As per a National Association of Women Business Owners report, women entrepreneurs own over 11 million U.S. companies. 9 million employees work under them and generate $1.7 trillion in sales. Business News Daily correspondent Paula Fernandes interviewed women CEOs regarding their challenges and how they got past them. In this article at the online daily, Fernandes shares 7 hurdles that women entrepreneurs encounter in their career.
Barriers for Women Entrepreneurs
Though the report is quite impressive, women entrepreneurs still are a minority. They face more challenges. Following are the 7 hurdles that women entrepreneurs encounter in their career:
- Outnumbered in Social Gatherings: A few women entrepreneurs participate in social gatherings and feel awkward while talking to male executives. Some of them try to imitate male behaviors of rivalry, aggression, and boldness. However, Trunkettes founder and CEO Hilary Genga recommends being comfortable in your skin.
- Reluctant Sponsors: A 2014 Babson College report suggests that only 3 percent of investors wanted women as leaders. Full Circle Insights President and CEO Bonnie Crater explains how sponsors prefer representation from their own ‘tribe.’ However, only 6 percent of woman-backed ventures supported women CEOs. Crater suggests that you have a strong team and well-planned business plan to display confidence. Hera Fund and Hera Hub partner Felena Hanson recommends searching for female investors. Elidah co-founder Gloria Kolb observes that women show realistic projections. Investors sanction fewer funds thinking that they too have inflated numbers like their male counterparts.
- Not Taken Seriously: Women entrepreneurs are not taken as seriously in a male-dominated industry. Everyone thought that Jelmar CEO and president Alison Gutterman was using family name and money to establish her business. To get rid of this generalization, she joined a group that helped her get rid of this negative experience.
- Difficulty in Acknowledging Self-worth: The Mobile Locker Co. founder and CEO Molly MacDonald reveals that she never thought herself to be a good leader. Virtual Work Team founder Shilonda Downing advises that you must never underplay your creativity. Gannett and ReachLocal president Sharon Rowlands opines that you should wear your confidence like a pro.
- Lack of Supporters: reports that 48 percent of women CEOs informed lack of mentors during their struggling period. Hanson points out that lack of women role models or career enablers make the journey tough. Join women support networks or events like WIN Conferences, EWomen Network, Bizwomen, and Ellevate Network. reacHIRE CEO Addie Swartz suggests that you should not hesitate to seek help ever.
- Work versus Family: As per Genga, if you can balance your work and family, you can achieve anything. Garrett Public Relations’ Michelle Garrett thinks working for yourself helps you find the balance more than working for a firm.
- Failure Anxieties: Media Minefield founder and CEO Kristi Piehl says it is completely natural to fail. Women entrepreneurs must not give up. Swartz recommends you to think failures as learning opportunities.
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