Women in business still face prejudices and stereotypes that their male counterparts don’t have to deal with. The good news is that many of these myths are already dying. Changing attitudes and new opportunities are giving female entrepreneurs and business leaders a chance to shine.
As much as times have changed, there are some persistent myths that simply refuse to go away. Here are a few of those that need to be addressed and debunked pronto.
Myth 1: Women are Not Leaders by Nature
This is probably the worst of all claims because it states that leadership is not a part of female nature. Obviously, many great examples out there prove this myth wrong.
Women have numerous undervalued leadership traits that men are not particularly well known for. Some of these traits include:
- Strategic thinking
- Adaptation based on circumstances and current challenges
- Passion and commitment to stick through with a plan
- Effective networking
- Multi-tasking skills
In addition, there are various studies that negate the old-school claims and suggest that women are natural-born leaders .
In one study, it was found out that the most successful professional teams are the ones that have the biggest number of women in them. Another study shows that female CEOs are the ones that accomplish the best results in their companies. The revenue per employee was 18 percent higher for the female CEOs in the study.
Myth 2: Women Stick to Small-Scale Projects
Another common myth suggests that even if they are leaders, women tend to engage themselves in relatively small projects. Men, on the other hand, adopt a much riskier approach by going big with startups and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Needless to say, this is a gross oversimplification of business affairs.
The myth attempts to say that women don’t have what it takes to do substantial business. There is no need to quote examples of famous women who have surpassed the million-dollar landmark – you can probably come up with many such examples on your own.
When women stick to a small business, the decision is usually conscious rather than dictated by the circumstances. Keeping a small business allows for a lot of independence, a chance to focus on one’s personal life, or raise a family. A small business can easily be scaled up when the time is right.
Myth 3: Women don’t have Time to Meet Leadership Obligations because of Family
This one is such a massive cliché and a myth that a custom essay can be written about it. The myth is so archaic and outdated that talking about it is insulting. Still, many people believe in it because of traditional gender roles.
Women are expected to put family and kids first. Because raising kids is such a time-consuming endeavor, female professionals will obviously have no time for anything else (especially career or business development).
Time management skills make it possible for many women to get the best of both worlds. They are passionate, excellent moms who also find the time to lead business teams to success.
When asked about it, female entrepreneurs report that they’ve managed to improve their work-life balance through strict scheduling. Eliminating distractions, prioritizing tasks, and knowing what’s crucial for strategic development can all lead to excellent results.
Myth 4: Women don’t have the Confidence to do Business
Women are expected to be shy and submissive by traditional society. Proactiveness and leadership are naturally attributed to men. This is another notion that has to change.
A disparity does exist between men and women and it seems to be a common trend throughout the world. Men generally have a higher self-esteem than women, but this disparity is typically circumstance-driven.
Female entrepreneurs and business leaders share the same ambition and passion that men have. Women do encounter obstacles that men don’t have to deal with and over time, such obstacles may lead to confidence issues.
Thus, the focus shouldn’t be on the confidence of women. It should be on the superficial hindrances that stand in the way of their development. When such hindrances are addressed, women will become capable of unleashing their full leadership potential.
Myth 5: Successful Female Entrepreneurs don’t have a Life Outside Their Business
In order to be successful in business, a woman will have to commit 100 percent to her job. There’s simply no way for her to have a personal life and to be a top entrepreneur at the same time.
The myth once again stems from the notion that women are not natural leaders and that they will have to dedicate every single resource in their possession to becoming an entrepreneur.
Having no life out of work may be true in the early stages of entrepreneurship. This phenomenon, however, is equally applicable to men and women. Once the business idea is fully developed, the company can be expected to work smoothly on its own. This is when managers and entrepreneurs will take a breather and focus on other essentials in life.
Myth 6: A Woman has to Act Like a Man to be Successful in Business
No explanation is required for this myth – it’s based on the same notion as most of the clichés already mentioned in this article.
It’s a man’s world and a woman will need male attributes to be successful in business.
Every woman has an arsenal of personal and professional skills that can help her run a team or a company smoothly. There is no need to opt for typical male behavior (if such thing really exists) to be perceived as a leader and to get respect.
As already mentioned, women possess various undervalued leadership skills that men are not really good at. It’s true that the leadership styles of men and women are often different. This, however, does not mean that one of the styles is more effective than the other.
Women can adopt an approach towards leadership that seems natural and that puts emphasis on their biggest strengths. There is no need to follow a macho formula on the road to success. Being feminine and a successful leader are not mutually exclusive. In fact, a feminine leader can accomplish a lot that a masculine one simply cannot.