Women are breaking down the walls that have limited their growth in corporate world for centuries. Currently, 231 million women worldwide are undertaking businesses, according to GEM 2018/2019 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report, however, not everything is good news, there are still many prejudices against women and discriminatory behaviors that must be identified with the only purpose of ending them.
Misconceptions about women in business that keep the gender gap open still prevail. In the US, women entrepreneurs represent 15%, while the percentage of men is more than 17.5% of all economically active people between the ages of 18 and 64, disparity has been reduced in recent years and this tendency should continue.
Although the difference is not as great as in other countries of the world, achieving parity is a priority task. One of the areas with the greatest differences is the access to business funding. The Global Alternative Finance Market Benchmarking Report from Columbia University found that in interviews for granting loans, questions for men focus on business, while for women on risk reduction.
These types of behaviors are reflected in their business growth and therefore impact on global economic development. Down below, we list 5 misconceptions about women’s entrepreneurship that can be eradicated with your help.
1. “Women don’t know how to run a business”
For decades, women have been relegated from executive positions within companies. Some people consider their ability to run a business as minimal. This statement is eliminated if we consider that they have been founders of 21Unicorn companies (valued at over $1 billion) worldwide, according to CB Insights.
A company founded by women brings great benefits inside it, such as a sense of belonging for the collaborators, flexibility in decision making, hierarchization of tasks and analytical processes based on results. These qualities facilitate an organic business development, according to world trends.
A professional lender will focus on the company and its success, not the gender of the owner. Companies like Camino Financial offer financing for small businesses owned by visionary entrepreneurs, including hard working women.
2. “They won’t dedicate enough time to the company”
The idea arises from the sexism assertion that women are in charge of the house. This has changed, according to the National At-Home Dad Network, 7 million men are responsible for the comprehensive care of their children under 15 in the United States, a figure that paves the way for women to succeed in the field of their choice.
The reality is that both men and women seek full development in personal and business settings. In a family context, teamwork between both genders will allow them to go out and conquer the world. However, the multitasking spirit of women facilitates the control of diverse activities in an excellent way.
To generate a large-scale perspective, 87% of companies around the world have at least one woman in management positions, according to 2019 Grant Thornton IBR numbers.
3. “They will get more in debt”
When applying for financing, women face barriers such as higher interest rates, lack of collateral guarantees and a more complicated approval process than men. Despite the obstacles, numbers don’t lie. After obtaining some type of financing, men hold more debt than women in almost all existing categories.
In credit card use, men’s debt is higher than women’s -by $125 on average-. In terms of personal loans, men are 20% above, in auto loans 16.3% and in mortgages 9.7%.
When all categories are added together, the difference reaches 21.9%, according to the study Women and Credit 2020: How History Shaped Today’s Credit Landscape. This proves that there is seriousness and good debt management from women.
Despite the positive figures, the gap in business loans for women approval remains. For this purpose, there are organizations with gender parity, for example Camino Financial, a fintech specialized in financial and credit products designed for microenterprises with limited access to loans, also providing advice and support for business development.
4. “They don’t have a global vision”
Currently the flight of women is high and has no limits. Through entrepreneurship they seek the well-being of themselves and their families. According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2019, their main goals are to achieve financial independence and improve their income.
More than one-third of women entrepreneurs show interest in expanding their horizons and pursuing business expansion outside their home countries or generating income in a foreign currency, according to the 2020 Global Entrepreneur Report from BNP Paribas Wealth Management.
5. “Women must decide between their personal life and their career”
A fulfilled person will always be more efficient and productive. Not all women want to be mothers, but they should be able to do so without limiting their professional growth, with policies that allow them to develop in both activities.
In all companies it is really important not to have discriminatory attitudes towards pregnancy, to respect maternity laws for both sexes and above all to know that abilities are measured by results, not by gender.
6. “Women do not work well with other women”
This concept is one of the most damaging to women when it comes to participating in the business world. The term ‘sorority’ (partnership between women) has generated changes all over the world. The possibility of building a common front governed by support and help between women, presents invaluable opportunities for growth and development.
Increasing opportunities for women in the workforce, providing knowledge, facilitating access to business loans for women, and helping the economy thrive are all tasks that women entrepreneurs have as a priority today, according to 2019 MIWE.
The number of women entrepreneurs, managers and workers will increase, it is a tendency that will not be reversed. Their empowerment provides the opportunity for everyone to observe and enjoy the benefits of skills that were previously limited to the walls of a house.
An entrepreneurial woman, backed by business loans for women, has great potential to generate jobs and improve work environments with inclusive policies for all types of minorities.
Many gaps remain to be bridged, social, academic, financial and labor. Discipline, strength and tenacity are the flag of a much brighter future for women. According to GEM, women’s business activity currently represents only 10.2% of the total worldwide.
Improving business loans for women policies will help increase the numbers of women entrepreneurship in the upcoming years and will open up more jobs for both men and women. Have you heard any of these misconceptions before? Have you had to face any of them?