International Women’s Day has just passed, and this year’s theme was “Make it Happen”, which according to the Government’s official statement aimed to “encourage effective action for advancing and recognising women”.
However, while the efforts continue to empower women in all areas of their lives, including the workplace, the statistics for women in work remain disappointing, with the latest government figures demonstrating the gender pay gap has now increased, and females are earning 10% less than men.(http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0044/00441139.pdf)
The Challenges for Women in Business
Women face a variety challenges in the course of running a business. Firstly, many women will also be trying to successfully manage their family and home life, or caring responsibilities, while also trying to manage a career and the day-to-day stresses that come with it. Not to say that men don’t, but it’s primarily the female that takes on the main role.
But why should this mean women are less successful than men? Statistics now show that women are starting businesses at more than twice the rate of male-majority-owned businesses.
Benefits of Females in Employment
Despite the fact the women often do not get paid what they are worth, research has shown companies that employ a higher number of females perform better financially and can even outperform their rivals.
Women can often be better communicators and therefore more effective at interacting with others (networking to you and me). Women also tend to appreciate the constraints of a tight budget so are usually highly resourceful.
But still the pay gap and the lack of management positions for women remains an issue.
The Increase in Self Employment
While there seems to be little progress in career opportunities for women in the traditional workplace, females are at least leading the way when it comes to self-employment.
Since the 2008 recession, there has been a significant increase in women setting up their own businesses and going it alone; in 2014, 70% of the new enterprises launched in the UK were owned by females, and nearly 15% state they will be looking for staff in 2015.
However, while the growth in self-employment is positive news, statistics from HMRC showing that women earn 40% less than men with their own businesses.
So it seems that women are setting the trend when it comes to setting up their own enterprises and long may it continue.