New research from online project management software company Nuvro shows the resilience of female business leaders, and how they managed to overcome gender stereotyping and bias to succeed in their respective businesses. The firm surveyed successful women entrepreneurs about their businesses for Women’s History Month.
The women surveyed were all small business owners, which include businesses in writing, technology, weddings, and business growth. Questions were asked of the business owners about their challenges as women in business, how they have grown their businesses, the positive aspects of being a female entrepreneur, and advice they would give another woman just starting a new business.
The answers given in the survey revealed that ingrained stereotypes harm not just the women interviewed, but the entire female sex
In asking these women about their experiences in business, the new report showcases the successes of female business leaders while addressing the challenges that women still face that men don’t, such as limited financing options, the stigma of being a working mother, and lack of respect as an authority in their field from peers or clients.
Nuvro co-founder Christina DeGus finds the research from the women surveyed invaluable. “2019 is a great year for entrepreneurial women and we were lucky to connect with some very successful women who shared some valuable insights,” she said, in a news release. “I understand the value of shared experiences, and I hope others will find the collection of these insights helpful to their own businesses.”
Highlighted topics in the report include:
Women thrive despite challenges
As women starting businesses in a male-dominated world, some of these women faced some internal conflict, reflecting on if they had what it takes—something that, due to ingrained gender stereotypes, is much more common for women than it is for men. Women are much less likely than men to showcase their knowledge and much more likely to lowball their talents and their ingenuity. “I never saw myself as a businesswoman at first”, said Angela De Souza, owner of Women’s Business Club. “(The hardest part was) answering the ‘who am i and what do i offer’?” said Theus, adding that having confidence in yourself as a business professional is more difficult to achieve as a woman.
The stigma of the working mother
Deb Bailey of DB Writing Services spoke about the internal struggle some women face that holds them back from reaching their full potential for success. “I think women tend to be hard on themselves to be perfect. To accommodate prospects who can’t afford our services. To hold back instead of selling because we don’t want to be pushy.” This brings an important point to the surface; women business owners are much more likely to accept underpayment than men, paying themselves 28 percent less than men pay themselves for the same work.
Slow growth may be a result of stereotyping
What Bate and DiVita have experienced through difficulties obtaining capital is something that happens frequently around the country. Though it’s not quite as bad as needing a male to co-sign for you as in years past, it is a fact that it is still more difficult to receive business financing as a woman than as a man. CNBC revealed that when compared to their male counterparts, women were offered 50% less in funding, and INC states that only 30 percent of women who apply for a bank loan are approved.
With the knowledge gained from interviewing these entrepreneurs, Nuvro hopes to shed light on what needs to change in order for women to be afforded the same opportunities and growth as men. Each woman has a unique perspective from their own experiences in business, and Nuvro hopes to be at the forefront of exposing the discrepancies in gender equality and changing the dynamic to ensure female entrepreneurial success.