I recently read an article by Carol Roth about the 76 Challenges That Women Have to Overcome in Entrepreneurship. Seventy-six different professionals weighed in on the question and about 90 percent of the answers were the same: Women, and everyone else in the world, don’t have enough confidence in women.
Answers ranged from “men are traditionally the hunter gatherers” to “women don’t take themselves seriously” and “women can’t overcome their fear.” But if we cull through the various points, we learn that because everyone lacks confidence in women – men get more advantages in business.
The only other issues mentioned were time management, delegating and a little bit about putting everyone else first. Arguably some of that could be traced back to a lack of confidence previously mentioned (i.e. hiding behind others as an excuse not to shine).
As a result of this colossal lack of confidence in women, we are told by Professor Scott A. Shane in his “The Illusions of Entrepreneurship” that women-owned businesses with one employee earn about 20 times less than men in similar companies. Is that even possible?
I have to admit, I have experienced all of the above in past years. Well, maybe not putting anyone else first (anyone who knows me would find that amusing), but all of these things did exist – and apparently still do to a far greater extent than I realized.
Over the years and since Bozell has become women-owned, a virtual army of men have served themselves up to my co-owners and me as the ideal company CEO and/or president, in the belief that we were waiting for a man to come along and take the burden from us. No thanks.
For the most part, Baby Boomers and Gen X will nod when reading this blog post. Whether or not they were perpetrators of these inequities – they’re aware of them. You know who will be the most shocked by these outrageous revelations? Millennials. Yes, those young folks that we love to criticize are of a generation that doesn’t see women as weak and incapable. In fact, the millennials I see every day place a whole lot of confidence in women. Maybe that’s a result of the evolution, but it’s incredibly refreshing to work with these bright individuals who really do believe in us.