Step away from stereotypes: Why women are better off taking the plunge
Climb Online's Lyndsay Morgan is on a mission to empower more women in business. Budding female entrepreneur? Read on...
As females, we are privy to stereotypes – whether we like it or not.
From the stigma surrounding ‘stay at home mums’, to, dare I say it, the recent comments of Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke who stated women should be paid less than men as they are “typically smaller and less intelligent”.
And let’s not forget the recent front page of the Daily Mail which, instead of highlighting the inspiring image of two incredible women in power, took the time and column inches to comment on their legs. Seriously!
The good news? Women have been fighting stereotypes for years and in business we are getting closer and closer to winning:
Career mums can have it all
I am not going to pretend that I know what it’s like to balance motherhood with career aspirations, because I don’t.
But I do know that women in business can have both, should they so desire it.
In fact, a recent report by Forbes found that Europe’s most powerful business women all had one thing in common – more children than the average European family. What’s more, these women are owning it.
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The same report discussed the importance of supporting working mothers with flexible hours and changes in working patterns, such as working from home or around school hours.
Although there are many employers that don’t agree to this – there are many that do. Being a working mother is challenging enough without having an un-supportive boss … Struggling to find one? Ditch the 9-5 and become your own!
Goodbye Gender Pay Gap
Women have been fighting the Gender Pay Gap for years – with industries like retail, insurance, and food and drink reported as the worst sectors for employing females in positions of seniority.
Self-employed professionals have the potential to earn up to 45% more doing exactly the same job. So ladies, if you’re fed up of waiting for that Gender Pay Gap to close… this is one sure way around it!
Channel your inner business badass
There are so many talented women with great ideas but, unless they have a position of power or feel comfortable in the presence of those that do, their ideas are often unheard, quelled or diminished by a lack of confidence.
Successful business leaders will tell you that you only have one chance to form a reputation in business so believing in yourself, your service or your product is vital for success… because if you don’t, who will?
It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top
Women, whether we like to admit it or not, can’t help but be a tad competitive – particularly when it comes to something we desperately want or believe in, like our careers.
However, the word ‘competitive’ doesn’t have to come hand in hand with negative connotations – especially when you consider that there is certainly enough space at the top for all of us.
Working with one another – whether as colleagues or as like-minded professionals – has the potential to really aid your position as a woman in business.
Support networks, together with the guidance and advice from experienced female leaders are invaluable resources; find them, and use them – you won’t regret it.
Avoid the excuses
There’s never a right time to start a business. For many, the risk element, combined with the ever-evolving struggle of the work/life balance will seem too great and too concerning to make the jump.
Without sounding too cliché, we only live once and that doesn’t mean we are destined for a life of ‘okay’ jobs.
If you want to become self-employed or have always dreamt of starting your own business – create it.
Drive, determination and self-belief have a lot to answer for, and there are many female leaders and women in business who will vouch for it.
Lyndsay Morgan is head of operations at Climb Online.