Entrepreneurship is no longer considered a man's domain. When it comes to catching up with their male counterparts, women are leaving their marks in the business world and taking it by storm. But there is no doubt that even today female entrepreneurs face challenges that are not known to their male counterparts. According to Megan Smyth, CEO and Co-founder of FitReserve, “While the numbers are growing, there are still too few female investors and startup entrepreneurs, which can make it more challenging to raise capital and find mentors,” as stated by Business News Daily. Through this article, we hope to shed light on some of the disparities faced by women entrepreneurs even today.
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In spite of all their achievements, women entrepreneurs often feel the need to conform to what a leader should ideally look like. You must have observed that in boardroom meetings presided by women, most females are clad in suits that makes them look like a replica of their male subordinates. It is imperative that women be comfortable with their personality, regardless of how the opposite sex perceives them. They should not feel the need to look similar to their male counterparts as that can take away from their talent.
Several women entrepreneurs falter at building a support system for themselves because they often mistake ‘who you should know’ with ‘what you should know’. In an age where social media has made the world a really small place, networking is crucial for any type of entrepreneurial endeavor. One of the key contributors to business success is making connections with people who can help you overcome professional hurdles. Women entrepreneurs need to overcome the challenge of building equity with game changers.
Most women entrepreneurs in India have led a very sheltered life because of which they are not always economically independent. This reduces their ability and willingness to take risks while running an enterprise. Risk-bearing is a fundamental requisite of a prosperous entrepreneur irrespective of gender. Women in India need to internalise this in order to achieve great success. And once these women have mastered the ability to take risks, they should stop seeking recognition from others to feel entitled to their success.
Striking a work-life balance is a gender neutral goal. But women often face greater pressure to fulfil their roles at home. Society often looks down upon working wives and mothers. This is even truer for women entrepreneurs as they don't have a simple nine-to-five job which they can complete and return home to their families. They need to work at odd hours if required and travel often for work purpose. This leaves many female entrepreneurs guilty about not paying enough attention to their families.
The sooner women are able to overcome all the above challenges, the more successful they will be at entrepreneurship. In the meanwhile, it is imperative to never lose sight of the end goal and let chance settle the rest.