indicate that only 3% of businesses with female CEOs manage to secure funding for venture capitalists. These troubling reports paint a discouraging picture for female entrepreneurs vying for investors to secure financing.
The pitching process is an arduous struggle, and women constantly find themselves operating at a disadvantage. Bankers, financiers, and investors regard women as a risk, deeming them as the weaker sex. But luckily, there are ways female entrepreneurs can break free from the patriarchal toxicity and carve out support.
Engaging with venture capitalist firms that have female leaders allows women-run startups to enjoy support. Similarly, female investors, bankers, and financiers can help create a facilitating and lucrative environment to grow. However, a solid business plan with accurate financial forecasting is crucial to secure funding from any institute.
3. The Struggle of Being Taken Seriously
Even in this day and age, women struggle to build clout despite flying airplanes, working on oil rigs, and creating life-saving vaccines. No profession remains dominated by one gender, as women are rapidly penetrating every industry and sector. And yet, despite all the progress made by female leaders and hard workers, the struggle remains.
The struggle of being taken seriously by male peers in a patriarchal workplace with misogynistic work cultures is a formidable challenge. Male-dominated workplace cultures intentionally subdue women, hindering their progress and denying them leadership roles. Therefore, earning respect as a female entrepreneur is crucial to enjoying success, and the bar is much higher than men.
Female entrepreneurs often find themselves struggling with doubts, insecurities, and fears when faced with such criticism. However, as a visionary entrepreneur, you must overcome this by reinforcing your confidence and staying true to your dreams.
4. Inability to Celebrate their Wins
Women and young girls are actively encouraged to downplay their talents and stay silent over their accomplishments. These self-damaging values are encouraged in little girls to build selfless and communal mindsets. As these little girls grow up into ambitious women, they struggle to actualize their leadership strengths.
The difficulties women face in celebrating their wins and owning their accomplishments create negative energies. Women are actively discouraged from seizing control and applauding their achievements. It’s essential to move away from this toxic mindset and carve out occasions to celebrate your dedication and results.
Remember, confidence is the key that will unlock the door to success. Having confidence in your business plan and vision will help you materialize the results you seek.
5. Balancing Work & Domestic Responsibilities
Women have a natural maternal instinct and a more empathetic nature than men. They are more likely to experience guilt about leaving the children unattended and prioritizing work over domestic responsibilities. This guilt often deters them from investing all their energies in their professional goals and ambitions.
Women who plan big end up juggling enormous stress, leading to inevitable burnout. Balancing work and family time is by far the most significant struggle a woman has to make each day. She struggles against her guilt and societal perceptions of her misgivings as a mother and homemaker.
A supportive and facilitative network lies at the heart of a successful corporate journey. Unfortunately, women entrepreneurs do not have this luxury. Very few mentors, advisors, and peers are willing to work with them. Mostly, the people they interact with are likely to bet against their professional growth and success, undermining their capabilities.
The barriers to your success are abundant, but as a woman, you are unbelievably resilient and undeniably robust.