The number of female entrepreneurs is constantly on the rise; businesswomen are holding more important positions than ever, and the motivation and eagerness to enter male-dominated fields has never been quite as prominent among women in business. But even though women are achieving success in a more notable way, the world of business is still a closed, harsh and rigid community that likes to play favorites, albeit not to benefit women. Female entrepreneurs often face a set of unique personal struggles that can be quite difficult to overcome.
Femininity being a selling point
From advertisers to business consultants, anyone we seek advice from when it comes to our brand and our company’s image constantly tells us that we should sell ourselves in order to sell our business. Whether they suggest we smile more often or wear “more flattering” clothes, we are expected to sell the fact that we are female. But all this does is perpetuate the false preconception that women aren’t serious and professional enough to be entrepreneurs.
Some businesswomen like to play this game, and turn their femininity into an advantage, using the fact that they can influence and persuade with their looks as a form of empowerment. However, most female entrepreneurs try to find the ideal balance – they convey a strong, powerful and respectful image, and their business ends up being perceived as such as well.
Strictly female issues as personal setbacks
Many job interviewers tend to ask women a very specific question that men never get asked: “Do you plan on having children in the future?” Because of our child bearing capabilities, we are still expected to be mothers first, above all else, often preventing us from advancing our careers, especially in male-dominated fields, regardless of our personal choices. And when female entrepreneurs do choose to have children, it seems nearly impossible to find a suitable work-life balance; either we’re seen as bad, neglectful mothers who are too focused on their work or just a woman who isn’t serious about her job.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have to deal with menopause in the second half of our lives, which causes a number of uncomfortable symptoms, from hot flashes and fatigue to insomnia and mood swings, none of which are beneficial in the workplace. Thankfully, this might be one of the easiest issues to solve. Many women resort to probiotics menopause supplements that help them manage the unfavorable symptoms of menopause and improve their health, allowing them to continue with business as usual with ease.
The ever-present discrimination
Despite the fact that women make up more than half of the workforce, there are still a large number of people who simply don’t take female entrepreneurs seriously in the professional world. When a woman starts her own business, it’s often seen as “sweet” or “cute” that she’s doing something on her own, especially if it’s a company aimed at improving women’s lives in any aspect, instead of being seen as an intelligent and professional individual that’s determined to succeed.
To overcome this problem, we as women need to realize that it’s a gender-bias deeply rooted in our society, and not a personal issue. We need to find support in each other as female entrepreneurs, and we need to advocate for our fellow businesswomen in order to achieve true equality in the world of business.
The lack of adequate support
Even though a sense of community is what most women entrepreneurs need, the truth is that being a female business owner is an incredibly lonely road. As only around 17% of startups are female-owned, women tend to suffer from entrepreneurial burnout and loneliness much more often, mostly due to the female struggles in the workplace that are already difficult to deal with.
For this reason, the concept of female-only workspaces has started to gain popularity. These types of spaces allow women to come together, share knowledge and resources, create a community and provide necessary support, all with the goal of lifting each other up, and allowing women to thrive in traditionally male-dominated fields.
There is no doubt that women face unique struggles and challenges when endeavoring to start their own businesses, most of which are based on societal bias and discrimination. Thankfully, all of this can be overcome with the right strategy and support, and none of it should prevent us from achieving our entrepreneurial goals.