We support the International Women’s Day 2016 campaign #PledgeForParity wishing to raise awareness of women’s issues worldwide, including business challenges.
Considering entrepreneurship by gender in international and domestic context, there is alarming evidence that many women are still under-represented in business, and are facing more challenges than their male entrepreneurs.
International Women Entrepreneurs in numbers
More than 126 million female entrepreneurs were starting or running new businesses in 67 economies according to the GEM 2012 Women’s Report.
In the United Kingdom, women are a growing part of the self-employed population, now making up nearly a third of self-employed people, based on Labour Force Survey, Office of National Statistics 2014. As per the graph below, there is more female self-employment in the age group of 35-54 than males in the same age group.
Woman in business under-represented
“Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit” by Conrad Hilton
Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi, talked about some of the challenges she faced as a woman in business, when she spoke at WSJ-hosted panel. Earlier in her career, she said:
”I was often the only woman in the room and men wouldn’t make eye contact with me. I watched my male colleagues get the best projects, while I was left with the dregs. My ideas would often be dismissed, while men who said the same thing would be lauded as having shared a brilliant idea.”
Here is a video of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer and author of the bestselling “Lean In” who discusses the barriers to advancement women face at WSJ’s Women in the Workplace event.
There is evidence that women are under-represented in business resulting in:
- less business ownership
There is still a very substantial gender gap when it comes to women owning and running their own businesses. Statistics show that 12% of businesses with employees and 15% of all businesses are majority female owned. Equally owned is 26% and 19% respectively, and male owned 51% and 60%.
- a higher churn rate
UK Women’s businesses have a higher churn rate (ie. more start-ups and closures). But women are less likely to attribute closure to ‘business failure’ and more likely to cite ‘personal reasons’ – which peak at age 25-34 for women according to study of UK women and entrepreneurship produced for RBS by Aston Business School.
- decreased turnover
The average turnover for male owned businesses is £360K and for female owned businesses £150K according to Women’s Enterprise- Some Facts and Figures
- Pledge for Parity
As part of International Women’s Day Campaign we call for friends, colleagues and clients and the general public to help accelerate gender parity by making a pledge via our website.
Take action. Make a pledge below to help accelerate gender parity.